By Riza Lozada
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has launched a lending program to assist Filipino inventors called the “Innovation and Technology Lending Program” or “I-TECH”.
I-TECH is a joint program of the DoST-Technology Application and Promotion Institute (DOST-TAPI) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) to support the commercial production of patented Filipino inventions through a special financing window.
DOST-TAPI, an attached agency of the DoST, is mandated to assist in the marketing of Filipino inventions and manages the Invention Guarantee Fund (IGF) under the Inventors and Invention Incentives Act.
LandBank, for its part, is opening a lending window that will complement the use of the IGF through a lower interest rate for loan assistance to qualified inventors.
Under the scheme, qualified beneficiaries are inventors, enterprises authorized by inventors through a deed of assignment, and other entities with active patents, who may avail of credit facilities for the acquisition of fixed assets and capital expenditures or production materials and working capital for the production or commercialization of their inventions.
The amount of the loan is up to 85 percent of the total funding needed for a maximum amount of P12.5 million or up to the repayment capacity of the borrower, whichever is lower.
Standard fees and charges normally required by banks shall apply for loan applications. Inventors who would avail must comply with the documentary requirements and collateral documents required by the bank.
Landbank will cover 45 percent (up to a maximum of P5.625 million) of the financing while the Invention Guarantee Fund (IGF) will cover 40 percent (up to a maximum of P5.0 million) and the borrower’s equity is 15 percent minimum, in cash or in kind.
The interest rate for LandBank share is five percent per annum (subject to annual review), while the IGF will be interest free.
DOST-TAPI director Edgar Garcia said the scheme will provide a fresh way of meeting the inventors’ needs in funding the commercialization of viable invention products and ease their burden of raising additional capital to meet increasing market demand for their products.