MEET + Pilar Parada, General Manager Fraunhofer Chile

In January of this year she assumed as General Manager of Fraunhofer Chile. She is a biochemist from the University of Chile, Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the Autónoma University of Madrid and has a Diploma in Innovation Strategy at MIT. In addition, she has been the Director of the Biotechnology Center of Fraunhofer Chile for two years. She says that perseverance is one of her greatest strengths and a value that she has managed to cultivate over time. In her opinion, «to persevere is to reinvent oneself, to keep on going through difficulties.»

Who are you?
I am a proud mother of three amazing daughters, who have made me reflect deeply on the importance of gender equity and respect for diversity. I am also a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, etc., who, like many women in this country, spends her life wanting to be everywhere, making the demanding personal and work life compatible. Professionally, I am a Biochemist from the University of Chile and with a PhD in Biological Sciences from theAutónoma University of Madrid. Then I did a diploma in MIT in Strategy and Innovation and also a diploma in Business Management at the PUC. I would say that I am an applied researcher at heart, who migrated towards innovation management because she firmly believes that science and technology can transform our country.

What do you do in your spare time?
I really like to do outdoor walks, the contact with nature revitalizes me. I like jogging and I do Bikram Yoga when I can, both things put my head in order, it’s like doing a «reset».

What book is on your nighstand?
Ordesa, by Manuel Vilas … I have it there waiting for me … they have recommended it to me so much, but I haven’t had a minute to read it, maybe for the break on the 18th (national hollyday in Chile)

What is your main strength?
Perseverance is a value that I have cultivated over time and that has helped me many times. To persevere is to reinvent oneself, to keep on going through difficulties. In general, I think that when you believe in what you do and you put passion into it, perseverance is the only option.

What are your goals for this year?
My goals for this year are several, both personal and professional. If I have to choose one in each aspect, I would mention that in Fraunhofer Chile we want to consolidate the sustainability area, which involves both centers: Fraunhofer Chile Solar and Fraunhofer Chile Biotechnology. This is a matter of urgency in Chile and the world, and where there are still many opportunities for innovation to . Personally, I want to systematically give myself time to do yoga. It’s a challenge I want to achieve before the end of the year!

What is your biggest aspiration for Chile as a mining country?
I would love to see Chile’s mining sector less conservative and giving more space to innovation. There are many opportunities to transform current mining into green, more sustainable and efficient mining thanks to the use of new technologies.
However, today’s innovation is mainly housed in mining suppliers. It is understandable that given the volumes of mining, each error costs millions of dollars, but controlled test spaces must be opened, that will allow cheap errors and progress in conjunction with science and technology. It is clear that this will not happen in a disruptive way, until the executive management of the large mining companies do not take the lead and understand that to ensure the future of mining, innovation must be part of the business.