Displaying 1-20 of 20 key documents
Source: UNCSD | March 2012
This document is a draft of the international agreement to safeguard the Earth's resources, which will be used to create a final declaration at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) taking place in Rio, Brazil later this year (20–22 June).
This 'zero draft' of the Rio+20 declaration, entitled 'The Future We Want', is based on more than 600 submissions from individual countries, civil society and nongovernmental organisations and other groups.
It outlines advances and setbacks on achieving sustainability since the 1992 Earth Summit, which also took place in Rio, calls for renewed political commitment and outlines a framework for progress towards the green economy. It also calls for support for scientific research and technology transfer in developing countries; strengthened global environmental governance; and sustainable development goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
The document includes an overview of the conference's vision, a framework for action, priority issues and proposals for strengthening implementation.
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: Africa Progress Panel
This policy brief, prepared by the Africa Progress Panel, African Development Bank and UN, outlines the implications of climate change for Africa, emphasising the need for a strong and cohesive negotiating position at the December 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen.
The authors argue that African governments must define practical steps for the international community to address the climate crisis. Three areas require urgent action: clear emissions targets and an adaptation fund; energy-saving technologies through additional financing and technology transfer; and improving long-term frameworks such as the Clean Development Mechanism and reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
To achieve this, argue the authors, African heads of state and ministers of finance, planning and environment must collaborate on a practical strategy position to generate maximum buy-in from the rest of the world. This must be achieved in time for high-level meetings in the second half of 2009.
Source: ICTSD | May 2009
This policy paper, published by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), addresses technology transfer issues in developing countries and considers current intellectual property rights.
The author makes practical recommendations to least developed countries (LDCs) wanting to use technology transfer as an effective growth engine, and to developed countries who must comply with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
The paper finds that technology transfer in LDCs is hindered by trade and foreign investment shortfalls, and an inability to disseminate new technologies throughout the economy.
The author suggests a shift to local authority decisionmaking over technology transfer and assistance to socially beneficial projects with low expected profitability.
Source: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Develo | February 2007
This document attempts to inform and re-invigorate the debate on international technology transfer. The author, John H. Barton at Stanford School of Law, argues for the need to revisit this issue in line with the recognition that economic activities are more globalised than they were in the 1970s, and developing countries have greater scientific and technological capacities.
Barton focuses on three mechanisms of international technology transfer: the flow of human resources; the flow of public-sector technology support; and the flow of private technology from multinational corporations to developing countries. He recommends ways to remove barriers to each. He argues for greater mobility within, and globalisation of, the world’s scientific enterprise and reasserts an economic rationale for investing in public-sector research in developing countries.
The paper is likely to be useful to developing country policymakers interested in intellectual property rights, trade and development, as well as scientists and technologists more generally.
Source: Scottish Universities Policy Research and Advice Network | 2002
This article examines technological catch-up — how developing countries build up their technological capabilities to compete with industrialised nations — and the implications for donor agencies providing technical assistance.
It looks at how the literature on links between economic growth and technological change has evolved and discusses how the concept of technological catch-up emerged.
The authors argue that technical assistance programmes should focus on supporting education and training systems and fostering links between developing and developed countries' science and technology organisations.
Source: African Technology Policy Studies Network | 2002
This study examines technology transfer in the Nigerian oil industry, focusing on how the Nigerian National Petroleum Company acquires technologies and accumulates technological capabilities. It examines the training efforts used to master imported technologies and looks at how technical change affects the company's production and financial performance.
Source: The Open University | 2005
This paper examines how trade helps transfer knowledge to emerging economies. It reviews existing research and uses an analysis of patent statistics to track the spread of knowledge across 18 countries involved in bilateral trade.
The author argues that trade helps transfer technology across both countries and sectors, as seen by the positive relationship between trade activity and number of cites to foreign patents. But, he says, the extent to which knowledge is disseminated depends on cultural and historical proximities and the local technical capacity of acquiring countries.
