Displaying 1-20 of 40 key documents
Source: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) | June 2012
This paper examines technology transfer and technology accumulation for development since the 1960s, with the aim of generating constructive dialogue on the subject.
The authors ask whether debates over technology transfer cater to developing countries' needs, and review how knowledge of capacity for technological innovation has changed over the past few decades. They also ask how international negotiations over technology transfer can reflect lessons learnt about how countries build technological capabilities in a changing global technology environment. The paper focuses on intellectual property rights (IPRs) — an issue which, they argue, is central to international discourses on technology transfer.
The authors conclude that in order to move forward, technology transfer cannot be discussed in the polarised terms of providing technology transfer in return for sustaining trends in global IPR protection, or by granting IPRs in the hope of technology transfer. To facilitate this discussion, they identify three linkages between technology transfer, IPR and economic development.
Source: National Innovation Foundation (NIF), India | February, 2012
This document describes the work of India's National Innovation Foundation (NIF) in supporting grassroots innovation through activities such as documentation, business development and protecting intellectual property rights, and lays out proposals for strengthening links with African nations. Suggestions for Indo-African cooperation to spread innovative technology and ideas include cross-cultural exchanges and replicating the Honey Bee Network. The remaining part of the document contains an extensive catalogue of technological, agricultural and knowledge-based innovations supported and developed by NIF. They include a solar mosquito-destroying device, a portable and smokeless stove, a tractor attachment that collects groundnuts, and a hand-operated water pump.
Source: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) | January, 2009
This report — summarising a UNESCO innovation for development workshop — examines the role of innovation in development, and the contribution of knowledge, research and development to innovation. It focuses on knowledge in science, engineering and technology.
The report outlines analytical and theoretical frameworks as well as current innovation efforts and innovation policy. Major issues discussed at the workshop are highlighted in an action agenda, which suggests the need for more research and statistical indicators, dissemination of projects, human and institutional capacity building, better policy design and the need to increase awareness of innovation.
A separate report, which is included in the document, consolidates several themes that emerged from the talks, including the need to improve policy coherence, the difficulties of comparing innovation across countries or different points in time, the importance of capacity building, and the role of technology transfer in generating new knowledge. It also identifies challenges facing policymakers, the research community and international donors in achieving these goals. The report includes keynote speeches and links to Powerpoint presentations given at the conference.
This editorial provides an overview of a special issue of the International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development (IJTLID), which contains papers first presented in a symposium organised in South Africa in 2010. It covers themes such as capacity building, inclusion, inequality, case studies and measurement within the field of innovation studies.
The author discusses major challenges facing the field, and their relevance to broader development agendas and policy. The article highlights the increasing acknowledgement of the important contribution that innovation can make in efforts to balance economic growth with better quality of life in developing countries. It outlines a research and advocacy agenda to strengthen the role and impact of innovation for development, and describes how the articles published as part of the issue tackle the issues included in this agenda. Through case-studies, the article also points to empirical evidence of innovation practices and outcomes in different sectors.
This report reviews the achievements made by the 'Promotion of Grassroots Innovation in Asia-Pacific Countries' project, which aims to build capacity for member countries to source, document and disseminate grassroots innovation and traditional knowledge as a means of economic and social development.
The first section documents the theory and practice of grassroots innovation using case-studies of existing organisations, such as the Honey Bee Network. It illustrates the diversity of approaches used to engage with this type of innovation, as well as the ethical aspects of informed consent before obtaining knowledge from local populations. The second part describes advances made during national and regional workshops on the subjects of capacity-building, promoting grassroots innovation and creating partnerships.
Source: Springer-Verlag | June 2011
This peer-reviewed paper examines the factors that motivate people to innovate, with the authors arguing that material rewards, such as capital or patents, make up only one aspect of their motivation. Using grassroots innovation in India as a case-study, the study found that the intrinsic rewards of "getting things done" and satisfaction play just as important a role as extrinsic factors, such as increased income.
The authors developed indicators of motivation by looking at innovation as a process of three stages — idea generation, experimentation and application. They found that intrinsic motivations were particularly important in the early stages, when there are high levels of uncertainty about the innovation. They conclude by outlining implications of their findings for innovation policies, suggesting that use of funding and patents could negatively impact innovators by reducing their desire to share their ideas locally.
