By: Carolina Cárdenas
Biotechnology went from being confined to a laboratory to being the center of innovative startup ideas where science and technology are at the forefront. Argentina is currently a regional leader in biotechnological innovation.
“We create the future” was the motto under which the 9th edition of BioArgentina 2022 was held, an event organized by the Argentine Chamber of Biotechnology (CAB).
On November 22, the auditorium and rooms 1 and 2 of the Buenos Aires Cultural Center for Science were filled with key players in the Argentine biotechnology sector. After two years of carrying it out virtually, the CAB was able to hold this year’s event in person -which made it extra special-. It was a space to share ideas, experiences, and points of view in an enriching environment, including businessmen, entrepreneurs, civil servants, and students. The meeting was divided into four panels: AgTech, HealthTech, Technological Convergence, and FoodTech. Each panel featured the participation of distinguished biotech startups and their representatives.
The CAB was founded in 2011 with the goal of contributing to a public-private policy in biotech and to the development of the sector through a global perspective that integrates R&D, production, commercialization, and export of biotechnological products. In addition, it seeks to position Argentina as a biotechnological leader within the region.
This novel synergy is fed by the collaboration of different fields such as industry, technological entrepreneurship, and academia, in dialogue with public policies. It’s the product of a virtuous ecosystem generated by the Argentine Chamber of Biotechnology, through the participation of its partners for a decade.Highlighted Graciela Ciccia, CAB Startup’s General Coordinator.
GRIDX, the most important Company Builder of biotech startups in Latin America, was present at the event. They bet on the disruptive ideas proposed by regional entrepreneurs through their scientific startup formulation program, providing mentorship, investment, and the possibility of international networking.
Being part of BioArgentina always amazes us. Seeing the growth of biotech startups in Argentina gives us the energy to continue working on building new ones. Our greatest motivation is to transform science into impact. We see that the region has a lot to contribute to the world and we work every day to make that happenMentioned Matías Peire, CEO and co-founder of GRIDX.
Technological Convergence Panel
We can no longer think of biotechnology as a discipline that acts alone. On the contrary, it is complemented by state-of-the-art technologies to obtain results that will change the course of our society and impact our planet’s sustainability for years to come.
Stämm was part of this panel together with Argentag, Terragene, Kheiron, Diagramma, and Bioeutectics. Some of the key issues discussed were the importance of optimizing industrial processes, improving the supply of resources, and enhancing the production of goods through the application of various technologies such as artificial intelligence or bioinformatics, among others.
We had the honor of participating in this panel due to our interdisciplinary approach to making biomanufacturing easy, scalable, and repeatable. However, our proposal pursues a much more ambitious goal that, in general terms, translates into changing the relationship that humanity has with nature. To do this, we combine biotechnology with 3D printing, microfluidics, industrial design, optics, software development, artificial intelligence, and organic chemistry, among others.
It’s very important to contribute to solving the bottlenecks present in the Biomanufacturing industry. This will be transcendental, not only for the biopharmaceutical industry, but also for AgTech , the food industry, and environmental remediation.Mentioned our Head of BD and commercial strategy, Román Ortega Bianchi, when explaining the potential impact of Stämm’s technologies in different industries.
BioEutectics also participated in this panel. They propose the development and production of natural and biodegradable solvents, combining biotechnology with other disciplines. These natural products have additional properties such as stabilizers, food preservatives, antimicrobial and antifungal agents, etc. What is unique about their approach is that they seek to replace petroleum-based solvents and chemicals with natural alternatives.
We use biomimicry and add eutectic technology to develop our products. At the same time, to make R&D more efficient, we created a platform with artificial intelligence that allows us to use the thousands of natural raw materials that we have available, have greater effectiveness in the final products, and create new alternatives.Added Tomás Silicaro Co-founder and CEO of Bioeutectics.
Producing the goods we need to survive and, at the same time, preserving the health and integrity of our planet seem to be contradictory processes. However, biotechnology makes this balance possible. This was demonstrated by the startups that made up the AgTech panel: Ledesma, Punabio, Sylvarum, Bioheuris, Elytron, and Bioceres.
This panel emphasized the contribution of biotechnology to achieving products that guarantee sustainability, food security, biodiversity conservation, and efficient use of resources.
Biotechnology has made it possible to achieve notable advances in medicine and, consequently, to improve people’s quality of life. Take the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, and its fast response in terms of vaccine development, production, and diagnosis, among others, considering all the scientific research behind it.
Biotechnology plays an essential role in the innovation of the health industry. However, we still face challenges regarding the need for medicines, supplies, and treatments. Argentine biotech startups are working hard and collaboratively to provide solutions through their disruptive ideas.
The companies participating in this panel were: mAbxience, Weiner Lab, Microgénesis, Untech, Héritas, and Biosidus.
Microgénesis is a startup that in just one year has managed to turn its project into a solid company in the field of infertility treatments for women.
Microgenesis developed the first home test to study the causes of female infertility and the customization of a natural treatment that demonstrated twice the efficacy of an assisted fertility treatment in nearly 500 women from three different countries. Focusing on women’s health and personalizing their nutritional intervention is the key to helping them become mothers.Mentioned Gabriela Gutiérrez, CEO of Microgénesis
UNTECH, another participant of this panel, is developing a medicine capable of curing chronic wounds and significantly improving the lives of patients.
It is with great humility and pride that we see that our medicine can change the lives of millions of patients with chronic wounds globally. After traveling around the world and seeing the different products and treatments available, there is nothing quite like our development or its ability to solve this problem. We are creating a completely new approachAdded Rubén Salim Brovia, CEO and Co-founder of UNTECH.
Food production processes have changed significantly in recent decades, and when it comes to revolutionary changes, biotechnology is always a key player.
The companies participating in this panel were Arcor, BIFE, Nat4Bio, Kresco, RNAtech, Michroma, and Tomorrow Foods.
The speakers addressed the importance of the optimization of resources, such as water, for production within the food industry. The ingredients of the foods that are used today have been synthesized in the same way for several years. Michroma opted for an alternative that allows reaching a more optimal and sustainable result.
Michroma is a food-tech startup that has the potential to revolutionize the way ingredients are produced by developing mushroom biofactories to source natural ingredients in a sustainable, scalable, and cost-effective way, to replace artificial petroleum-derived ingredients that are consumed todaymentioned Ricky Cassini, CEO and Co-founder of Michroma.
After hearing from all of these talented players in the biotech sector, we wanted to gather their perspectives on the country’s biotech potential as they are experiencing this transformative experience firsthand.
After sharing this space, on the one hand, we are left with the challenges that we still face in different fields in which biotechnology is transversal. On the other hand, we believe that the high scientific and entrepreneurial quality that exists in Argentina is undeniable. There is no doubt that we have positioned ourselves as innovation leaders within the biotechnology industry and that we are contributing significantly to providing solutions for the challenges that humanity faces today. BioArgentina 2022 was an exceptional opportunity to nourish ourselves with valuable proposals and information with which we will form ideas today that will transform into transcendental solutions.