Source: The Open University | 2006
This article examines the ways in which development aid is conceived and represented.
It presents the initial concept of technical assistance, and describes how it has shifted to include a more equal and interactive relationship between the giver and receiver in what is known as technical 'cooperation'.
The author also discusses the recent influence that knowledge management and innovation systems concepts have had on development assistance discourse and practice.
He adds that another shift is needed to incorporate situations where technology transfer stakeholders can jointly create knowledge, moving from a 'learning from' environment to a 'learning with' one.
Source: United Nations University | 2006
This policy brief examines the importance of investment promotion agencies (IPAs), which endorse specific countries or locations to investors, in stimulating foreign direct investment (FDI). It discusses how policy incentives impact FDI and emphasises the importance of promoting investment opportunities in specific industries and businesses to match the interests of both the investors and the receiving country.
The brief describes the institutional characteristics of IPAs and considers how both their position within governments and their level of autonomy influence their ability to attract FDI. It concludes that an IPA's effectiveness depends on its political visibility, as well as on broader resources in the receiving country like market size, human capital and science and technology infrastructure.
Source: Pew Center on Global Climate Change | October 2002
The role of developing countries in climate change mitigation has been and continues to be a contentious issue. Developing countries' emissions are predicted to surpass those of industrialised countries within the first half of this century, but no formal commitments to reduce emissions have been made.
This report, prepared for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, examines six countries — Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey — in the context of climate change mitigation. Ongoing efforts in these countries have helped reduce emissions, though not necessarily in the name of mitigating climate change.
The authors find that overall, over the past three decades, these countries have reduced the growth rate of their emissions by 300 million tonnes. The motivations for such efforts include poverty alleviation, economic development, energy security and local environmental protection. This demonstrates that climate change mitigation can and does occur in the context of development that aims to be sustainable.
This report is comprehensive for the countries studied. It is very accessible and likely to be of interest to anyone engaged in the debate about mitigation in the South.
The report is available in pdf format only. An executive summary is availably online here.
Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) | 2001
There is growing recognition by the international community that developing countries need to obtain access to technologies via transfer from developed countries to be able to comply with the conditions set in a variety of international agreements. As a consequence, special provisions on technology transfers and capacity building have been incorporated in around 80 international agreements and several regional and bilateral instruments. This compendium prepared by UNCTAD summarises of existing provisions on technology transfer in multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements.
It states that although some progress has been made in implementing the provisions expressed in the agreements, a major gap remains between the intentions and their actual implementation. Therefore, the compendium intends to act as a reminder of the broad range of further policy that is necessary to reach the technology transfer objectives set in those commitments.
Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development | 2003
This paper by Linsu Kim contains an overview of South Korea's technological development and focuses on the interplay between technology transfer via various means such as licenses, reverse engineering and domestic technological learning efforts. The paper draws lessons on the impact of intellectual property rights on technological and economic development.
The paper confirms the findings of other recent studies that the impact of intellectual property rights (IPRs) on technology transfer and technological development will differ according to the levels of technological and economic development of different countries. The author concludes that there are four main lessons from the South Korean experience: first, strong IPRs will hamper rather than facilitate technology transfer and domestic learning in the initial stage of development when learning is based on reverse engineering and duplicative imitation of foreign technologies. Second, IPR protection only becomes a relevant element in technology transfer when countries have developed considerable domestic capabilities. Third, in order to contribute to development, the enforcement of IPRs should be differentiated according to level of economic development of countries and different industrial sectors. Fourth, developing countries should strive to change standardised multilateral IPR regimes and to guarantee more favourable IPR policies to them, while making efforts to enhance their absorptive capacity.
Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) | 2001
This paper has been prepared for the UNCTAD/ICTSD Capacity Building Project on Intellectual Property Rights and Sustainable Development by Sanjaya Lall from Oxford University. The paper discusses the impact of the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) — interpreted by the author as the tightening of intellectual property rights — on industrial and technological development, including technology transfers via foreign direct investment, capital goods imports and reverse engineering in developing countries.