Source: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) | November 2011
This report provides an analysis of global innovation and intellectual property (IP) trends in 2011, and examines how innovation has changed. It also reviews how IP protection affects innovative behaviour, and what that implies for policymaking.
In four chapters, the report reviews trends in innovation and IP; the economics of IP; balancing collaboration and competition; and the role of IP in harnessing research for innovation. Each chapter concludes with recommendations for future research. The report examines questions that include the notion that innovation processes are increasingly open, international and collaborative; the drivers of increased demand for IP rights; and the rising importance of technology or knowledge markets.
It concludes by suggesting ways that IP and innovation policies can be redesigned to adapt to the growing demand for IP protection. It states that IP is playing an increasingly important role in innovation policies, and that moving beyond polarised debates will require fact-based research as well as translating economic research into accessible messages.
Source: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
This policy brief looks at the role of intellectual property rights in developing and accessing technologies for mitigation and adaption to climate change. It provides an overview of intellectual property rights as the main mechanism of encouraging technological innovation for responding to climate change, and describes the issues that prevent constructive discussion in the area. The brief brings together diverse perspectives to propose action, beginning with building trust and exploring potential policy options, challenging countries to go beyond their entrenched positions and thus enable productive climate talks. It concludes with a caution that without reaching a compromise, the impasse will prevent a significant move towards green technologies.
Source: Chatham House | November 2010
This briefing paper, aimed at policymakers and researchers, discusses the regulatory implications of having varied definitions of the term 'counterfeit' and outlines successful law enforcement initiatives to halt the trade in fake drugs. The paper outlines the problem of counterfeit medicines and the urgent issues to be considered by the international community before taking additional steps to tackle it. It discusses the controversy around intellectual property rights and counterfeits, and investigates the motives behind some anti-counterfeiting initiatives that seem to be more concerned with protecting patents.
Source: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | May 2010
This academic paper explores the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) system within the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The authors highlight the principle challenges facing non-commercial biodiversity research scientists, in particular the tight regulations that restrict access to genetic resources in many countries and ultimately hinder the generation of knowledge vital to implementing the CBD.
Source: Open AIDS Journal
This series of articles considers the questions and conflicts surrounding the use of patent pools for antiretroviral (ARV) treatments for HIV/AIDS.
It provides background to the debate, considers individual proposals including the UNITAID patent pool, and offers regional perspectives on the suitability of patent pools to Africa, China and India.
Source: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) | September 2009
This paper, published by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, reviews proposals on using intellectual property to improve access to climate change technologies and the extent to which these may help developing countries.
The author, US lawyer Cynthia Cannady, criticises the practicality of implementing compulsory licenses, patent pools or databases, and voluntary licensing for developing countries.
Instead, she suggests a two-pronged strategy that supports research in developing countries and promotes mutually beneficial technological collaboration between developed and developing countries.
Cannady recommends implementing this strategy by managing developing countries' intellectual capital, supporting local climate change research and development, improving education and awareness, commercialising climate change technology and engaging in periodic assessment.
Source: South Centre | February 2009
This book, published by the intergovernmental organisation South Centre, presents a collection of articles on intellectual property (IP) restrictions and access to knowledge for developing countries.
An outcome of the South Centre Innovation and Access to Knowledge Programme, the book responds to pressure from IP owners to increase control over knowledge in different forms including digital platforms.
The first part describes how IP restrictions challenge access to knowledge by setting out the norms, common goods and public authorities' responsibilities.
The second section describes recent developments in policy discussions including proposed World Intellectual Property Organization treaties and multilateral efforts to extend copyright limitations and exceptions.
The final part makes practical suggestions for moving forward, such as using open access or tapping into Internet technology.
Source: South Centre
This discussion paper from the South Centre and Center for International Environmental Law, discusses the international transfer of environmentally sound technologies within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The authors present an overview of the UNFCCC's structure for negotiation, including the legal frameworks. They review the history of the technology transfer debate from the inception of the UNFCCC to the post-Poznan landscape and discuss relevant intellectual property agreements including the World Intellectual Property Organization.
