Edited by Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle
Chapter 22: Practice driving policy: agbiotech transfer as capacity building
In the twenty-first century, as arable land and water resource availability stagnates or decreases and populations increase, advancing the development of agricultural technologies (agbiotech) will become increasingly important to meet global food security challenges. This chapter addresses the international technology transfer (tech-transfer) of agbiotech to developing countries within the context of an integrated global innovation system comprised of interlinked technology information networks. Since international tech-transfer is highly specialized and iterative, trained local intermediaries (human and institutional) are indispensable innovation accelerators. The efficiency of agbiotech transactions needs to be increased, thereby lowering the costs expended and the time consumed in the tech-transfer process. For example, intellectual property rights (IPRs) are both assets and tools in the transaction process; they are bought, sold, leased and, in some cases, donated for free in the global technology marketplace. Identifying such assets and utilizing them effectively involves highly sophisticated, knowledge-intensive, interdisciplinary activities. The international movement of innovations is hampered by whatever proves to be the weakest link in the tech-transfer system or network (which includes the laws and treaties, owners and financers involved in tech-transfer investment). In the case of agbiotech transfer to developing countries, among the weakest links in the system are inadequate IPR, tech-transfer competence and information access and management capacities.
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