The paper concludes that the jury is still out on the benefits of TRIPS for technological development in developing countries as a whole. It notes that there are significant variations both between rich and poor countries and among developing countries themselves in the factors — such as domestic technological effort, imports of foreign technology and industrial performance — that may affect the impact of TRIPS on technological development. Therefore, the application of TRIPS should take a differentiated approach according to the economic and technological differences among countries.
Source: Maastricht Economic Research; Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT); International Institute of Infonomics | 2004
This paper analyses the benefits for acquiring countries of transfers of technology through foreign direct investment (FDI). This paper focuses on the conditions (or their absence) under which the impact of FDI for economic and technological development are most beneficial for acquiring economies.
The authors assert that FDI does not necessarily have a positive impact on economic development and productivity growth. This is due to the fact that acquiring countries cannot draw on the largest part of the benefits deriving from FDI in the absence of a certain level of domestic absorptive capacities.
Source: Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU) | 2004
Anabel Marin and Martin Bell analyse technology spillovers from foreign direct investments (FDI) in acquring countries and look at the case of Argentina during the 1990s.
The paper questions the conventional wisdom on technology spillovers from FDI which portrays multinational corporation (MNC) subsidiaries as a passive actor in the process. According to these conventional perspectives, the local subsidiary of MNC only serves as a 'leaky' container between the parent firm, the originator of new technologies and the technology transfer pipeline, and the domestic firms absorbing these technologies via spillovers. This paper suggests that, contrary to these views, a substantial part of the potential for technology spillovers is generated within local subsidiaries of foreign companies themselves as a result of their own knowledge-creating activities in the acquiring country.
Source: University of Oxford, Queen Elisabeth House | 2000
This paper, by Sanjaya Lall of the University of Oxford, provides a general review of the emerging policy and research issues related to foreign direct investment (FDI) and development in the current context of rapid technological change and policy liberalisation. It deals with the benefits and costs of FDI to development and the market failures that affect their impact on developing countries. It focuses on the impact of FDI on local enterprise development, particularly technological development, static versus dynamic benefits and bargaining with transnational corporations (TNCs).
The paper notes that FDI and TNCs are one way for developing countries to obtain access to technologies, skills and other benefits, but this does not mean that simply 'opening up' to FDI is the best way of obtaining them. Acquiring countries' governments face many trade-offs and there is no 'ideal' policy on FDI that applies to all countries at all times. The author argue that the extent to which TNCs upgrade their technology and skill transfer and raise local capabilities and linkages depends on the interaction of four factors: the trade and competition regime of acquiring countries; their government policies on TNC operations; the corporate strategy and resources of the TNC; and development and responsiveness of local factor markets and institutions.
Source: World Bank | 1999
This paper prepared for the World Bank addresses different modes of technology transfer for individual firms in developing countries, the determinants of the demand for and productivity of technology transfers and reviews the evidence from case studies of technology transfers and technological learning in developing countries.
The paper notes that firms in developing countries can access new technology through various channels such as imports of new equipment, licensing agreements, consultancy, flows of people, and so on. The author emphasises two factors that influence the demand for technology transfers and the potential of transferred technologies to increase productivity. The first of these factors is the policy environment in which firms operate and the second is firms' efforts and capacities to seek, absorb and assimilate new technologies.
Source: World Bank | 2004
This paper summarises national and international policy options to encourage technology transfer. The authors, academics based at the University of Colorado, the World Bank and the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, argue that technology transfer can take place in a number of ways, including through trade in products, trade in knowledge, foreign direct investment, and the international migration of people.
The authors argue that countries at different stages of development will need to enact different kinds of policies. They also argue that international agreements, such as those of the World Trade Organization, should also take the differences among developing countries into consideration. However, they find that, with the exception of the World Trade Organization, national policies are often more effective than international policies in helping to attract and regulate international technology transfer.
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.