Updated: Feb 7
The concept of transfer of technology especially to developing countries is fast becoming a global issue which has drawn a lot of attention lately; it’s being discussed in meetings, seminars, workshops all over the globe. Technology is important to economic well being transforming productive systems and facilitating economic integration. Due to the important nature of technology all countries seek to improve their technology in the process moving toward industrialization, boosting their economy which trickles down to development finally.
Since development is dynamic in nature and open to all countries, its only equitable and fair for all countries to play on a level playing ground on the acquisition of technology thereby benefiting from transfer and diffusion of the very best of technology. However it’s unfortunate to state that this has not been the trend over the years.
The subject matter transfer of technology can’t be deliberated upon without having a clear view of the terms ‘‘technology’’ and ‘’transfer of technology.’’In other to have a good understanding of the subject matter it’s imperative to consider some basic definitions.
‘Technology’’ is a broad topic that can be perceived in various ways depending on the perspective it’s being scoped from.
The term technology tracing it back to it ancient times can be adduced to be derived from the Greek word’ tekhnelogos’,this word is made our from two factors ‘’tekhne’’ and ‘’logo’’s.these two words encompasses knowledge relating to machinery, communication and skills.
In my opinion technology should be defined in a whole comprising of intangible aspects like managerial skills and patents...not covering just the technical part of it relating it to tangible parts like machines, products, goods.etc.The end product in a technology transfer contract which for instance in a turnkey contract which entails impacting skills to the local content which is a fundamental term in technology transfer contracts is as essential as the manufacturing of the item.
Basically technology in the view of Santikarn technology:
‘‘Involves not just the methodologies and knowledge useful in production of goods and services, cognisance should be given to managerial expertise and professional know how.’’
Analysing the term transfer of technology it’s important to state that it’s no secret that the there is a moral burden or the onus lies on developed countries to transfer technology to developing countries. Like I stated earlier in my introduction developed countries are economically viable to carry out research which is the catalyst for technology.
What is transfer of technology?
The term transfer of technology is a relative in the sense that it bothers on a whole lot issues, thus there is no single definition for it.
According to Muchlinski, he defined transfer of technology ‘as the method or ways commercial technology is being distributed’ .In this context there will be a form of transfer of knowledge by the transferor to the transferee via communication. The contract being literally binding at this state is not a prerequisite.
Looking at Muchlinski’s definition transfer in this context takes the pattern of a business transaction which might not necessarily be legally binding the high point of the definition is that the technology is basically owned and can be transferred by the owner to the transferee.
Brooks defines technology transfer as ‘the process which science and technology are diffused through human activity’ . Analyzing this definition it simply covers a situation whereby an invention or knowledge is developed by transferee and it’s distributed to the recipient who emulates that information gotten from the transferor.
Transfer in this context could be a transfer of basic scientific knowledge into technology or upgrading of an existing one to a new use. However for it to be transferred it should be packaged in an organised form or some kind of operation.
Methods of transfer of technology
First, knowledge and skills known to certain equipments are not driven by a monopolistic market where choices are limited. In such instances transfer could materialize through: Migration of professionals from country to country, technical training and instructions, published works will be distributed,collaboration programs where knowledge are shared.
Secondly instances where there is direct ownership of machinery it’s normally covered by industrial patent right and agreements are sealed in this context by negotiation. Transferring this instance comes in the form of: Foreign direct investments, granting of licences, patents right, trademarks right, application of expertise etc.