CGNA wins National Innovation Award “Avonni”.
Publicated on November 13, 2014
The Agriaquaculture Nutritional Genomic Center received the prize in the category “Natural Resources Arauco” for developing AluProt-CGNA, a variety of lupine with larger quantity and quality of protein than soy in dehuled grain and gave rise to a social innovation with family farmers from La Araucania.
This year’s Avonni Award, officially constituted as the National Innovation Award, recognized 16 disruptive projects and ideas that are contributing to create value in Chile. Among them, the CGNA (Agriaquaculture Nutritional Genomic Center) from La Araucania Region got the prize in the category “Natural Resources Arauco” for developing AluProt-CGNA, a variety of lupine with larger quantity and quality of protein than soy in dehuled grain. This is the eight iteration of the most important award for innovation in Chile, organized yearly by El Mercurio newspaper, ForoInnovacion Foundation and National Television of Chile (Televisión Nacional de Chile, TVN), with governmental support from CORFO and the Ministry of Economy.
Luis Felipe Céspedes, ministry of Economy, led the activity. “The Avonni award is a tool that allows us to boost knowledge, provide added value and develop human resources”, said.
Isidora Undurraga, director of the Avonni National Innovation Award, added: “What is not known does not exist.Therefore, Avonni validates and gives life to the innovation cases in the country by making them visible.”
This year 553 projects applied for the award, 46 of them went ahead to the final stage after being evaluated by 90 experts. On September 24th the Final Jury met for choosing the winners in the 15 categories, along with a special acknowledgement to the Innovative Trajectory Anacleto Angelini.
The award ceremony took place in the Communication Patio of TVN. More than 500 innovation leaders attended, entrepreneurs, academics and public authorities led by Luis Felipe Céspedes, Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism, Máximo Pacheco, Minister of Energy, Andrés Gómez-Lobo, Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, and Claudia Baratinni, Minister of Culture.
The hosts of the event were Carmen Gloria López, executive director of TVN, Raúl Rivera, president of ForoInnovacion Foundation, and Cristián Zegers, director of the El Mercurio newspaper.
AluProt-CGNA is the first signed cultivar whose grain has more quantity and quality of protein than soy, a product that is broadly used in animal and human food industries but cannot grow in Chile. This sweet lupine was developed with genomic tools. It is a natural product, healthy and with a clear origin, the Araucania Region.
Furthermore, CGNA founded NG-Seeds S.A., a company made by five Family Farming cooperatives. NG-Seeds S.A., along with other sectors of the agriculture, may face the high demand of plant protein, developing healthy food and processing AluProt-CGNA as animal food.
“As Avonni awarded an initiative from the La Araucania Region, this shows that it is possible to make science and innovation excellence in the regions, in a highly centralized country”, said Dr. Haroldo Salvo-Garrido, director of CGNA. In that sense, the base funding from the Regional Program of CONICYT (the Chilean National Commission of Scientific and Technological Research) and the Regional Government and the Regional Council of La Araucania “have been essential.”
Salvo-Garrido added: “Avonni is a highly competitive prize. For that reason, the Natural Resources award is a tremendous support, a hallmark. In this way, we hope to delight more people and initiatives to contribute to our project that, even though now walking safely, wants to be a force for change in the quality of life of people from La Araucania and Chile.”