Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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15.6 Transfer of Coastal-Adaptation Technologies between Countries

Coastal-adaptation technology transfer in an international context has many of the same characteristics as that within countries. It consists primarily of knowledge transactions, innovations predominantly emerge from government laboratories and universities, stakeholders' incentives are not purely commercial, and pathways and barriers are comparable, albeit more complex and far-reaching. However, effective globalisation of coastal-adaptation technologies requires creativity in two areas not necessarily required for technology transfer within countries.

First, governments need to develop policies that go beyond meeting predetermined goals or maintaining current standards, while all stakeholders must recognise that the traditional paradigm that technology can be transferred full-blown from one cultural context to another is flawed. Technologies must be adjusted, oriented and made appropriate for local conditions in the host country, possibly in the context of integrated coastal zone management. Second, the importance of global networks to improve and accelerate coastal-adaptation technology transfer should not be underestimated. Such networks provide access to up-to-date information and real-time tracking of global trends, accelerate the formation of joint ventures and permit direct participation in strategic locations around the world. The process for building these networks must include not only personal links but also institutional and functional linkages (Kozmetsky, 1990).

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