Technology transfer, coupled with the formation of knowledge, has long been an objective targeted by development policies. Issues related to climate and environmental transitions have reinforced the perception of the importance of technology transfer from the North to the South as a means to clean development. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol is the main tool of climate finance. Implemented in 2005, it aims to orchestrate this transfer of clean technologies. Criticized for its ineffectiveness, its mitigated success is above all a reminder of a truth that has been known for a long time: the technological absorption capacities of territories are more important than the technologies themselves. A strategy of development through technological diffusion cannot therefore ignore the support given to local economies and their enterprises – the support for the development of the market and probably also the support for the development of intellectual property regimes that underpin knowledge transfer to developing economies.
These last two points are necessary to articulate a healthy relationship between international technology-providing companies and local recipient companies and in build a framework that aids in appropriating, adapting and disseminating them … a necessary condition for the success of “technological seeding”.
Our recommendations are based on a logic spontaneously implemented by the countries that have been most effective in capturing the CDM “manna”: China, India and Brazil have been able to orchestrate their markets and, through generous offers in kind, to free themselves from the stakes blocking intellectual property elsewhere.