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BE/U4 Topic 4 Transfer of Technology, Time Lags in Technology Introduction

Technology Transfer, also called transfer of technology (TOT), is the process of transferring (disseminating) technology from the places and in groups of its origination to wider distribution among more people and places. It occurs along various axes: among universities, from universities to businesses, from large businesses to smaller ones, from governments to businesses, across borders, both formally and informally, and both openly and surreptitiously. Often it occurs by concerted effort to share skills, knowledge, technologies, methods of manufacturing, samples of manufacturing, and facilities among governments or universities and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users who can then further develop and exploit the technology into new products, processes, applications, materials, or services. It is closely related to (and may arguably be considered a subset of) knowledge transfer. Horizontal transfer is the movement of technologies from one area to another. At present transfer of technology (TOT) is primarily horizontal. Vertical transfer occurs when technologies are moved from applied research centers to research and development departments.

Whereas technology transfer can involve the dissemination of highly complex technology from capital-intensive origins to low-capital recipients (and can involve aspects of dependency and fragility of systems), it also can involve appropriate technology, not necessarily high-tech or expensive, that is better disseminated, yielding robustness and independence of systems.

Time Lags in Technology Introduction

There has been considerable time lag between countries in respect of introduction or absorption of technologies.

  • In India the TV arrived very late. Although the color TV had become quite common in advanced countries. Even when the TV arrived and the telecast started, initially there was only black and white telecast.
  • Even the cable TV came to India only by about the beginning of 1990s. The late introduction and slow expansion (even today) affected not only TV business but also the advertising industry and product promotion.
  • The time lags in introduction of technologies may even result in some products not being able to reap the market.
  • Another e.g., the electronic typewriter had become known to Indians before it could penetrate the market. It could not achieve the growth because of the advent of the computer.
  • Because of this time lag in the advent of latest technology in India, many advance countries have considered us as a market for their obsolete technology. we even import second hand plant and machinery which is outdated machinery for the developed countries.
  • Advancement in the technology of food processing, packaging and preservation, transportation etc have facilitated product improvement and marketability of the product.
  • In the USA, it is researched that nearly 90% of the households are using microwave for preparing their evening meal and the latest microwaves will take hardly 15 minutes for preparing evening meal. In terms of packaging there is a tremendous move to microwave containers which offers the consumers the option of using the package as both the cooking and serving vessel.
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