Fundación researchers awarded innovation project

August 12, 2008

On Tuesday August 5, InnovaChile (CORFO) announced the official results of its call for proposals in the “Mining Cluster”, awarding a project to be co-executed by the Fundación Ciencia para la Vida (FCV) under the direction of  Drs. Raquel Quatrini and David Holmes, together with the Universidad Católica del Norte (UCN) and BHPBilliton, one of the world’s largest mining companies.

During the ceremony, attended by the Chilean Minister of Mining, Santiago González Larraín and CORFO’s Executive Vice President, Carlos Álvarez, 374 million pesos (about US$ 740,000) were awarded to the “Development of dedicated DNA arrays for monitoring industrial bioleaching transcriptomes”, a project that aims to develop both a platform for monitoring transcriptomes and a Microsoft environment software for data analysis, function prediction and model building.

The project proposes collaborative work by investigators from the two centers in Chile, the FCV and UCN, and BHPBilliton, with complementary and synergistic experiences in the bioinformatics and genome biology of bioleaching microorganisms, the identification and monitoring of bioleaching microorganisms, and practical experience in industrial scale bioleaching, respectively. Additional support for Drs. Quatrini and Holmes comes from a Microsoft Sponsored Research award and the FCV.

The project aims to advance the fundamental understanding of the bioleaching process in the short term, and to optimize copper recovery kinetics and yield via bioleaching in the long term.

Dra. Raquel Quatrini, Mining Minister Santiago González Larraín.

Dra. Raquel Quatrini, Mining Minister Santiago González Larraín.