Diario El Sur: “Firm opens research center where US$ 3.5 million were invested”

One month after the inauguration of its technology center, the press echoes the Innocon milestone and highlights it as the largest company in the area.

In the edition of May 14, the Diario El Sur -main regional newpaper- published an article about the upcoming inauguration of the new Innocon building, an article that also delved into the work of the company and its interrelation with other companies of the Setop Group and the community.

Full article below:
In a process of expansion, which considers the early inauguration of the new facilities where US$ 3.5 million were invested, is the local company Innocon, which has been dedicated for years to innovation, where the focus has been on the development of human food.

Carlos Sepulveda, Innocon’s CEO, said that for years they have been in the world of research, until in 2012 the strategic determination was made to open up to the world or to national or international companies.

He commented that they have several areas, such as basic research, but always looking for different products that can be put on the market. As an example, they developed a fish oil byproduct, which is present in various formats, but people find it difficult to consume it due to a certain prejudice towards its aroma.

As they have sister companies that are dedicated to marketing them as such, they made the decision to transform the liquid into powder or flour to introduce it into bread, biscuits or turkey ham so that people can consume it without any problem and without having to strain to buy the capsules.

“At the time we evaluated it as a benefit for children in food for the Junaeb to add to bread. Ultimately, the challenge was to put something liquid into solid and the second is that the taste and smell does not come out while it is consumed. It took years of developing the recipe until we found the element,” he said.

Now it is on the verge of commercialization, as they have just finished the whole process that had the support of Corfo, with Innova Biobio in its time. The CEO stressed that they are not selling the ideas they develop, but the formula that they then pass on to a customer who includes it in their food.


But this is not all. Under the concept of the concern with which they develop, in one of the many tours they make through the country, in the Maule Region they identified that olive oil producers, after the entire production process, remains a residue that is complicated to work with. It is the alperujo, which is a mixture of the olive pit, the skin and meat that is not used in the final liquid.

“It is a very complicated waste, because if it is not treated in a good way it can cause damage to the soil. The solution was to make a large hole, a geotextile was installed so that the remains did not penetrate downwards and did not have contact with the water table,” he said.

Carlos Sepulveda pointed out that after talking with the producers, the holding company created a company in the Biobio region to process the olive pits and transform them into a product that is used for the chemical industry. This is how they developed glue that is used for pressed wood.

They did the whole process, they made it marketable, they formed the industry and since 2012 they have it in the market constantly, subtracting potential waste, in Chile, to 25 thousand tons, although they are only rescuing 2,000, for now.

They made the decision to build a plant in the Parque Escuadrón Uno in Coronel, where they carry out all the research that aims not only at knowledge, but also seeks productivity in order to generate jobs, create new facilities and grow, whose focus is sister companies as external ones.

The CEO said that along with the conception of new products, the focus is also engineering, whose purpose is to design the plant with all that that implies, such as infrastructure, boilers or technology. Added to this is the construction area, which focuses on building everything that is invented. “That’s why I say that we are a little peculiar, because we are a company in which we create a product, design a plant and build it for something specific, such as the olive pit,” he said.

Currently, 70 people are working at the firm, including biochemists, food engineers, pharmaceutical chemists, through civil, structural and mechanical engineers to the master welder, electrical engineer or construction worker. They only outsource when it is something very specific, as they have done when buying equipment from Germany under the conditions they demand.


The CEO remarked that they have always wanted to be the main private industrial research center in southern Chile and under that premise they have sought growth to be able to carry out this work and make more products, together with including a greater number of professionals.

Hence, they need more facilities, something they have sought for years. For this reason, next month they will inaugurate the facilities of their industrial technology center, where the objective is to work for the entire industry, from human and animal food, chemical and mining industries to the development of paints. “It is a wide range thanks to the number of professionals we have working with us, in addition to adding new ideas or new humans to strengthen the company. In my case I am imported. I am a Doctor of Engineering and as far as possible we bring foreigners, but more than 90% of the staff is from this Region,” he stressed.

The new premises, which are of their own design and engineering, involved a millionaire investment. On the first floor are the laboratories and on the second an office area was set up for researchers, consultants and engineers. The third floor is for auditorium and meetings. In the back, there is a shed of pilot plants for prototypes and further back a machine shop and electrical workshops for the manufacture of machines and other things.

“The building has about 1,000 m2 built and the rest are about 600 m2. These works began in August 2016 and we spent US$ 2 million only in facilities, but when adding the equipment it is another US$ 1.5 million, since they are state-of-the-art and necessary. But there is also human investment,” Carlos Sepulveda said.

Carlos Mendez, Innocon’s Sales manager, added that the step they took was at a time when the economic situation was uncertain, “but crises are weathered by growing more,” he said. The group has this mission, where innovation is the objective, because the products are given added value and made more competitive.

He added that they point to circular economies, which implies not leaving traces in what is produced. “So the opportunity is to look for by-products that are sometimes a burden for some companies,” he said.

Source: http://www.elsur.cl/impresa/2018/05/14/full/cuerpo-principal/11/