What is it about?

This article focuses on the transferor‐transferee relationship in the context of technology transfer collaborative projects between developed and developing countries. The case of the Algerian small satellite industry has been used as an empirical study. The study assesses whether technology transfer effectiveness or ‘learning’ is mutually understood by the two key transferor and transferee actors. It identifies a potential schism when transferor motives are often economic (business-oriented) whilst transferee motives are non-economic, aiming to learn and develop local capabilities for national developmental objectives. The study reveals that this initial non-alignment of objectives led to the adoption of a transfer mechanism where learning is not the main thrust. The principal finding extrapolated from this research is that this inadequacy is rooted in the fact that Algerians had not clearly dissociated the objective of ‘satellite technological learning’ from that of ‘satellite applications’. Recommendations for future research include the need to clearly prioritize the objective of ‘technological learning’ to avoid confusion as to the transfer mechanisms to adopt.

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Why is it important?

This study is important because of the methodological approach adopted. The methodological approach aims to assess the objective of ‘learning’ through the joint management mechanism adopted by both the transferee and the transferor. The project cycle V model is used to frame the evaluation of the mutual understanding of ‘learning’ from the perspective of both the transferor and transferee. Traditionally, the project cycle captures three congruent aspects of the project, namely, the business, the budget, and technical aspects. However, it should not be used as a generic tool. It should be customised (or tailored) according to the project’s strategic objectives and the tactical approaches adopted for achieving those objectives. As the strategic objective under evaluation in the study is ‘learning’, the V model is tailored accordingly. The evaluation reveals that learning has not been the main thrust of the transfer mechanism, due to the management tools adopted by algerians and the difficulties they faced in translating generic strategic objectives into goals aligned with the technology transfer projects conducted.

Perspectives

In technology transfer projects between developed and developing countries, transferor motives are often economic (business-oriented) whilst transferee motives are non-economic, aiming to learn and develop local capabilities for national developmental objectives. This initial non-alignment of objectives led to the adoption of a transfer mechanism where learning is not the main thrust. This is why the transferees in developing countries have to clearly prioritise the objective of ‘technological learning’ and adopt appropriate transfer mechanisms.

Ahmed AYAD
Agence Spatiale Algerienne

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This page is a summary of: Evaluation of ‘learning’ as a main thrust in transferor‐transferee relationships: Small satellite technology transfer collaborative projects between developed and developing countries ‐ The case of Algeria, International Journal of Technology Management and Sustainable Development, June 2021, Intellect, DOI: 10.1386/tmsd_00037_1.
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