In 1997 Dr. Eduardo Bitran assumed the office as general director of Fundacin Chile. He faced the difficult task of administering the institution, which was constituted as a private non-profit institution with 50% state ownership. One of the most innovative mechanisms that the foundation used, unique in Chile and probably in Latin America, was to create new businesses as a main means to diffuse and transfer technology. Dr. Bitran played a major role in Chile's economic development. , Chile had managed to keep to its course and to maintain growth and stability amidst enormous turbulence, in a period of economic decline that had affected all of Latin America. Recognition of the importance of new knowledge as the base of future businesses was gaining importance and Venture capital funds became the focus. Local innovation clusters were formed around the wine and salmon industries, and specialized fruit production was beginning to reveal the benefits of biotechnology and sophisticated production methods. Immediate challenge for Dr. Bitran was to identify the path and direction for Fundacin Chile. His main challenge would be administer the institution to generate social benefits, as required by the mission entrusted to it as a quasi-public entity, while at the same time acting as a private business to obtain the necessary resources that would permit it to grow and develop.
Fundacin Chile's promoted innovation and technology transfer emphasizing agribusiness, forestry and marine resources. It followed several modalities like demonstration businesses, technology transfer groups, training and diffusion, and providing services such as consulting to quality control. Chile encouraged the participation from its associates and strategic allies both national and international; financing originating from the private sector was diminishing with time, while that obtained through state grants increased. Financing provided by sales of services to the public sector had not changed for several years.
Fundacin Chile, besides creating innovative business and developing the programs mentioned, began to develop financial innovations for the national market. The institution sought, with these innovations, to more efficiently mobilize savings for investment in the sectors in which Fundacin worked. The foundation also created a venture capital fund for regional investments in medium-size growth businesses and new projects. Besides these venture capital funds, the foundation also fulfilled a seed financing role for innovative projects originating within the institution.
Fundacin Chile was structured in four sectoral directorates: agro-industry, marine resources, secondary wood products, and forestry. The operational model was re-defined to distinguish and specify the concepts of technological centre, business units, companies and endowment management, establishing differences in objectives and in plans of management and interaction among the