OCTOBER 2016 - Research to Business Catalyst (R2B Catalyst), the first scientific HUB for business development in Chile was inaugurated in the heart of Providencia. The event was attended by Dushyant Pathak, Associate Vice Chancellor of Technology Management and Corporate Relations of the University of California, Davis (UC Davis); Ignacio Brescia, CEO of R2B Catalyst; Alan Bennett, Executive Director of UC Davis Chile and Marcela Angulo, Manager of Technological Capabilities of Corfo.
R2B Catalyst arose from the union of UC Davis Chile; Labspace SpA and MGMS Consulting. The “headquarters” of this Company, a space over 320m² on the same floor as UC Davis Chile, received an investment of approximately USD $700,000, amongst contributions from Corfo and donations from the private sector.
The mission of R2B Catalyst is to support the development of business ventures with a scientific basis. For this purpose, the Company offers three groups of services to the start-ups. Program for Entrepreneurs inspired on the model of Venture Catalyst of UC Davis – created by Dr. Pathak - which provides assessment on business models, raising public and private capital as well as legal services and strategy for intellectual property; LabSpaces or collaborative laboratory areas and Services for Entrepreneurs such as mentoring, in-house services, marketing, communications, industrial and graphic design and legal assessment.
With regard to its infrastructure, R2B Catalyst has three laboratories for co-work – Plant Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Microbiology – with the highest standards of technology and equipment together with a Workshop for Prototyping with 3D printers. Moreover the scientific start-ups which form part of this hub have access to areas for co-work and to hold meetings.
Specifically R2B Catalyst is looking for the synergy between researchers, entrepreneurs, mentors and investors in order to generate a “mini-ecosystem” ideal for scientific start-ups. This has the aim of leveraging national and international scientific talent and thus converting the scientific research both into applications which generate a positive impact on people as well as into companies which create jobs.
“We are very happy to inaugurate this laboratory, the first of its kind in Santiago. LabSpace Central aims to crown many months of hard work and without a doubt it is our entrance into the major leagues and which places us on a higher level with respect to what we have been doing”, stresses Ignacio Brescia, CEO of R2B Catalyst.
Brescia adds, “In this process the support we received from Corfo has been instrumental, but also from our partners, UC Davis Chile and MGMS Consulting with whom we have given life to R2B Catalyst in order to potentiate and leverage the talent of our young scientists in Chile, thus avoiding a “brain drain” and in this way contributing to the growth and development of the country”.
“One of the programs that I lead as Associate Vice-Chancellor of Research at UC Davis is Venture Catalyst. The primary goal of this program is to provide support and resources to start-ups that arise from research conducted by UC Davis professors, students and staff, or a mix of all three,” explains Dr. Pathak.
“In general, the ten UC campuses encourage start-up formation because, in addition to helping commercialize cutting-edge innovation for the benefit of society, they can have a transformative impact on the economy of California through supporting the creation of high quality net new jobs,” details Pathak, member of UC Davis Chile Board of Directors. In fact, a Bay Area Council Economic Institute report says that a great part of the 603 UC affiliated start-ups, that are still active today, were created during 2000 and 2015. These companies directly provided about 40,000 jobs and if we add indirect jobs and induced effects, they reached 150,000 jobs, which represent USD 20 billion in economic value added to the California economy.
Alan Bennett, Executive Director of UC Davis Chile and Distinguished Professor of the University of California, sustained that “The aim of UC Davis Chile is to make a positive impact on the Chilean ecosystem by leveraging the strengths of UC Davis in research – we are world leaders in agronomy, veterinary medicine, forest and food sciences - and technological transfers. In that sense, it seemed natural to us to form an alliance with STGO LabSpace in the creation of R2B Catalyst, a platform for technological transfer - inspired on the successful model of entrepreneurship of UC Davis’ Venture Catalyst – for the innovation of the Chilean ecosystem.
On her part, Marcela Angulo, Manager of Technological Capabilities of Corfo indicated that “We have noted with satisfaction how the ecosystem of science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship has consolidated in Chile and is beginning to improve the connection of the skills offered by the R&D centers with the requirements of companies and entrepreneurs in order to generate more sophisticated products and services. Corfo is giving ample support to these efforts; in this sense, UC Davis Chile supported by the Program of Attraction of International Excellence of the Corfo is playing a relevant role in this initiative which will contribute to the diversification of the productive matrix of our country and position us in global markets”.
PROGRAMS OF R2B CATALYST
Projects wishing to form part of R2B Catalyst should have a scientific base, either in nanotechnology, chemistry and life sciences. For its part, R2B Catalyst offers two types of program: junior and senior.
Junior: This program is aimed at the start-ups or entrepreneurships in their earlier stages and lasts for three months, during which time programs of scientific research and business planning are developed in order to generate a solid working model. During this period it will have the back-up and support of the range of professionals who belong to R2B Catalyst and who will lead the projects in this initial phase.
Senior: This program is the “heart of R2B Catalyst”, lasts for 15 months and includes services such as: Senior Scientific Advisory for the optimal development of research (3 hours of monthly assessment) and the UC Davis Chile Seal of Approval for the projects complying with these high standards. Whilst LabSpace DRIVE allows the use of laboratories and scientific installations of R2B
Catalyst in Santiago, Legal Net provides legal support from prestigious law firms in corporative, labor, tax and intellectual property issues and Inventor Advantage gives assessment from UC Davis in the development of intellectual property (3 hours per month).
ABOUT R2B Catalyst
R2B Catalyst (Research to Business Catalyst) arose from the alliance between the Southern Foundation Institute of Research, the University California, Davis in Chile (UC Davis Chile) and MGMS Consulting in order to develop the first scientific hub for the business development. The company seeks to enhance the synergy between researchers, entrepreneurs, mentors and investors in order to realize science-based businesses. In addition to having areas with laboratories equipped with the latest technology, start-ups which form part of R2B Catalyst receive legal and regulatory support as well as business models, scaling and internationalization.