Channels of Technology Transfer-1

Technology is intangible. It flows easily across boundaries of countries, industries, departments, or individuals, provided that the channels of flow are established. There are three types of channels that allow the flow of technology. 

General Channels

The technology transfer is done unintentionally and may proceed without the continued involvement of the source. Information is made available in the public domain with limited or no restrictions on its use. This information is harnessed by users and applied to their purposes. Channels of this type of transfer include education, training, publications, conferences, study missions, and exchange of visits. 

Reverse Engineering Channel

Other channels in which the transfer occurs with no active contribution from the source include reverse engineering. Here a host, or a traditional receiver of a technology, is capable of breaking the code of a technology and developing the capability to duplicate it in some fashion. This is feasible provided that the host has the knowledge to do this and there is no legal violation of intellectual property rights. For example, a product that is put on the market by company A can be purchased by company B, reverse-engineered, and introduced to the market as a competitor to company A’s product. This is a powerful method for technology transfer. Its limitation is its inability to transfer the developer’s tacit knowledge. Such knowledge is usually gained during the product development process.


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