Rafael Berjillos Morente is the manager of Tharsis Technology, a spinoff born at the University of Huelva and which today designs from mechanical systems and 3D structures to scientific instrumentation focused on particle accelerators.
Not in vain, among the company’s goals, “which we expect to see fulfilled in the medium term”, is getting projects in the CERN (European nuclear research organization) of Switzerland. In addition, the company is directly involved in the construction of a particle accelerator in Huelva’s own university, “a subject that is somewhat stopped by the crisis, but we hope to resume it very soon,” says Berjillos.
Rafael lists several examples of what is the work of this technological firm when to synthesize what Tharsis Technology is dedicated to, it releases a word born in the company itself productization. According to the entrepreneur.
The term refers to the fact that a company “offers its productive, technological and intellectual capacity to design and provide services not as a physical product, but as a design or an idea. From here, we will try to take products adaptable to sets of detectors and applicable to other uses. We want to make products that, in a maximum percentage, are reusable “.
With this business model, the company has managed to place its technology in two projects developed in France. “For the Great National Ion Accelerator of GANIL, a laboratory for experiments in nuclear physics built near Caen. And we have also signed a contract in Orsay, where the company has mounted a telescope of silicon detectors, “he explains.
In Orsay, Tharsis Technology has worked in collaboration with the Structure of Matter group at the University of Huelva. “It was a project to study what kind of particles are produced in certain reactions”.
Rafael Berjillos started working at the university in 2006. Four years later, Tharsis Technology started working. “For four years, I traveled a lot and had the opportunity to visit various facilities, work with different multidisciplinary groups throughout Europe.
In addition, I got to know many examples of companies that had been born from the transfer of technology to the market from university research groups. We, who had developed electronics and mechanical systems applicable, among other things, to particle accelerators, could do the same. ”
And they did it. Although it was not easy. “Apart from the fact that there were many sleepless nights, we found that in Spain there is hardly any market for our products,” says Berjillos. However, the biggest difficulties for Tharsis Technology came from having to change their work philosophy.
“When you have been working for several years in the university, you do not take into account neither the numbers nor the risk of wandering in experiments designs You are going to do a design and you do not think that this application you will be able to use overtime in another experiment.
When you are in a company, you have to work thinking that everything you do is useful for the development of applications of interest to the market. You have to mentalize and that takes time. ”
Project to project, success to success, Tharsis Technology, which billed 500,000 euros in 2013, was made with a name. “In our business, it is essential to have references so that they trust you.” Also to get financing.
“Entering the CAMPUS Project a program of the Junta de to encourage the creation of technology-based companies was very important for us since it allowed us to invest in the procurement of material and purchase of technology.” And this is how this company grew from an idea that had always been in the mind of its creator. “Once one is formed and acquires experience, it is almost natural to develop a business project” ditches.