The “Science, Technology and Innovation for Bioeconomy” program, through its affiliated centers “Technological Development Unit” and “Center of Biotechnology” at Universidad de Concepcion, invites students enrolled in Doctoral programs from Chile and overseas, to conduct a research internship for up to six months.

Unidad de Desarrollo Tecnológico

UDT is an R&D center specialized in developing new products and processes from lignocellulosic raw materials. It has a staff of 140 people, including scientists, professionals and technicians with an excellent process scale-up infrastructure and access to first-rate laboratories. Topics of interest at UDT are preferably the following:

Bioenergy Department

  • Thermochemical conversion of biomass, preferably through fast or slow pyrolysis;
  • Torrefaction of forest biomass;
  • Small-scale cogeneration technologies;
  • Hydrodeoxygenation of lignocellulosic compounds;
  • Other thermochemical conversion processes.

Biomaterials Department

  • Plastic biomaterials based on starch, polylactic acid or cellulose acetate;
  • Plastic materials with oxygen barrier or antifungal surface;
  • Application of wood or algae polysaccharides in thermoplastic resins;
  • Bioplastics for packaging and agriculture;
  • Other innovations related to bioplastics and functional plastics.
  • Production and characterization of biochar and other carbonaceous (nano)materials.

Chemical Products Department

  • Extraction, purification and use of polyphenolic bark extracts.
  • Delignification processes of wood and annual plants with organic solvents.
  • Processing and use of lignin.
  • Obtaining, characterization and use of wood accessory compounds and agents with biological activity from plant matrices.
  • Forest biorefineries.
  • Development of analytical methodologies related to forest biomass or products from their chemical or thermochemical conversion.

Environment Department

  • New uses from the forest industry waste, including biomass combustion.
  • Bioremediation of soils and the atmosphere.
  • Thermochemical conversion of waste plastics.
  • Cycle study and water consumption reduction in the pulp industry.
  • Thermal efficiency of industrial processes.
  • Other issues related to forest biorefineries and the forest-industrial industry.

Centro de Biotecnología

CB is an R&D center oriented to enhance science-based innovation capacities of the main productive sectors of the Biobío Region, such as forestry and aquaculture. This center brings together researchers from different departments and laboratories from UdeC, state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure, along with dozens of undergraduate and graduate students, and technical staff focused on biotechnology.

The topics of interest at CB are:

Forest Biotechnology Department

  • Tissue culture.
  • Selection and micropropagation of trees for forest and agricultural use.
  • Rescue of endangered native flora using biotechnological tools.
  • Use of molecular markers for genetic improvement of forest (Pinus, Eucalyptus) and agroforest (walnut, cherry and chestnut trees) species.
  • Rejuvenation and reinvigoration of woody species of forest and agricultural interest.
  • Somatic embryogenesis for species of Eucalyptus, Pinus, Chilean Nothofagus, Juglans, Castanea.
  • Chemistry and biotechnology of wood Wood chemistry.
  • Biodegradation of wood and its technological applications. Pulping and bleaching.
  • Development and implementation of analytical techniques to characterize lignocellulosic materials.
  • Genomics and forest molecular biology.
  • Pulping ability and cold hardiness genomics.
  • Biotic stress: Genomics of resistance to Fusarium circinatum.
  • Genetic engineering: transformation platform.
  • Forest pathology.
  • Biological control of forest diseases.
  • Biocontrol of weeds to develop mycoherbicides.

Biofuels Department

  • Pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass (agricultural and forest) for the production of bioethanol.
  • Laboratory of second-generation biofuels (pilot plant).
  • Processes of chemical and enzymatic hydrolysis.
  • Processes of simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SFS).
  • By-products from the bioethanol production process (biorefineries).

Environmental Microbiology Department

  • Design and development of biofilms for the biological treatment of industrial and aquaculture effluents.
  • Bioremediation of soils/sediments through biological barriers.
  • Control of fouling and biogenic corrosion.
  • Chemical characterization and biological activity of transcriptional blockers in prokaryotic biofilms (Archaea and Bacteria).
  • Cell signaling and gene expression in microbial biofilms.
  • Control of microbial adhesion and biofilm formation of agroforest and aquaculture importance.

Algae Biotechnology Department

  • Genetic engineering of algae.
  • Biomaterials.
  • Functional foods
  • Cultivation and harvesting technologies.
  • Bioremediation.
  • Bioenergy.
  • Pharmaceuticals, cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals.
  • Marine environments

Phytochemistry Department

  • Chemistry of natural products.
  • Viticulture.
  • Obtaining active principles for the production of nutraceuticals with cardiovascular action.

The Performance Agreement

This initiative, funded by the Chilean Ministry of Education, seeks to enhance the R&D capacities of Universidad de Concepción, by systematizing its innovation management practices in the bioeconomy field.

To address this, it promotes the identification of successful practices among internationally recognized institutions, and fosters cultural change in order to build a successful ecosystem of innovation and technology-based entrepreneurship. The bioeconomy topic and its implementation in a territory (the Biobío region of Chile), offers a promising scenario to investigate around science, technology and society linkages, and its impact on the development of eco-innovations.

We offer an opportunity to utilize our laboratories and pilot-scale facilities, as well as analyze the innovation dynamics, inter and intra collaboration activities among research centers, firms and participating units in order to make progress toward your doctoral degree in a pleasant, stimulating and challenging environment. You will also benefit from interdisciplinary collaboration with students and faculty at the University of Concepcion, and connect with our national and international networks.

We provide financial support of up to US$10,000. To apply please read our see our Terms of Reference, fill this form and send us back the document to the following addresses: or, which are also available for comments or questions.

Our call opens on April 29th, 2015 and closes on May 29th. The selected candidates are expected to commence their stay no later than September 3oth, 2015.