The discussion in this chapter on an enabling environment for technology transfer
has produced several conclusions:
- Governments can review whether their combination of laws concerning foreign
investment, taxes, potential market growth and corruption would induce a firm
to risk investment. Bureaucratic screening procedures, performance requirements
and asset insecurity also act as barriers to foreign investment and could
be addressed by policy changes that aim to attract foreign capital and technology.
- Governments can devise participatory mechanisms and adopt processes which
can harness the networks, skills and knowledge of community groups and non-governmental
organisations to better meet user needs, avoid delays and achieve greater
success with technology transfer.
- Capacity-building is required at all stages in the process of technology
transfer. It is a slow and complex process to which long-term commitments
must be made for resources and to which the host country must also be committed
if results are to bear fruit. Fundamental change requires an autonomous capacity
to innovate, acquire and adapt technologies. Specific needs are for additional
resources at the assessment and repetition stages: (a) to ensure there is
a broad national commitment to environmentally sound technologies and that
those most appropriate for national circumstances are selected; and (b) to
ensure that indigenous capacity for ongoing innovation is developed to encourage
North-North, South-North and South-South flows. For adaptation there is a
need to strengthen scientific expertise and institutions capable of undertaking
the relevant assessments; to promote linkages with this infrastructure to
other parts of the public and private sectors; and to identify relevant tools
and techniques to produce outputs for nationally determined priorities.
- Fundamental social structures and personal values (i.e., social factors)
evolve along with a society's physical infrastructure, private and public
institutions, and the technologies embodied within them. New (climate friendlier)
technological trajectories for an economy can provide great opportunities.
Governments can support the establishment of dynamic flexible learning mechanisms
within the private sector and with the rest of civil society, not only at
national level -- national systems of innovation, but also at a level of sub-national
region -'the learning region.'
- A market transformation approach promotes replicable, ongoing technology
transfers rather than one-time transfers. In such an approach, public policy
can consider what are the set of institutions which underlie markets and what
are appropriate public interventions to shape those institutions. It is useful
to consider a broad brush of measures within a market transformation approach
such as: technology adaptation, the need for enterprise-technological capability,
subsidies, consumer education, and marketing.
- To reduce contract risk, property risk, and regulatory risks, particularly
in private-sector-driven pathways, governments can strengthen national legal
institutions for intellectual property protection; strengthen administrative
and law processes to assure transparency, participation in regulatory policy-making,
and independent review; and strengthen legal institutions to reduce risks.
- Governments can work with the private sector and establish codes, standards
and labels. This provides a framework which can work to the benefit of industry
and consumers. This route can help build markets for dispersed, small-scale
technologies where technologies are diverse, vendors are many, and consumers
face high risks in evaluating and selecting technologies and suppliers. Codes
and standards also provide a means for representing the interests (i.e., to
cost-effective levels of efficiency) of end-users who are absent from purchasing
or construction decisions. Standards also allow consumers to be less knowledgeable
about the equipment they are purchasing.
- The principle of cost-effective reduction should not be uncritically applied
in all cases, but rather each technology transfer case, whether government
to government, private sector to private sector or community to community
should be examined on a case by case basis to see what the social impacts
will be and whether these are unavoidable or can be reduced. Governments may
wish to develop criteria for ensuring that technology transfer projects do
not disempower or negatively influence weaker social groups in a society.
Such guidelines could draw from guidelines on integrating gender issues in
technology development .
- The experience in agriculture, forestry, and use of other natural resources
has shown that the successful introduction of new technologies or modification
of resource use often depends on a recognition of the existing forms of property
rights, or on taking steps to create an optimal property rights regime. With
an understanding of the existing - legal and actual - forms of property rights,
technologies or modified resource uses can be adapted to fit the property
relations. If property issues are taken into account, those introducing new
technologies or proposing modifications in land or resource use can be more
assured of the support of the target populations or groups.
- Governments have been investing for three decades in RTD for environmentally
sound energy technologies in the energy sector, often working with the private
sector. There may be a case for seeing whether results from these processes
have been used and disseminated sufficiently. Developing countries' RTD efforts
are often adaptive, following externally developed technology, suggesting
the need for additional resources to develop indigenous innovative capacity.
RTD and the process of innovation are closely linked, but innovation has been
found to fail at the level of capability-the ability to focus specific sets
of resources in a particular way (e.g., financial management, marketing,
understanding user needs, etc.)-rather than because of inadequate resources
or hardware. The process of dissemination depends closely on influencing key
opinion formers, at government-departmental level, industry level, firm level
or community level.