Leveraging Different Approaches to Technology Transfer and Uptake

About This Opportunity

Leveraging different approaches to technology transfer allows countries to carefully consider how NDC implementation will be achieved and. Importantly, where additional support is needed. For instance, where existing available routes to technology transfer fall short of what is required. This can help unlock international support by ensuring it is clear where other approaches to technology transfer have already been explored or exhausted. This, in turn, supports implementation by ensuring all possible options have been utilized to their full potential.

The following strategies could help to implement this Opportunity:

Developing South-South and triangular cooperation approaches: 

Technology transfer can result from international cooperation approaches between developing countries, as well as between developed and developing countries. South-South and triangular cooperation arrangements (UNFCCC) provide a good example, enabling the transfer of peer-to-peer learnings and technologies from one developing country to another. The majority of these arrangements have focused on climate adaptation technologies in the agriculture and water sectors, with added benefits including the transfer of indigenous knowledge, being gender-responsive, and enhancing endogenous capacities. The UNFCCC offers a range of resources available on South-South and triangular cooperation.

Developing Cooperative Technology Partnerships:

This example of international cooperation approach involves several countries agreeing to cooperate closely on the transfer of specific technologies to enable the scaling of a technology opportunity for transfer. For instance, options for transferring agriculture sector technologies could see several developing countries that share the same geographical characteristics collaborating with international organizations to present a more compelling investment opportunity for grant funding and co-financing. The investments result in a wider transfer of technology than would have been possible if the technology needed only came from one country.

Scaling technology transfer:

In cases where multiple countries share a similar climate, or environmental monitoring technologies, or share the same geographical features such as a flood basin, there exists an opportunity to collaborate and scale. This might include activities like sharing and scaling renewable energy technologies. An additional approach  involves direct engagement with international fora that already exist, such as the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN). The CTCN promotes the accelerated transfer of environmentally sound technologies for low-carbon and climate-resilient development at the request of developing countries. The UNFCCC has a range of resources available on South-South and triangular cooperation.

Incentivizing the development of “Technology Hubs”:

Technology hubs are specifically designed to bring policymakers together with academia, start-ups, and financiers to incentivize the development of technologies and their subsequent deployment and transfer. Such technology hubs and innovation centers are designed to combine the latest knowledge from the academic sector with the latest entrepreneurial ideas, whilst partnering with financial organizations to facilitate the availability of finance to scale entrepreneurial technologies. Similarly, “virtual tech hubs” mitigate any location-based barriers by fostering engagement through an online hub. The Regional Collaboration Center for East and South Africa (RCC EAS Africa) is an exemplar set up by the Greenovation project and implemented by United Nations University (UNU-VIE) and a consortium of partners. For further information refer to the “Blueprint for Setting Virtual Tech Hubs Services to Support Innovators and Entrepreneurs in the Green Sector.”

Leveraging global/regional technology roadmaps:

Utilizing available global/regional technology roadmaps and relevant technology publications and online repositories by global institutions/ UN entities to inform the selection of technologies. Harnessing the latest opportunities available in any regional technology roadmaps can act to leverage additional technology transfer beyond conventional means. This can include “digital roadmaps” designed to catalyze regional green growth through the rollout of digital infrastructure and technologies. Examples can include improving digital connectivity for citizens, business and public services, improving the coverage of mobile phone connectivity as well as the provision of internet technologies. (“Background paper on Technology Roadmaps, UNFCCC”).

Leveraging private sector opportunities:

This strategy is discussed under “Route: Mobilizes All-of-Government and All-of-Society” and “Route: Unlocks Finance.”

Country Examples

The Philippines has undertaken a comprehensive approach to technology transfer. Through partnering with the USA’s Cooperative Technology Partnership (CTP), the Philippines engaged in the transfer of technology and knowledge to support the mitigation of GHG emissions, adaptation to climate change, and address its national development priorities. The CTP priority for the Philippines has prioritized the development of renewable energy infrastructure in rural locations, to support economic development and alleviate poverty. The CTP, spearheaded by the Philippine Government’s Department of Energy, in collaboration with other national ministries and international partners, researched and recommended policy reforms to facilitate private sector investment in clean energy technologies, before streamlining the national accreditation process for renewables, such as removing the thermal energy requirement for cogeneration facilities, using new and renewable energy, and eliminating the requirement for a power purchase agreement for new and renewable electricity generation projects. These initiatives allowed for more private sector participation and investment in renewable energy development resulting in lower costs for renewable energy products and services, particularly in small-grid areas. The resulting projects included the transfer and development of solar-power water pump technology for use in the agriculture sector, by ensuring that agricultural subsidies allowed such pumps to compete on an equal basis with diesel-powered systems, and the identification of isolated and island electricity grids with the greatest potential for renewable energy development. (Source: “Methods for Climate Change Technology Transfer Needs Assessments and Implementing Activities: Developing and Transition Country Approaches and Experiences,” UNFCCC).

