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  • Writer's pictureIgor Expeditus F. Garcia

AIPO Explores Innovation Ecosystem In Region X

The Ateneo Intellectual Property Office (AIPO) recently conducted a benchmarking activity in Region X (Northern Mindanao) from September 18 to 21, 2023. This activity aimed to learn from the experiences of established Technology Business Incubators (TBI), foster potential collaboration with them, and hopefully drive further growth in the innovation ecosystem in the area and beyond. In an era where innovative thinking is a currency, benchmarking plays a pivotal role in shaping the intellectual property (IP) industry's future through sharing and adapting best practices. The activity was sponsored by the Higher Education Institution Readiness for Innovation and Technopreneurship (HEIRIT) 2.0 Program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).

The journey began with AIPO benchmarking with the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) and their Technology Promotions and Commercialization Office (TPCO) led by Dr Venessa Garcia; and TBI (known as CDO b.i.t.e.s.) led by Dr Franch Maverick Lorilla. USTP shared their journey into how they were able to transform and grow their innovation hub in various breakthroughs in several fields like food technology and agriculture. USTP showed AIPO around their city campus, particularly their Shared Service Facilities (SSFs) on food innovation and materials fabrication.

Photo with USTP TPCO and CDO b.i.t.e.s. team

The team from AIPO also met with Xavier University (XU, also known as Ateneo de Cagayan) through their Dean for Research, Dr. Heide Rabanes. Together with her team, the two parties explored possible collaborations in providing early-stage support for translating innovative ideas into viable ventures. It was clear that there was a strong potential to drive forward the dynamic landscape of IP and entrepreneurial innovation in Region X, and XU can be a major contributor to this transformation.

Photo with Xavier University Team

AIPO also benchmarked with the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) and their Knowledge and Technology Transfer Office - Innovation and Technology Support Office (KTTO - ITSO) led by Dr Vannie Joy Resabal; and their TBI, iDEYA through Mr Stephen Fajardo. AIPO learned that despite the various challenges faced by the MSU-IIT offices, they still managed to leverage on their own strengths to reach their current successes. MSU-IIT currently is a Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) platinum awardee, the highest distinction accorded by IPOPHL exclusively to the country’s top and high-performing ITSOs.


AIPO with Mr Harold Laborte, CEO of Capilli Trading, a startup co-incubated with the Ateneo Blue Nest program

The team not only engaged with Universities during their visit, they also had the chance to co-organize an IP awareness forum with Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (ORO CHAMBER) through its Executive Director, Ms Queritess Queja. The forum started with a lecture on IP basics with a special focus on patents, and trademarks led by Ms Vanessa Malapit and Ms Madielaine Fatallo of the AIPO-Protection and Education Group. This was followed by a lecture on IP commercialization by Mr Bryan James Erfe, who linked the value of intellectual assets to commercial viability. The forum was attended by several enterprise members of ORO CHAMBER, who at the latter end of the activity got to ask pertinent questions about IP and business with the AIPO team.

Photo with ORO Chamber Foundation

Today's entrepreneurship is intrinsically tied to the creation and protection of innovative ideas. TBIs serve as nurturing grounds for startups to grow and evolve. The benchmarking activity confirmed the importance of collaborative frameworks in an evolving innovation ecosystem. As institutions, businesses, and TBIs converge, the shared goal is clear: to propel the nation towards a future where ideas shape destiny.


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