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WIPO Academy Alumni Spotlight: Agnes May Bonafe

January 28, 2022

To infinity and beyond! In the largely male-dominated field of space science, Agnes May Bonafe, used the intellectual property (IP) knowledge and skills gained from her studies with the WIPO Academy to help bring together science and business at the Philippine Space Agency to support economic growth and job creation in the Philippines. She is now using those same skills at the Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada where she works as an Industry Liaison Specialist. As someone who enjoys boxing in her spare time, training has certainly been key to Agnes’ success both in and outside of the ring.

IP journey

Agnes graduated with a degree in Business Economics and shortly after began working on technology transfer at the University of the Philippines. Her work introduced her to the importance of protecting the IP rights of inventors, researchers, scientists, and entrepreneurs as their work could be pivotal for the growth of the local economy.

(Photo: Agnes May Bonafe)

Agnes at the University of the Philippines (2019)

As a non-lawyer in a field dominated by lawyers, Agnes sought out the offerings of the WIPO Academy for her own personal and professional development. She enrolled in eight advanced distance learning courses on topics including IP management, patents, patent search, patent drafting, collective management, and software licensing. To build her practical IP management skills, Agnes also joined the Professional Development Program Colloquium on Technology Transfer and Licensing in 2016, jointly organized by WIPO and the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI) in Strasbourg, France.

Inspired by her experiences with the WIPO Academy, Agnes decided to enroll in the Master of Laws (LL.M.) in IP, offered jointly by the WIPO Academy and the University of Turin with the support of the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO).

My advice is to pursue a crosscutting discipline such as intellectual property and business, as it allows you to learn about different topics at the same time and it increases your employability in different fields in the future.

Agnes May Bonafe, WIPO Academy alumna
Agnes May Bonafe
(Photo: Agnes May Bonafe)

Agnes at Courmayeur en route to Geneva for the WIPO study visit as part of the LL.M. jointly offered by the WIPO Academy and the University of Turin (2017)

To infinity and beyond

After graduating in 2018, Agnes continued to support researchers and inventors at the University of the Philippines in her role as an Innovation and Technology Support Manager. Agnes worked with faculty, researchers and students to identify the patentability and market potential of their inventive and creative works, while building their knowledge about the fundamentals of IP. She facilitated their licensing deals and other opportunities with local companies and the IP Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL).

After almost nine years at the University of the Philippines, Agnes moved to the Philippine Space Agency where she worked with private and public sector partners to support businesses in using and applying space science and technology. Her projects supported innovation-based entrepreneurship, promoting the development of a local space industry and economy in the Philippines.

Agnes now works at the Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada as an Industry Liaison Specialist. Following her training and broad professional experiences, Agnes is determined to continue guiding scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs on IP, and to continue improving her boxing techniques in her free time.

I find it very inspiring to work with researchers and inventors, and I really enjoy the field of IP and science.

Agnes May Bonafe, WIPO Academy alumna

Interested in building your IP knowledge and skills?

The WIPO Academy’s offerings enable participants to expand their IP knowledge and skills, helping them build careers at the interface of IP and other related fields such as business entrepreneurship, creative industries and the sciences. It provides year-long opportunities for those wishing to develop their IP knowledge and skills through its Professional Development Program, Distance Learning courses, Joint Master’s Programs and WIPO Summer Schools.  

To learn from our alumni and their experiences, please connect to our growing alumni community on LinkedIn by joining the WIPO Academy’s official “Academy Community”.

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