Governments and international agencies have a variety of policy tools for overcoming
key barriers and creating enabling environments for technology transfer. Barriers
and policy tools are discussed broadly in this chapter according to ten dimensions
of enabling environments:
- National systems of innovation. Technology transfers are
influenced greatly by what have been called national systems of innovation--the
institutional and organisational structures which support technological development
and innovation. Governments can build or strengthen scientific and technical
educational institutions and modify the form or operation of technology networks-the
interrelated organisations generating, diffusing, and utilising technologies.
- Social infrastructure and participatory approaches. Social
movements, community organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
contribute to the "social infrastructure" that plays an important
and enabling role in many forms of technology transfer. Governments can devise
participatory mechanisms and adopt processes to harness the networks, skills
and knowledge of civil society, including community groups and NGOs, to better
meet user needs, avoid delays and achieve greater success with technology
- Human and institutional capacities. There are many failures
of technology transfer that result from an absence of human and institutional
capacity. Although much of the focus on capacity building has been on enhancing
scientific and technical skills, other skills for selecting, managing, adapting,
and financing technologies are equally important. Capacity building is a slow
and complex process to which long-term commitments must be made. For adaptation
there is a need: to strengthen scientific and policy institutions to enable
the undertaking of assessments and, to access datasets, tools and techniques
to produce outputs for nationally determined priorities.
- Macroeconomic policy frameworks. Macroeconomic policies include
direct and indirect financial support, energy tariff policies, trade and foreign
investment policies, and financial sector regulation and strengthening.
- Sustainable markets. Sustainable market approaches are important
for renewable energy and energy efficiency technology transfer because these
approaches promote replicable, ongoing technology transfers. Governments can
conduct market transformation programmes that focus simultaneously on both
technology supply (production technologies and product designs) and demand
(subsidies, consumer education and marketing).
- National legal institutions. National legal institutions
are needed to secure intellectual property rights; reduce contract, property,
and regulatory risks; and promote good governance and eliminate corruption.
To these ends, governments can strengthen national legal institutions for
intellectual property protection; and strengthen administrative and law processes
to assure transparency, participation in regulatory policy-making, and independent
- Codes, standards and certification. The importance and the
need for technical standards, codes and certification have been well recognised
by the technical community all over the world. If standards and codes are
absent, transaction costs can increase as each buyer must ascertain the quality
and functionality of potential technologies individually, raising transaction
- Equity considerations. Equity in technology transfer can
be enhanced by devising analytical tools and providing training for social
impact assessment, requiring social impact assessments before technology is
selected, and creating compensatory mechanisms for 'losers'. Governments may
also wish to develop criteria for ensuring that technology transfer projects
do not disempower or negatively influence weaker social groups in a society.
- Rights to productive resources. Rights to productive resources
can be affected by technology transfer, including land (agriculture, forestry),
natural resources (forests, water, coastal areas), factories, and other productive
resources. Successful introduction of new technologies or modification of
resource use often depends on a recognition of the existing forms of resource
rights, or on taking steps to create an optimal resource rights regime.
- Research and technology development. Developing countries'
research and technology development efforts are often adaptive, following
externally developed technology, thus suggesting the need for additional indigenous
innovative capacity. Governments can develop science and educational infrastructure
by building public research laboratories, providing targeted research grants,
strengthening technical education, and directly investing in research and