John H. Barton
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
Issue Paper No. 18, 2007

This paper describes how technology is today transferred to developing countries and the barriers that affect that transfer. It then identifies policy approaches that might overcome those barriers. It covers (1) the flow of human resources, as through international education, (2) the flow of publicsector technology support, as through research and licensing by international organizations, and (3) the flow of private technology, as through the sale of consumer products (e.g. medicines) that may incorporate embodied technologies through licensing, and through foreign direct investment. After an introduction, the paper looks at these three areas in turn. It concentrates on policy approaches directly associated with technology transfer, thus avoiding issues of the overall investment, legal or political climate in specific developing nations.