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Filipino Inventors Encouraged to Avail Innovation and Technology Lending Program

Innovation and Technology Lending Program

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1011164

The Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank), a government financial institution, is inviting Filipino inventors to avail of its assistance to commercialise their inventions. According to a recent report, borrowers are encouraged to avail of this assistance as there is a huge fund allotted for this. However, very few are availing. The bank, together with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), could finance up to 85% of the project cost. The loanable amount depends on the project. In addition, inventors who have tie-ups with companies are also eligible for this loan.

Innovation and Technology Lending Program

  • Back in 2017, the Land Bank and DOST-Technology Application and Promotion Institute (DOST-TAPI) signed a partnership for the launch of the Innovation and Technology Lending Program (I-TECH).
  • It is a special financing window that the agencies will provide in order to support the commercial production of patented Filipino inventions.
  • A lower interest rate for loan assistance will be provided to qualified inventors.
  • DOST-TAPI, for its part, will use its Invention Guarantee Fund (IGF) for this program.
  • The program hopes to help ease the investors’ burden in raising additional capital to fund the commercialisation of their inventions.
  • The bank has allotted more than PHP 1 billion (US$ 19.3 million) for I-TECH.
  • However, since its launch in 2017, the Department had only referred four inventors. The bank had only released PHP 8 million (US$ 154,348) for them, leaving more to be used.

The Process

  • To clarify, inventors cannot simply approach the bank. They should be endorsed by the Department as they are the ones who can determine the technical viability of the proposals.
  • The bank, meanwhile, will determine viability on the business side, which would include the project’s profitability, where the raw materials can be sourced and how the product can be marketed.
  • The bank would also determine if the inventor has no unpaid credit cards and bouncing checks.
  • This is the reason why it would be better for inventors to partner with companies. The companies will not only help in financing, but also with marketing.
  • Collateral will be requested if the proposal is found to be very risky and would not generate much income.
  • There is no limit as to how much one could loan from Landbank. The cap would be the 85%.
  • For instance, if the inventor needs PHP 200 million (US$ 3.9 million), then they can borrow 85% of that amount.
  • Moreover, the Department can only allot PHP 5 million per inventor. The bank will provide the remaining amount needed to complete the 85%.
  • Loans would be payable for a maximum of 10 years.

Who are Qualified?

As reported, the following qualifies for the loan:

  1. Filipino inventors with active intellectual property (IP) rights, who are at least 21 years old, with good moral character and who don’t have an obligation to DOST-TAPI, can apply for the loan.
  2. Enterprises duly authorised by the inventors to use their patents, as well as state universities and colleges, government agencies with active intellectual property rights are also eligible to apply.
  3. Their projects/inventions must be those that save fossil energy; promote Philippine exports; produce gadgets that lower production costs; result in increased productivity in primary industries; among others.
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