Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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9.4 Programmes and Policies for Technology Transfer within Countries

Technology transfer is a process involving assessment, agreement, implementation, evaluation and adaptation, and repetition. Although technology transfer is often seen as a private interaction between two companies or trade partners, institutional barriers and policies influence the transaction process, as well as the efficiency of the transfer process. In this section we will first discuss the barriers to technology transfer, followed by a discussion of existing programmes and policies within countries. A wide body of literature discusses the barriers and policies that affect implementation and diffusion of technologies (see e.g. Worrell et al., 1997). We will concentrate on the experiences of programmes with respect to environmental and energy efficient technologies in developing countries and CEITs. Developing countries and CEITs suffer from all barriers that inhibit technology transfer plus a multitude of other problems. Potential conflicts in policies and goals between sectors can act as a barrier. For example, energy costs in industrialised countries often do not reflect the total costs, but the problem is especially serious in some developing countries and CEITs, where energy is considerably underpriced, with the government providing the energy supply industries (especially electric power producers) subsidies. Recently, subsidies in many countries have been reduced, possibly due to deregulation of the energy sector. Deregulation of the power sector may help to remove energy subsidies. Rigid hierarchical structure of organisations and the paucity of organisations occupying the few niches in a given area, lead to strong and closed networks of decision makers who are often strongly wedded to the benefits they receive from the status quo (see Gadgil and Sastry (1994) for an example of efficient lighting systems).

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