Archive for August, 2008

William D. Dar, PhD

Willie is   a man on a mission and a champion of the poor. His passion is to help alleviate the conditions of those  living in the semi-arid tropics of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

As an educator,  agricultural scientist, administrator, and humanitarian in the  Philippines and abroad, Willie has made many significant contributions  throughout his career.  Prior to joining ICRISAT, Willie served as Presidential Adviser for Rural Development, and Secretary of Agriculture in the Philippines.  He  was also  Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), Director of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) and Vice President for R&D and Professor of Benguet State University (BSU), Philippines.

Willie was also member of the UN Millennium Task Force on Hunger and currently serves as Chair of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

He has received a number of awards and honors, including the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines, Outstanding Young Scientist of the Year, Crop Science Society of the Philippines’ Achievement Award for Research Management and Outstanding Science Administrator given by the Philippine’s Department of Science and Technology.  In 2003, he was awarded the “For the Sake of Agriculture and Rural Development Award” in Vietnam. Recently, he was recipient of the 2007 Outstanding Professional of the Year Award in the field of agriculture awarded by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) of the Philippine Government.

Willie is  the first Filipino and Asian to assume leadership of  ICRISAT which has become a  center of  excellence  under  his  motto, “Science with a Human Face”.



August 29, 2008 at 7:49 am Leave a comment

How much royalty should I ask for?

A foreign company is interested in the invention of one of our friends and he wonders how much royalty he should ask for. If the life of the patent is 15 years and the company makes an annual revenue of $100 billion, he is also wondering, “Should I ask for a one-time royalty or a percentage of profits/revenues?”

According to our expert, “There are several factors that you have to consider in making a decision.” In a nutshell, here are the major points to consider:

1. Sure the patent lasts 15 years, but what is the technology or product? Is it something that can easily be replicated or replaced by a better one in the market? If the answers to both are yes, then the seller should recoup as much early on in the implementation of the agreement. Normally, the prescribed royalty payment scheme could be initial down payment of X amount (lump sum), then running royalties based on generally sales. When computing for sales, parties can opt to use Gross Sales or Net Sales.

2. Is the product/technology already mature that no major development need to be incorporated? If there are further developments that need to be done in order that the product/technology can be marketed, then obviously the buyer will include that in his cost factor.

3. You can also use profit as base but only if you are confident enough that when the product is marketed it will take on.

4. As to the rate of royalty, what I have seen as standard now is 5% of net sales. If it is a breakthrough product or technology you can ask for a higher one. But for purposes of negotiation, it is better to quote a higher rate so that 5% will still be your floor. Licensing should be a win-win situation, so do not price the technology too high as to turn off the interested buyer.

5. There are other cost factors that can be included in the estimate. If the transfer would necessitate the training of the Japanese personnel or supervision by the technology owner during the adaptation of the technology into the manufacturing, then that is another source of payment outside of the transfer of the technology. Make sure the buyers will cover your per diem while providing this assistance.

6. Another option, if licensee would not want to bother anymore with the activities under a license, it is an outright sale. Here, the seller will have to be very diligent in forecasting the market for the product and potential sales, because if the product becomes a hit in the market, you lose your share in future earnings. If otherwise and you are happy because you will get paid but the buyer tries to bring down the sales price, then your negotiating skills should be really good.

7. Lastly, make sure the contract explicitly states that the buyer will market the product because sometimes licensees buy technology to shelf it because it is competing with their own existing products. There also ought to be no provision on the automatic transfer of any future major improvements made by the licensor on the technology. Should the buyer want to partake of the improvements, this must entail negotiations for a separate payment.

 Good luck!

August 21, 2008 at 1:28 am Leave a comment

IP Desk

The AyalaTBI blog has another new feature, IP Desk, which answers your questions on intellectual property, an important but tricky terrain for innovators and inventors. AyalaTBI is here to help. Please email us your questions and we will field it out to our network of experts to help you with your inquiry!

August 21, 2008 at 1:26 am Leave a comment

Does Networking Truly WORK?

The world is inundated with positive reasons for and practical recommendations on networking both offline and on. It seems an inevitable development of the modern era’s cult of the individual and the post-modern’s demolition of hierarchies in favor of diversity, interconnectedness or inter-referentiality. Hence, networking has become one of the most crucial linchpins of hyper-successful Internet technologies and applications of our age.

But does networking truly change a company? Karen E. Klein, a writer who covers entrepreneurship and small-business issues in her Business Week column, recently published an excerpt of her interview with William Baker about his research on whether networking affects company performance. Baker, from San Diego State University, studied 1,600 business executives from small, midsize, and half-large companies across the United States.

According to Baker’s study, networking may not show direct impact on a company’s profit or market share, however it shows “a strong main effect on performance measures relating to innovation, most notably the ability of firms to develop new products…. those who do a lot of networking were more likely to be innovative and to have a large percentage of new products.”