Kenya’s Climate Innovation Centre offers incubation, capacity-building   and financing options to new businesses that are developing innovations to address the challenges of climate change. It provides holistic and country-driven support to accelerate the development, deployment and transfer of locally relevant climate technologies. Its two flagship programs, the “Incubation program” and “Green-tech acceleration program” aim to provide an enabling environment for the bottom-up creation of climate technologies that can both be developed in Kenya and scaled to leverage transfer opportunities to neighboring regions. The KIC also hosts Investment Summits, designed to enable the ground-breaking climate technology ideas of entrepreneurs to flourish and for investors to opportunities that align profit with purpose. (Source: “Kenya Climate Innovation Centre”).

Further Resources

The following guidance and tools can provide further support for understanding and leveraging different technology transfer approaches for NDCs.

UNFCCC South-South And Triangular Cooperation Resources (UNFCCC, UNOSSC) The Technology Executive Committee acknowledges the key role that South-South and triangular cooperation can play in combating climate change, and has produced various resources, including:

TEC Brief 9: South-South and Triangular Cooperation (UNFCCC, 2017)
This brief outlines the significance and potential of South-South and triangular cooperation in advancing climate technology transfer and implementation. It underscores the unique opportunities presented by these collaborative approaches, particularly in fostering knowledge exchange, capacity-building, and innovation diffusion among developing countries. By leveraging shared experiences, resources, and expertise, South-South and triangular cooperation mechanisms offer scalable and tailored solutions to address climate challenges, enhance resilience, and promote sustainable development across regions.

Potential of South-South and Triangular Cooperation on Climate Technologies for Advancing Implementation of NDCs and NAPs (UNFCCC, 2018)
The potential of South-South and triangular cooperation on climate technologies for advancing the implementation of NDCs and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) is highlighted in this brief. It emphasizes the role of collaborative efforts among developing countries in facilitating technology transfer, knowledge sharing, and  capacity-building to support the fulfilment of climate commitments. By harnessing the collective expertise and resources of partner countries, South-South and triangular cooperation mechanisms offer scalable and context-specific solutions to accelerate progress toward NDC and NAP goals, enhancing resilience, and promoting sustainable development in vulnerable regions.

Compilation of Good Practices (UNFCCC, 2017)
This document provides insights into successful strategies for sharing knowledge and promoting practical learning on climate adaptation technologies. It highlights the role of collaborative efforts among developing countries in facilitating technology transfer,  capacity-building, and innovation diffusion to address climate change challenges. By documenting and sharing examples of effective practices, the compilation aims to inspire and inform efforts to enhance resilience and promote sustainable development through South-South and triangular cooperation mechanisms.

UN Climate Technology Centre & Network – Technical Assistance (UNEP)
The UN Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN) has been set up to connect countries to climate solutions. The CTCN provides technical assistance in response to requests submitted by developing countries via their nationally selected Focal Points, or National Designated Entities (NDEs). Upon receipt of such requests, the Centre mobilizes its global Network of climate technology experts to design and deliver a customized solution tailored to local needs.

How This Links to Other Routes

These cooperative approaches have some specific linkages to other Routes. Navigate to these to read more:

Route: Aligned to the Paris Agreement Temperature Goal

The use of global/regional technology roadmaps can ensure that targeted technologies are aligned with the economic transitions required to meet the Paris Agreement temperature goal.

Route: Unlocks Finance

Leveraging private sector opportunities for technology transfer can help unlock finance for climate action.

Route: Mobilizes All-Of-Government and All-Of-Society

Approaches such as technology hubs can bring together a range of stakeholders, including government ministries/departments, sector stakeholders, and academia.

Route: Aligned to Paris Agreement Global Goal on Adaptation

South-South cooperation for technology transfer can help to scale up climate adaptation efforts, with added benefits including the transfer of indigenous knowledge, being gender responsive, and enhancing endogenous capacities.

Additional Opportunities

The following Opportunities are a non-exhaustive set of options for enhancing identification and support needs for NDC and wider climate change processes in countries.

Identification of financial needs is also highly relevant to this Route, but is discussed in greater detail under Route: Unlocks Finance.

Support Opportunities

Support is available to countries to apply the learning from the navigator and develop ambitious NDCs 3.0.

Share Additional Resources

Contribute new guidance, tools and strategies to be reflected in the NDC 3.0.