Thomas Grammig

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Technology transfer

There is no body of research on technology transfer that would not have been shown as severely incomplete.  "Technology can not be exported, it can only be imported" and similar insights are well known.  I believe progress is made when Science and Technology Studies (STS), Actor-network Theory and sociology of knowledge (Bijker, MacKenzie, Latour or Law) move beyond extensive case studies as Martin Fransman demands: "A unified theory of the firm uses the same concepts to describe the interior and the exterior of the firm, these are knowledge, belief and information"

I suggest an analytical framework based on the required intention from knowledge provider and from receiver separately for the explicit and the tacit components (here for water supply infrastructure).  In other words, the 'who' questions take precedence over the 'what' questions:

Knowledge Management in Development and Infrastructure Projects

A more general formulation of this analytical framework for wider application and a laundry list of possible results, findings, research design and policy contexts:

International Technology Cooperation

My preferred tasks for technology transfer:


Fransman M. 1995, Japan´s computer and communications industry: the evolution of industrial giants and global
, Oxford UP.
Nelson R.R. 2000, "On technological capabilities and their acquisition". In: Evenson and Ranis, Science and Technology:
               Lessons for Development Policy
, Boulder: Westview Press, pp. 71-80.


Technology transfer for climate change mitigation and adaptation

Global commons are a particular area of technology transfer problems and solutions.  Providers and recipients of technical knowledge experience a particular set of misunderstandings and doubts about technical goals.  UNEP/Risø has started to explore this, see Olsen 2006 and 2010.  The latent processes I published about and use in my own work are particularly strong in climate technology transfer.  I would be thankful if you could write to me whether this seems realistic to you. 

In 2014, the EIB invited comments on their financing of NAMA and NAPA outside EU member states.  Ownership is the central criterion for these and EIB needs to specify TA policy to national climate policy:

European Investment Bank TA for climate action

Olsen K. 2006, "Why Planned Interventions for Capacity Development in the Environment Often Fail: A Critical Review of
     Mainstream", International Studies of Management and Organisation, 36: 104-124.
Olsen K. 2010, Governance of Capacity Development for Climate Change Activities in Developing Countries. An Actor-
     Oriented Perspective on Experiences with Results Based Management and Discussion of New Approachs to Nationally
      Driven Frameworks for Results, 2nd UNITAR - Yale Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy,
      September, New Haven, USA