5.5.3 Technology Partnership Programmes
Technology transfer aimed at fostering mitigation and adaptation responses
to climate change will be most effective where it engages all key stakeholders
in designing and implementing technology transfer actions. These key stakeholders
include in-country and international private businesses and investors, government
agencies, and bilateral and multilateral donor organisations. While private
businesses play the key role in implementing most technology transfer activities,
national governments and international donor agencies can help remove market
barriers and set conditions to ensure effective private sector participation
in technology transfer. Technology transfer activities will be most effective
where businesses, governments, and donor organisations collaborate in designing
and implementing these activities to make the most productive use of their respective
resources and authorities.
Since climate change is not explicitly considered in most development plans,
climate change considerations are not fully integrated into the development
plans that shape markets for new technologies. In many cases, consideration
of climate change issues will only require marginal adjustment to development
plans, but this process of adjustment and review is critical in ensuring that
development programmes contribute to climate change goals. Therefore, it is
important for climate change technology transfer activities to respond to developing
country determination of what type of technology transfer will best contribute
to their development needs while also addressing climate change. Once these
technology transfer priorities are well understood, developing countries can
work with the private sector and the international donor community to facilitate
technology transfer activities to respond to these priorities.
Technology partnerships can also be exclusively at a firm (company) level. The
United Nations (1996, p.x) has suggested that "firms in many developing
countries--the least developed ones in particular--often do not have the funds,
trained human resources or infrastructure to pursue a technology-based innovation
process on their own. In such cases a level of cooperation is needed that is
qualitatively different from that associated with traditional technology transfer.
Technology partnership (TP) is one opportunity for participation by developing
countries' firms in the emerging forms of technological alliances and cooperation."
The essential characteristics of technology partnerships between enterprises
from industrial and developing countries are typically the following: (a) they
are long-term arrangements; (b) they are mutually beneficial; (c) they contain
an explicit commitment to cooperation; (d) they have as one of their central
goals the learning process of both partners; (e) they occur within a technology
system and within specific economic relations; (f) they enhance the level and
depth of both partners' technological capabilities (UN, 1996).
One recent example of a technology partnership programme is the Technology Cooperation
Agreement Pilot Project by the U.S. government (see Box
5.5). Another example is the Technology Partnership Initiative, run in the
United Kingdom by the Joint Environmental Markets Unit of the DTI and DETR.
Joint demonstration projects of many kinds represent another form of technology
partnership; one example is the project in Brazil by a consortium of twelve
companies, including private and public Brazilian enterprises and multinational
firms, to develop a biomass gasifier/gas turbine power plant designed to use
wood chips as fuel. The consortium was created by the joint entrepreurship of
foundations, industry associations, and government entities (Norberg-Bohm and
Hart, 1995). And the multilateral "Climate Technology Initiative"
has established a programme called "Technology Cooperation Implementation
Plans" (TCIP) to carry out a number of partnerships (UNFCCC, 1999).
|Box 5.5 Technology Cooperation Agreement Pilot
In 1997, the U.S. Government launched the Technology Cooperation Agreement
Pilot Project (TCAPP ) to provide a model for a collaborative approach
to foster technology cooperation for climate change mitigation technologies.
Under TCAPP, the Governments of Brazil, China, Kazakhstan, Mexico, and
the Philippines are currently working with the private sector and bilateral
and international donor organisations to attract private investment in
clean energy technologies in their countries. Many other donor initiatives
have also adopted similar collaborative approaches between country officials,
businesses, and donors in fostering private investment. However, TCAPP
is one of the few initiatives that has engaged climate change officials
in this collaborative process to lead to actions that address both development
needs and climate change goals.
TCAPP has two basic phases of activities. In the first phase, the participating
countries have developed technology cooperation frameworks that define
their climate change technology cooperation priorities and the actions
necessary to attract private investment in these priorities. These actions
include efforts aimed at capturing immediate investment opportunities
(e.g., issuance of investment solicitations, investment financing, business
matchmaking and capacity building, etc.) and longer-term efforts to remove
market barriers. In the second phase, TCAPP assists the country teams
in securing the private sector, in-country, and donor participation and
support necessary to successfully implement these actions. This second
phase of activities includes two major types of activities:
- Attracting direct private investment in immediate market opportunities.
This includes helping the countries develop and issue investment solicitations
for large-scale opportunities and business matchmaking and financing
activities. TCAPP has established an international business network
to help guide the design and implementation of these activities.
- Securing support for actions to address market barriers. These actions
range from business capacity building to policy reform. This includes
development of domestic implementation plans for these actions and securing
necessary donor support to assist with implementation of these plans.
TCAPP assists the countries in preparing implementation plans and donor
proposals and in matching country needs with donor programmes.
Sources: NREL, 1998, UNFCCC, 1999.