APEC-IPEG delegates visit bio-refinery plant for waste from dried mangoes

APEC-IPEG delegates visited a bio-refinery plant for wastes from Cebu’s dried mango industry. The plant repurposes the dried mango wastes for a verity of products such as mango flour, butter, and tea.

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The delegates of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Intellectual Property Rights Experts’ Group (APEC-IPEG) yesterday visited a bio-refinery plant for wastes from Cebu’s flourishing dried mango industry. The plant is a showcase of an academic institution that has successfully generated added income and new jobs from its IP asset.

The bio-refinery plant for dried mango wastes is owned and operated by the University of San Carlos (USC). USC is one of the partner universities of IPOPHL in its Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO) program. ITSO aims to provide universities and research institutions access to available IPs and empowering their IP utilization and commercialization capacities through trainings.

Aided by the ITSO program, USC was able to develop a bio-refinery plant for wastes from Cebu’s dried mango industry. The plant converts the dried mango wastes into useful products such as mango flour, butter and tea, and ingredients such as pectin and polyphenol for the cosmetic industry. With a production that grows each year, the plant now employs more than 50 full-time staff.

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“The USC plant is one of our ITSO success stories which illustrate the very best of government and private sector partnership in the area of IP. We plan to replicate this model at scale to benefit more universities and research institutions across the country. We are hoping that this visit will result in stronger policy support for IP commercialization for academic institutions,” said Atty. Allan B. Gepty, Deputy Director General/OIC DG of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and head of the Philippine IPEG delegation.

Assisting SME and academic institutions in their utilization and commercialization of IP assets is one of the priority initiatives of the Philippines at APEC. In APEC, it has two proposals aimed at promoting effective utilization of IP by SMEs, namely (1) The Brand Development Project and (2) Enhancing Competitive Capacity of SMEs through IP Valuation and Commercialization. As a whole, the Philippines has adopted “Fostering SMEs Participation in Regional and Global Markets” as one of its priorities as the host of the APEC meetings this year.