Registration is open until 13 November of this year for the first phase of the program “From Waste to Value: A Challenge in Bioproducts”, an innovation competition to identify and select technological developments with high potential to become bioproducts based on harnessing waste.
The initiative has the support of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), the European Union and the German Government through KfW, in the context of the Initiative to Develop Ideas for Businesses and to Accelerate Central American Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (DINAMICA II). It also has the support of the Biomaterials Hub of CINDE—the foreign investment agency in Costa Rica—and of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).
The Executive President of the CABEI, Dante Mossi, stressed the importance of this type of initiative with the goal of promoting innovative ideas for the development of bioproducts. “At the CABEI, we support diverse forms of ventures and we’re excited to know that new visionary businesses could emerge from this program for the benefit of people living in the region”, he said.
Individuals and legal entities from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic may participate. Registration is open until 13 November and those participants selected will have access to an advisory program to improve the presentation of their business ideas to the panel. The best five projects will also receive prizes from $500 to $2000.
The winners will have the opportunity to advance to the second stage, to be held in the first quarter of 2023, to implement their innovation ideas through their technical and commercial validation.
To enter the selection process, interested parties should register at https://bio-emprender.iica.
- The proposals should have an innovative focus or a technological base.
- The area of application of the idea, project or company must be in the countries of the competition.
- The maximum number of participants per team should be 5 people.
- The project should be an idea, venture or company related to the generation of bioproducts by increasing the value of biomass waste.
- Ideas and projects should be related to the development of bioproducts.
Jorge Sequeira, Director General of CINDE, spoke about the coordination agreement between institutions to identify biobusiness ideas that guide Costa Rica and the region to become a hub of solutions and innovation based on natural resources.
“This program is aligned with the actions of our Biomaterials Hub, which seeks to provide an ecosystem of research, development and innovation in biomaterials, by sustainably harnessing our natural resources. With this program we seek to promote the development of new materials through harnessing and increasing the value of waste generated in the main agrifood chains of Costa Rica and the Central American region, and contribute to greater development, competitiveness and generation of employment, mainly in our rural areas”, Sequeira added.
The IICA Representative in Costa Rica and IICA Chief of Staff Miguel Arvelo said that “the Institute has been taking in good practices that have emerged from Costa Rica and which are a good example for the rest of the continent. Here there is a very important platform, not only for Costa Rica but to be able to project this new knowledge, this new way of seeing agriculture broadened as a whole”.
“Part of the innovative side of this initiative is that we can subsequently connect projects with some business financing networks in the impact investment scheme”, added Arvelo.
Alberto Menghini, Head of Cooperation of the European Union for Central America, underlined the commitment to strengthen the productive sectors in the region, and in particular with initiatives based on the circular economy to reduce pressure on natural resources, creating employment and sustainable development. Through the DINAMICA II program this type of initiative can be funded as a stimulus so that entrepreneurs bring out the best in their business models.
The DINAMICA Initiative is a three-party initiative with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) as the executive body, the German Government through KfW and the European Union as part of its Investment Facilities for Latin America (IFLA). Its main aim is to strengthen the business ecosystem for MSMEs and especially new, young and innovative MSMEs. This approach also includes the strengthening of the financial sector at regional level to promote suitable access to financial services for these MSMEs.