Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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8.6 Lessons Learned

The past experiences on the transfer of transport technologies provide some useful lessons, which could help future technology transactions between technology suppliers and technology recipients.

The need for government's commitment in the transfer and development of technology as shown in the different cases studied in this chapter is vital for the transfer process. This is true for both technology suppliers and technology recipients. Technology suppliers need to demonstrate their commitment by providing conditions that stimulate technology outflows, while technology recipients have to demonstrate their will by providing the enabling environment for the private sector's participation. Building indigenous technological capacities increases the technology receptivity of a country. This activity is extremely important for technology recipients, as is the improvement of their overall business environment. These attributes will attract foreign and local investments along with technology inflows. Establishing a partnership between government and the private sector can contribute to useful technological relationships involving transfer. High quality manpower with a supporting industrial infrastructure is the main factor that drives technology growth in a country. This provides the capacity for "un-packaging" technology imports, effective R&D policy, and the drive to select vital technology imports for further development. The important role of government in the process is summarised below:

  • Formulating the national transport development strategies, including encouraging or restricting certain transport options.
  • Providing market development support for increased investments in the transfer of existing environmentally sound transport technologies and fuels, and support for their further development.
  • Supporting R&D and demonstration projects related to the advantages of environmentally sound transport options.
  • Setting and enforcing standards for improved efficiency and GHG emission controls
  • Giving preferential support through fiscal and other measures for environmentally sounds transport modes.
  • Promoting the expanded use of information networks to foster technology transfer
  • Using regional market opportunities to stimulate closer inter-government interests and government-industry relationships and interactions
  • Promoting local and external investments including co-financing programmes
  • Providing policy and regulatory frameworks for fiscal incentives for alternative fuel use and distribution infrastructure, and mechanisms for internalising social costs of transport.
  • Promoting international cooperation in making available necessary financial resources through regional and international financial institutions for programmes such as collaborative R&D and demonstration, and information exchange.

A significant number of transport options exist now and will be developed in the future that will reduce GHG emissions significantly, but they need to be transferred to where they are needed once certain implementing barriers can be overcome. Similarly, policy and measures are available that can transfer some of these options using the different stakeholders. Creating an enabling environment for effective participation of the private sector is very important for both technology outflows and inflows. In addition, improving the overall business environment will enhance investments and technology inflows. Exploiting the facilitating role of multilateral agencies will assist the adoption of the transport options discussed. The will and political commitment of all governments is crucial for the process of technology transfer and development.

The inflexibility in the transport sector due to its fossil fuel dependency and entrenched interests will need to change by departing from present lifestyles and travel patterns, if the current growth in transport-related GHG emissions is to be decreased.

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