Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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15.6.2 Pathways of Transnational Technology Transfer

The five stages of technology transfer (Section 15.5.2) are also applicable to international pathways of coastal-adaptation technology transfer. Similar to in-country transfer, advancing from R&D to repetition is not a linear process. However, the complexity of technology transfer increases not only as the process proceeds, but also within stages as differences in the economic, institutional, legal and socio-cultural contexts of the technology transfer broaden. In the case of CoreLoc, for example, cooperative agreements with companies in the host countries were delayed because of the home-government researchers' inexperience in obtaining international patents (see Case Study 21).

As mentioned earlier, the use and transfer of most coastal-adaptation technologies has been the result of societal intervention, rather than market forces. Therefore, official development assistance (ODA; see also Chapter 5) will remain crucial for vulnerable developing countries to obtain access to appropriate technologies. Currently, the majority of ODA-funded coastal projects are carried out for economic purposes, such as fisheries, tourism and port development. In this context, technology is often equated with hardware, transferable in single, point-in-time transactions. Such technology implementation has proven maladaptive in many occasions (WCC'93, 1994). Successful coastal adaptation to sea-level rise also requires the transfer of soft technologies, which enhance human skills and capacity needed to adopt and adjust new approaches to coastal management. Long-term relationships involving technical assistance and in-situ training are important elements of effective pathways.

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