September 1, 2021 | Innovation & Entrepreneurship

From glacier conservation to robots that assess your mental health: Chilean companies are finding solutions to global problems

From glacier conservation to robots that assess your mental health: Chilean companies are finding solutions to global problems | Marca Chile

Global warming, health and healthy eating are some of the problems that Chileans are trying to resolve. We put out a call via our social networks and identified a series of domestic enterprises that are trying to solve some of today’s biggest problems.

 In the last ten years, the world of Chilean entrepreneurship has grown to the point of becoming a regional benchmark. This is precisely why the Global Innovation Index 2020 ranked us as the most innovative country in Latin America and the Caribbean, emphasizing Chile’s leadership role in this area.

While the motivation behind the creation and development of these companies is varied, the vast majority focus on finding solutions to problems that affect our daily lives. In this article, we invite you to get to know five Chilean startups that are looking to solve problems in the areas of environment, health and food.

Circular Pet:

Pet food manufacturing produces a volume of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 13.6 million combustion vehicles, as demonstrated in a study carried out by the University of California. This is what inspired the Creators of Circular Pet to create their venture. Promoted by the Universidad de Chile’s FabLab, Circular Pet manufactures pet food that would appear to be similar to other products on the market, except that it is made from black soldier fly larvae meal produced in Chile.

The pellets offer all of the benefits of traditional pet food, while eliminating their environmental impact and taking advantage of what many consider to be “the protein of the future”.

Palpa:

Breast cancer kills around one thousand women in Chile each year. Unfortunately, these deaths are often caused by late diagnosis. Designer Josefa Cortés decided to create Palpa after one of her loved ones was diagnosed with the disease. Palpa is a product that promotes self-examination, raises awareness and teaches people how to identify cancer early.

The device consists of a silicone breast that is filled with liquid soap. Inside is a fixed hard “tumor” that simulates a malignant lump. When pressed, soap seeps out of the device.

The project received funding from Chile’s Economic Development Agency (CORFO) and won second place in the Desafíos en Cáncer (Challenges in Cancer) LATAM initiative in 2020. IT was also a finalist in the Universidad Católica’s Brain Chile program and was selected to participate in the eMerge Americas 2021 Startup Showcase in Miami, among other recognitions.

Glacier Coolers:

 According to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the climate change we are experiencing today has not occurred for hundreds of thousands of years. The report concludes that the low rainfall, high temperatures and droughts that Chile is now facing are direct consequences of human actions. If urgent measures are not taken, it could irreversibly impact the supply of fresh water in the country’s northern and central zones.

Glacier Coolers emerged against this backdrop. Since 2016, the initiative has sought to protect Chile’s glaciers – which make up around 80% of South America’s glaciers – through the use of thermal insulation materials. By installing systems of protection made from white geotextiles, the project from the Suyai company prevents solar radiation and suspended dust particles from affecting the glacier. This reduces the melting of up to 67% of the protected area.

Mhaite:  

According to research published by academics from the University of Calgary and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, the causes of depression and anxiety among adolescents have doubled during the pandemic.

Although our society has raised awareness of the importance of mental health in recent years, taboos or ignorance can often make problems worse before a person decides to seek help. This is why Mhaite was created. Mhaite is an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that helps to measure the severity of the psychological symptoms that a person is experiencing.

Through a free chat, the platform can perform an evaluation and indicate the type of care recommended, whether psychiatric, psychological or mental health counselling.

Be Roots:

About a third of Chile’s population has some type of dietary restriction, whether because of allergies, intolerances, lifestyle or religious reasons. Vegans, celiacs or people who consume halal products serve as an example of those who are conscious about the food on their plates.

Be Roots came into being thanks to the new market that has arisen for this kind of consumer. As a 100% female-owned business created in 2016, it seeks to create solutions for people with food allergies, celiac disease or those who simply want to lead a healthier lifestyle. On their website, they offer pantry foods, snacks, vitamins and supplements, among other things. They also give advice on their blog and social media.

 

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