IPOPHL backs incubation program newly opened for PH startups


The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) is calling for startup applications to a recently launched incubation program seen to help increase the transfer of patented technologies to benefit local startups.

Called the IPHatch Competition, the program is held by Singapore-based innovation partner Piece Future Pte. Ltd in the aim of converting valuable intellectual property (IP) assets of high tech companies into new business ideas for startups.

IPOPHL co-organized the launch of the program last Monday, with more than 100 individuals and startups registered to get a glimpse of how the incubation program can support their growth.

“The IPHatch competition is exactly what our local startups need. This is an opportunity for them to own state-of-the-art technologies developed by multinational companies. These can help improve their efficiency and lower their costs. And they can also modify these technologies to make it more suitable to local industry needs and possibly fill in local supply chain gaps,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said.

The competition will name one winner for each of five patented technologies owned and launched this year by Nokia and Panasonic.

The technology prizes are used for disaster management, data sharing and infrastructure, and augmented reality and virtual reality.

The winning startups will also receive mentoring, access to business networks, exposure to institutional partners, funding and other incubation opportunities.

Startups will be judged based on quality; scalability, viability; IP strategy for the patent prize; and level of disruption and novelty.

Open innovation

Ultimately, the program pushes for an open innovation paradigm which IPOPHL fully promotes.

“In contrast to views that an open innovation model does away with IP, its goals actually increase technology flows between startups and big tech giants within the boundaries of IP licensing,” Barba said.

Under an open innovation model, companies, whether big or small, still delineate information that must be kept confidential from technologies it is willing to license out.

“In all, open innovation can help companies with attractive patented technologies increase market presence through partnerships that help other companies be more innovative. This in turn advances society’s developmental goals of turning the wheels of innovation continuously and with more inclusiveness,” Barba added.

The IPOPHL chief called on local startups to be more aggressive in sealing partnerships with high-technology companies who can offer IP assets that could make them more competitive. Likewise, they must also build partnerships where their own solutions can make an impact.

The IPHatch Competition will shortlist applicants from August 23 to Dec. 15, 2021 and will announce the winner in January 2022.

Piece Future is an IP investment bank in Singapore that helps companies around the world leverage their IP assets to increase their value and impact.

Aside from the Philippines, Piece Future has only held the IPHatch in mature startup markets like Singapore and Hongkong, indicating the growing attractiveness of the Philippine startup environment to investors across the world.

To recall, the Philippines rose one notch higher to rank 52nd out of 100 countries in the 2021 Global Startup Ecosystem Index of the research center Startup Blink. The annual report, which assesses the development of startup ecosystems, also noted that the Philippines is making strides toward becoming a “formidable startup ecosystem” in the Asia-Pacific region.

Stay updated with news and information from the IPOPHL by visiting their website at https://www.ipophil.gov.ph.

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