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Food for thought paper on a possible Technology Facilitation Mechanism

I have just had a moment to read the 'Food for thought paper on a possible Technology Facilitation Mechanism'. that UN DSD put out last week. I ahve to say i think it is a really good paper and deserves to be read and supported. I have for a long time argued that there is a lot of IP that is publicly owned due to investment in research by government. I believe that should be made available to developing countries.

Over the past twenty years developed countries have argued that IP is owned by private companies and much is but not all though. This papers starts to address how that might be approached and that we need to have a mechanism to share information, knowledge and experience, good practices, lessons learned; enhance coordination and cooperation; support “matchmaking” between technology
supply and needs, including needs for technical assistance.

I have argued that would be best done with putting knowledge banks under the relevant UN Agency or Programme. the paper goes some way towards that in a more flexible way.  It suggests that the UN system have an interagency working group on Science Technology and Innovation for the SDGs which could:

  • Coordinate UN system work for optimal efficiency of delivery and promote technology cooperation.
  • Regularly identify areas of synergy and cooperation and promote partnerships in support of the SDGs

This would be very welcome - the suggestion of an annual (or biennial) forum on science, technology and innovation for the SDGs.is interesting and they suggest that it should:
  • Promote networking among governments, private sector, academics and others active in technology promotion, development and transfer, and build multi-stakeholder partnerships. 
  • Promote discussion of issues related to science and technology policy, innovation financing, technology cooperation and transfer. 
  • Facilitate intergovernmental dialogue on the transfer and diffusion of publicly owned or funded technologies. 
  • Review innovative proposals for STI cooperation and for facilitating technology dissemination and transfer. 
  • Be convened at the UN back-to-back with other international STI related fora/conferences, including the Commission on Science and Technology for Development supported by UNCTAD.
It would be vitial if this were to happen that it was done with the relevant UN Agency or Programme in the lead as they will know who the relevant stakeholders are. It is also important because the goals that will be agreed are universal and so the engagement of all governments is vital not only as a source of IP, technical capacity building but also to ensure that partnerships might develop.

Finally the suggested Coordinated STI capacity building programme is very good a it suggests building around existing programmes of the UN. Could this also be part of a larger capacity building programme around the SDGs - a new Capacity 21 which ran from 1993-2003 - a Capacity Building 2030 which is the UN and the development banks working together?

Anyway good paper well wortha  read.


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