Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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Annex 1-3: A Stakeholder Typology

Stakeholders Description

  • Sources and developers of technology

Individuals/organisations who undertake original research to develop technology. Typical developers include scientific research organisations, R&D departments within private firms, and government-sponsored research entities. Technology can be developed in either the public or private sector.

  • Owners and suppliers of technology

These usually include private firms, state-owned enterprises, and government agencies. Technology developed in the public sector often is "spun off" to the private sector, since the private sector is seen as better able to exploit the market potential of the technology. In some countries, however, public sector organisations now compete with suppliers of technology that are based in the private sector.

  • Buyers of technology

The primary stakeholders in the technology transfer process. Buyers of technology usually are private firms, but can also include state-owned enterprises, government agencies, and individual entrepreneurs.

  • Financiers of technology transfer

Those who lend to technology buyers, or invest in them to enable the buyers to acquire the technology from the suppliers. Organisations involved include commercial banks, international financial institutions (e.g., the International Finance Corporation), and individual or institutional investors.

  • Information providers

Include organisations such as UN agencies that have no commercial interest at stake and whose objective is to facilitate matchmaking between the buyer's needs and the suppliers by providing objective, unbiased information. This information could include technology options, sources of technology, case studies where technologies have been used, data and data processing information, and methods for evaluating different options.

  • Market intermediaries

Include consultants, NGOs, media, consumer groups, and trade associations. Market intermediaries usually can have significant influence on the buyer's decision by providing information about technologies. Depending on the interest of the intermediary, this information may promote certain technologies at the expense of others.

  • Governments

The government of the buyer's country sets the rules for transactions through regulation, incentives, and frameworks governing imports of technology/foreign capital. Where the government perceives that the private costs of technology may not reflect the true costs to society (e.g., a technology may have environmental externalities), the government may be involved in expanding or limiting the range of technologies under consideration. The government of countries whose companies sell technologies may set policies to promote technology transfer in support of the climate stabilisation, via ODA and other measures.

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