By: Lawrence San Diego
Do you have an invention with great potential but don’t know how to take it to the next level?
Filipino inventors can now see their local innovations upgraded and ready for the market, thanks to a new program from the Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The Grants and Assistance to Leverage Innovations for National Growth or GALING program is a holistic package of government assistance that harmonizes and expands TAPI’s programs for developing industry-based inventions and supporting innovation-centered enterprises.
GALING Program Manager, Mr. Roberto Verzosa, spearheads the complete assistance of invention development.
This comprehensive program supports local inventors and innovators by providing them funds for inputs, labor, tools and equipment, and technical and professional services needed to hone their technologies, fabricate their prototypes, and fast track their readiness for the market.
“Not only are we expanding the assistance for inventors under the GALING program, but we are also increasing the grant to up to 500,000 pesos per invention per year, depending on the type of the technology,” says GALING Program Manager Roberto Verzosa.
Level Up for Local Inventions
According to Verzosa, the GALING program helps Filipino inventors “shepherd their technologies from end to end” using the Technology Readiness Level or TRL, an international scale used by NASA and the European Union—and now by DOST—in assessing the maturity of technologies.
For inventors interested to avail of the GALING program, their invention will be evaluated using the TRL scale to determine the maturity of their technology and assess its technical and market potential.
Filipino inventors working on prototypes may receive government assistance to help them fully develop their ideas and bring them into the market.
Qualified inventors with crude prototypes can enter the GALING program, where they will receive assistance for iterative prototyping to help them upgrade their inventions into working prototypes.
“We can provide for up to two prototype iterations in this level,” says Verzosa, “which means if the first iteration of the prototype does not work, then the inventor still has another chance to work on the prototype until it works.”
Successful working prototypes will be endorsed to the next level of the GALING program, which supports technology validation and product development of the invention. This level involves assistance for fabrication, testing, and packaging of upgraded prototypes to prepare the invention for demonstration and deployment in actual settings. Two prototype iterations are also provided in this level, says Verzosa. “One prototype can be used to showcase the invention to prospective clients, while the other can be used for final testing when needed, such as to comply with certain regulations, for example,” he explains.
The final level of the GALING program will help the inventor upgrade the invention to a commercial prototype and get it ready for pilot testing or market validation. At this level, the inventor can request for several prototype iterations, as long as funds are available. The program will also cover costs needed for market testing and packaging of the invention.
At every level, TAPI will closely monitor and evaluate the results of assistance for each invention before endorsing it to the next level of the GALING program. Once an invention completes the program, the inventor can now avail of TAPI’s roster of programs for technology commercialization.
Officials and clients of DOST-TAPI sign a Memorandum of Agreement for application of intellectual property rights.
Complete Assistance for Inventors
With the GALING program, TAPI continues to innovate and streamline its services for local inventors as part of its mandate as a steadfast champion for Filipino innovation.
“Through the GALING program, we are more proactive in our approach in supporting invention development,” says TAPI Director Atty. Marion Ivy Decena. “We saw the lack of support in R&D among our individual inventors, and this is why we introduced iterative prototyping in this ladderized program, which hopefully can address this gap.”
Director Decena adds, “This program is a response to the clamor from individual inventors for complete assistance from the government in developing their technologies. We know they can rely on TAPI for our unique programs for Filipino inventors and their innovations.”