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Technology Transfer Challenges

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Victor Jimenez

University of Phoenix

Jessica Keyes, Course Facilitator

June, 2008


This research paper explores the intricacies of technology, training and education as related to economic development. We will examine the usage of technology to generate economic development and growth and look at how technology can and has impacted our education, training and development both in Jamaica and the Caribbean region.


Technology is a word with origins in the Greek word technologia (П„ОµÐŸ‡ÐžÐ...ОÑ--О»ÐžÑ--ОÑ-ОЇО±), techno (П„О­ÐŸ‡ÐžÐ...О*) "craft" and logia (О»ÐžÑ--ОÑ-ОЇО±) "saying." It is a broad term dealing with the use and knowledge of humanity's tools and crafts.

Categorically speaking technology is the process by which humans modify nature and the environment to meet their needs and wants. Most people, however, think of technology in terms of its artifacts: computers and software, aircraft, pesticides, water-treatment plants, birth-control pills, and microwave ovens, to name a few. But it is more than these tangible products; it is the technical means people use to improve their surroundings.

In this the Knowledge Era the focus is usually on employment, industrial productivity, increased standard of living/enhanced lifestyle, etc. The following is an example of advances in technology within the Caribbean.

Technology transfer to the Caribbean

Technology transfer has traditionally involved the transfer of tools and methodologies developed in industrialized nations for use in poorer developing countries. It is important to recognize the differences between developing countries and industrialized nations because differences in social and economic conditions between the two types of countries may warrant alternative approaches both to analysis and to implementation of solutions.

The Product

In 2005, Americas Region Caribbean Optical-Ring System ("ARCOS") is an undersea broadband fiber-optic cable network which supports the Flow Network, was introduced to Jamaica. Flow provides Digital Cable, Landline and High Speed Internet to several Caribbean countries bringing exposure to the outside world through Cable TV; and mass communication through the telephone and internet.

Technology is critical to Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean region for many reasons. First and foremost, technology generates sustainable economic expansion. That is, creating high-wage jobs, world-class exports and productivity growth that is very critical to our long-term global competitiveness. Technology also helps to improve our quality of life... from new drugs and cures that help people live longer and healthier lives, to agricultural advances that permit mass harvests with less herbicides and pesticides. Advances in technology are vital to our efforts to protect our country as also the region, hardening our infrastructure, detecting dangers and empowering our defense forces. This era of technology also holds extraordinary promise for the future of our educational system(s).

Technology can also be used to expand a region’s knowledge base, as also to

invite reinforcing cycles of innovation and investment. In that, innovators are often times attracted to regions that offer opportunities to pursue cutting edge research, to start-up commercial ventures and obtain funding to take products from lab to market.

Fig. 1

Microsoft’s Technology Inclusion Centre

Fig. 1 - Internet Provides enhanced ICT learning opportunities for Latin American communication between some key Caribbean member states.

Technology Transfer Pros and Cons

Some experts say a transfer is successful only when it becomes a profitable product or process, while others claim a transfer is successful when the technology is at least reviewed for possible use by another person or organization.

A great deal of technology is never commercialized due to (1) lack of financing; (2) management failures; or (3) unanticipated obstacles in the timing of the introduction, such as a shift in the economy, changed market conditions, or the sudden appearance of a competing technology.

Jamaica has incentive programs for foreign investors. The incentives are typically granted to companies that earn foreign exchange, use Jamaican raw materials, create employment opportunities, or introduce new technology. Forms of incentives provided by the government would include Tax incentives, which include tax holidays and duty-free entry of raw materials and capital goods for approved incentives periods. Tax holidays are also extended to business locating in less developed regions.

Modifications to Underlying Technology

Some inventions represent a radical breakthrough in science or technology, which extends the boundaries of human knowledge. Legal protection can sometimes be granted to an invention by way of a patent.

It is important to have this difference clearly outlined because technology may have little economic value, if at all. In order to monetize technology it is necessary to transform it into innovation, and such transformation is possible once we find a target customer, application or market.

Jamaica’s Political, Consumer, and Business Environments

It is very important for emerging Caribbean leaders to recognize the potential of technology in economic development and generate new ideas for socio-economic issues that affect the Caribbean.

At a conference attended by Prime Minister Patrick Manning of Trinidad & Tobago in Boston, he predicts economic growth for Caribbean nations. His plan is to make the island (Trinidad &



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