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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Technology Transfer & Routes of Technology Technology Transfer

What is technology transfer ? Briefly discuss various routes of technology transfer. Give an example of specific route of technology transfer as adopted by an organisation.

Ans : Basically there are two ways of acquiring new technology : first is Develop it or purchase it; the second way of acquiring technology is commonly called “Technology Transfer”

The important reasons for purchasing technology are :

a) It involves little or no R & D investment.

b) Technology can be used quickly; and

c) Technological and financial risks are often quite low.

There are also good reasons for selling technology, such as :

a) Increasing return on investment

b) Technology may not have immediate use.

c) Technology has already been utilised up to its limit.

Therefore, technology transfer occurs because of existence of ‘Buyers’ and ‘Sellers’. The sellers are called “tranferers” or “licensors” and buyers are called “transferees” or “licensees”. Therefore Technology transfer is simply the acquisition and use of knowledge. There is no transfer of technology unless and until technological knowledge is put to use. Technology transfer is not restricted to scientific and engineering items. The manufacturing, marketing, distribution and customer service are among the factors that are included in the technology transfer.

The key factors in technology transfer include:

1. Transplantation of technology: involves shift from onset of well defined conditions to another set in which at least one key variable may differ. Secondly the recipient may apply the technology to a different purpose from that of the supplier.

2. A sense of opportunitism prevails in technology transfer, whether justifies or not.

3. The transfer process embraces a rich variety of mechanisms and relationships between recipient and donor(Supplier of technology). The process can vary from a routine people less passive transfer to turnkey contract where the donor takes the full responsibility for all phases of the contract.

4. The nature of the transferred technology and how it is transferred car critical to the success of the technology transfer process.

Technology transfer may begin as a solution to some one’s problem. Adoption of such ‘outside solution to solve an inside problems is technology transfer. The advantages lies in avoiding ‘reinventing the wheel’.

Dimensions of Technology Transfer :

The time and resources required to transfer a given technology depends upon :

• What is actually transferred
• The mode of transfer.
• The absorption of transfer
• The absorption capabilities of the recipient enterprise.
• The capabilities and motivation of the supplier enterprises.
• Technology gap between supplier and the recipient.


The principal routes of enterprise-to-enterprise technology transfer are :

1. Licensing or Franchise : Licensing and franchise arrangement vary from a complete package of instructions, technical assistance and training to mere permission for the manufacturer and sale of a product.

2. Supplier of materials and parts : Supplier of materials and parts are often willing to provide a jull range of technical support, information and manufacturing know-how and they can be effective in know-how, and they can be as effective in know-how transfer as in industrial licensing arrangement. The manufacturers of colour TV sets in India are a classic example of this type. The manufacturers did not have formal technology transfer agreement but has an understanding with the foreign suppliers of materials and components regarding technical assistance in production.

3. Equipment supplier : A variety of technological services are provided by equipment suppliers, including operational and maintenance procedures and even processing know-how (Typical in chemical industry). Some technologies are machine based and therefore the know how is transferred along with supply of plan t and equipment.

4. Outright purchases eg of turnkey plants or of complete manufacturing and operational specification drawing know how, performance data and technical assistance.

5. Acquisition of the company or business owning the technology

6. Joint ventures with the technology owners

7. Franchising of trademarks and technical, management and marketing know-how.

8. Combination of variations of any of the above.

Transfer capability and motivation of enterprises supplying the industrial technology have an important bearing upon the effectiveness and efficiency of technology transfer. The competence of the transfer agents, including their ability to design an easily transferable technology package, is an important factor. The supplier enterprises and its transfer package represents a combination of documentation, training and technical assistance. Motivation of technology supplier depends largely on the transfer mode and potential return the supplier hopes to realise from an effective and efficient transplant.

Technology transfer of mushroom spawn production as done by ’Eco-care & Aware’ :

Eco-care & Aware is a not for profit support service organisation providing training, support, service / consultancy and agro-allied technical support to development sector. Support service includes project planning and formulation of development project, technical support during implementation, monitoring and evaluation, training and capacity building, study and research, micro planning and PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal). The organisation also provides agro-allied technology transfer support so as to boost rural and urban livelihood towards wealth creation to the society as a whole. One such agro-allied technical transfer support as provided is the technology of mushroom spawn production.

Unlike agriculture, mushroom seed / spawn production involves sophisticated technology with high investment requiring laboratory and equipments with accessories. The major constraint in the mushroom production is the non-availability of spawn. The technology of spawn production technology as transferred by ‘Eco-care & Aware’ is through the route of equipment supplier and training. It supplies the necessary equipments and other accessories required as well as provided training for 15 days for one complete cycle of production at laboratory site of recipient. So it can be a form of total manufacturing and operational technology transfer including equipment as required.

To popularise this technology the organisation uses the latest web base awareness and publicity medium. It has created one webpage- describing its technology, services and the cost norms of transfer.

For universal awareness it uses the Google contextual and search engine ad media so that people can know that a law cost spawn production technology is available in the nearby including the training and know-how transfer for the same.

This webpage also detailed its objective, requirements and equipments and accessories that are required for setting up on cost effective spawn production unit.

Merit of this route of technology transfer:

1. Equipments along with know-how transfer facilitates the recipient organisations, institutions or individuals for better serving its production or business purpose.

2. Quick dissemination of spawn technology help in easy availability of mushroom spawn facilitating the poor farmers to produce mushroom to earn their livelihood.

3. Web based publicity technology made this technology available for the recipients within the figure tip search in the Internet search- Google, yahoo etc.


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