The interview also discusses the correlation between networking and a company’s agility in terms of market response. Companies with increased networking tend to slow down their response time but bring in better results as critical thought is deepened by their exposure to new ideas. On the other hand, companies that are less aggressive about networking, when exposed to new ideas generated by this activity, make adjustments to become eagle-eyed and more fleet-footed in this new landscape. 

August 15, 2008 at 3:20 am Leave a comment

Boozing and schmoozing

Well, we at AyalaTBI like to call it the “networking reception,” an academic calls it “building your external social capital,” and to rephrase its definition to Christine Comaford-Lynch, CEO of business accelerator Mighty Ventures, networking is a way to “be fun and financed.”

There are tons of good and practical advice in the Internet on how to make networking work for you, from arming yourself with business cards to where to hold your drinking glass (left hand, so the right is always ready for the next handshake) and how much eye contact is comfortable (60%) and how much is creepy (more than 60%).

Of course, it’s best to practice and get yourself pumped with goals for the evening. Networking is a skill not a sixth sense we are all endowed with so practicing is not as lame as it sounds.

Ask yourself: “Why am I going? What do I need to accomplish? What can I give to the group?” Obsess over the rules and the advice (“Am I going over 60%? Am I being creepy now? What about now?) during a networking event and that crucial positive impression you’re trying to make is shot.

Comaford-Lynch’s feature on networking in Business Week is riddled with buzzwords that can actually serve as fun mnemonic mantras to networking challenges like lack of time and follow-through. An advice she offers is the “drive-by schmooze.” The practice seems the elevator-pitch counterpart of networking and a vital technique when there’s little time to make sure that your connections are meaningful to your business. There is also the “Rolodex Dip,” which strengthens the connection established during the networking reception and serves as crucial follow-through that most people often neglect come morning.

Whatever the phrase or your perspective of it, networking at AyalaTBI’s Innovation Forum and Kape@Teknolohiya sessions should work to your advantage. The people of AyalaTBI are also there to help with the networking, so just approach us and ask to be introduced to those people who might be relevant to the work you do.

* * *

Next: Ok, but does networking truly work?

August 14, 2008 at 4:29 am Leave a comment

Two MIT Projects featured at Sarmenta’s Innovation Forum

Luis Sarmenta, PhD, research scientist from the Massachusetts Institute Technology’s (MIT) Media Lab, discussed two exciting projects there during his session at AyalaTBI’s Innovation Forum: Human Dynamics and the Next Billion Network.

Luis Sarmenta talks about the Next Billion Network

Luis Sarmenta talks about the Next Billion Network

According to Luis, Human Dynamics uses technology to automatically collect and analyze measurements of real world human interactions to discover human patterns and predict human behavior. The Next Billion Network, on the other hand, is an initiative that searches for better ways to connect the next billion mobile phone users.

In Human Dynamics, Luis explained that by having sensors in cell phones, for example, one can harness location-based data using GPS, cell towers, or wifi. The technology can automatically collect and analyze measurements of real world human interactions to discover, model and predict—and even influence—human behavior. As example, Luis cited the potential applications of human dynamics technology in the business process outsourcing sector. Through sensors in call agent’s microphones, for instance, analysis of pitch and tone patterns can shape behavior towards more effective customer relation management, among others and therefore, can transform such companies to sensible organizations.

The Next Billion Network, on the other hand, looks at innovations for the poor, which according to Luis, are not necessarily bottom of the pyramid markets. This will make it more appealing for companies to seize commercial opportunities within this market segment. According to him, MIT students are currently working on projects with country partners such as Kenya, India and Brazil in the areas of health, education and economic empowerment among others.


Luis obtained his doctorate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was formerly Chair of the Department of Information Systems and Computer Science of the Ateneo de Manila. He also founded the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center (AJWCC) which was later spun-off to BlueBlade Technologies, Inc. His accomplishments include involvement in the planning and implementation of the PHNet project, which eventually established the first national internet backbone of the Philippines, among others.

The AyalaTBI mounts the Innovation Forum together with its partners: the Brain Gain Network (BGN), the Philippine Emerging Start Ups Open (PESO) and the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA). It was held at the AIM Conference Center Manila.

August 12, 2008 at 12:30 am 1 comment

AyalaTBI part of int’l think tank on incubation in high-growth ICT sector

Bill Luz announces AyalaTBI's participation in the infoDev think tank and Southeast Asian conference on business incubation

 AyalaTBI just received news that it is now part of an international working group on business incubation targeting high-growth ICT enterprise development, which recently received a grant from infoDev. The working group consists of 12 countries, and the Philippines, through AyalaTBI, is the only country from Southeast Asia to be part of this international “think tank” as infoDev calls it. 

Read more.

Shown in photo is Ayala Foundation’s Bill Luz announcing AyalaTBI’s recent infoDev grant as well as its lead participation in the Southeast Asian conference on business incubation at the Innovation Forum session of Luis Sarmenta of MIT.

August 11, 2008 at 4:26 am Leave a comment

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