The predominant nature and goal of coastal adaptation require a form of in-country technology transfer that differs from current explanations of transfer and the conditions under which it takes place (cf. BCSD, 1992). Common definitions of technology transfer describe the process as a company-to-company transaction, but coastal-adaptation technologies-with few exceptions-are not developed and owned by business and industry. Economic considerations are a major force in driving technology transfer for coastal adaptation, but objectives are less focused on commercial terms. Rather, considerations of public well being are essential, such as the reduction of loss of property and lives and the protection of essential coastal habitats. Additionally, many coastal-technology transactions involve the exchange of information, knowledge and even wisdom. Knowledge transactions have characteristics that make them quite different from trade transactions (STAN, 1998). Incentives, pathways, the role of stakeholders and barriers reflect these distinctions.
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