They conclude that the expert group on technology transfer will continue to influence how technology transfer is treated within the UNFCCC and call on industrialised countries to recognise the real need for technology transfer and funds from developing countries, rather than using technology transfer as a political tool to bargain for binding mitigation targets.
Source: South Centre | December 2008
This paper challenges the idea that patent counts provide reliable indicators of innovation in cross-country assessments. The authors argue that national differences in patent systems — how and why patents are granted and standards of examination — make comparisons across countries difficult at best, inaccurate at worst.
They urge readers to be cautious in interpreting the World Intellectual Property Organization findings that suggest the geography of innovation is changing — based on a sharp rise in patent counts in north-east Asia. The authors' own analysis of Chinese patent applications and legal frameworks in Brazil, India, Europe and the United States shows wide differences in the value of patents across regions.
They recommend developing a proper set of indicators for monitoring innovation capacities, particularly in developing countries.
Source: The Lancet | January 2009
This series of commentaries and papers, published by The Lancet, examines the challenges to achieving a balance between trade and health.
It includes analyses of the WHO and World Trade Organisation (WTO), arguing that they facilitate trade before the health of poor people. Other authors explore issues such as global trade governance, intellectual property rights on life-saving drugs, and how trade practices adversely affect diet and exploit workers.
Richard Smith, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and colleagues outline an agenda for action to strengthen the evidence on trade and health links, build capacity within health on trade issues and assert health goals in trade policy. They make specific recommendations for the WHO and WTO, donors, governments, nongovernment organisations and academics.
This report, published by Centre d'Économie Industrielle (CERNA) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), examines the distribution of climate mitigation inventions since 1973 and their international transfer.
Based on an analysis of patent data, the authors find that innovations are mostly made — and exchanged between — developed countries, although China and South Korea are found among the top ten inventors. Only 18 per cent of climate mitigation technology exports come from emerging economies, but this proportion is growing rapidly and offers huge potential for North–South and South–South exchanges.
Technologies considered in the report include wind, solar, geothermal and biomass energy, energy conservation in buildings, motor vehicle fuel injection, and carbon capture and storage.
The authors use graphs and tables to present their results. Their findings suggest that the Kyoto protocol has induced innovation but has had no effect on technology transfer.
Source: E3G | November 2008
This report, published by E3G and Chatham House proposes an institutional framework for the innovation and transfer of low carbon and adaptation technologies, and suggests key features for the international agreement due to be signed at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen in December 2009.
The authors include an executive summary and an analysis of key issues including technology options, capacity in developing countries and intellectual property rights (IPR).
They also make recommendations for action, calling for objectives to be set in terms of critical technologies that need developing. Other suggestions include creating a multilateral innovation and diffusion fund, using sectoral approaches to accelerate technology development and deployment, and establishing a 'protect and share' agreement for IPR.
Source: PLoS Biology | October 2008
This article examines the US Bayh–Dole (BD) Act — a 1980s measure that sought to stimulate science-based economic growth by encouraging universities to patent inventions resulting from government-funded research — and assesses its suitability for developing countries.
The authors look at how and why advocates of BD-type initiatives sometimes overstate its impact in the United States and discuss the problems the act has caused for American biotechnology and information technology.
They outline the policy options for developing countries seeking to improve the contributions universities make to economic development and provide a list of safeguards that should be put in place before adopting laws styled after the act. These include no exclusive licensing, transparent patenting and government authority to issue additional licenses.
The authors conclude that policies to develop public sector research and development are context-specific and it is unclear whether any of the positive impacts of BD in the United States would arise in developing countries following similar legislation.
Source: J. Michael Finger (World Bank 2003) | 2003
In this paper, World Bank researcher Michael Finger summarises a collection of case studies from his book of the same title (Helping poor people to earn from their knowledge, Oxford University Press 2003). The case studies are built on examples of how poor people in developing countries use skills, innovation and creativity to earn a living from traditional crafts and traditional technologies.
Finger says that an important aim of the book is to draw attention to the income-generating potential of traditional knowledge for poor communities. He says policymakers (in both developed and developing countries) seem preoccupied with legal issues regarding traditional knowledge — such as defending traditional knowledge from being misappropriated by industrial interests; or policing biopiracy — when they ought to be also thinking about finding ways to help poor communities develop the commercial potential of traditional knowledge.