Three were the selected initiatives that had a period of mentoring and technical support by UDT to boost their projects. Cicla 3D was the winner, a proposal that seeks to innovate in the filament market for 3D printers.

“ESCALA-TECH from the Laboratory to the Industry” invited technology-based enterprises, researchers and innovators who had low-resolution prototypes and needed the scientific and technological capabilities of UDT to boost the technological scaling of their product. The finalists were “Ciclos Plásticos” that uses recycled plastic to manufacture profiles to be used in external elements in construction and supplies for furniture, among other innovations; “Cicla 3D” that developed a new material to manufacture filaments for 3D printers from polypropylene and wood; and “Edu” that designed a kit for children with special educational needs that can be used within the classroom to encourage self-regulation and facilitate writing.

The winner of the contest, Rogers Escalup, CEO of Cicla 3D, explains that “we are working on perfecting this new material that mixes polypropylene and wood, which is very attractive because it works on any 3D printer and has improved mechanical properties, better resistance to fatigue, heat and water, greater durability, among others. In that sense, the technological development advice of UDT and the relationship with the professionals who work here has been very valuable”.

José Vallejos, head of the Technology Management Department of UDT, points out that “evaluating this first experience, we believe that the ESCALA-TECH contest was a contribution to the region’s innovative ecosystem. The same entrepreneurs told us that, considering that traditional entrepreneurship centers offer support focused on business management, one of the greatest advantages of working with UDT is the support it can offer in the scientific and technical part, for example, our experience in scaling and generating prototypes to reach a Minimum Viable Product”.

The mentoring carried out by UDT professionals to the 3 entrepreneurships consisted of 3 workshops: one of business model, a second prototype workshop and the third one on capacities to carry out technological searches effectively. UDT, apart from having convened and managed this contest, will make available to the winning entrepreneurship its process scaling infrastructure, unique in Chile, to support the development of the new 3D printing filament technology at a pilot and productive level.

The 3 initiatives selected in this first version are from the Biobío region. The Technological Development Unit, UDT, of the Universidad de Concepcion, hopes to replicate this contest next year, opening it to entrepreneurs from all over the country.

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