The United Nations is running an Asia-Pacific technology transfer program that puts necessary capabilities in the hands of developing countries while improving international relations in the region. Efforts assist large and small states to harness the potential of technology to create a better future for their citizens.
Established in 1977 and headquartered in New Dehli, the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) is one of five regional institutions of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP). The center creates an enabling environment to assist the commission’s members by strengthening their capabilities to develop and manage national innovation systems; develop, transfer, adapt and apply technology; improve the terms of transfer of technology; and identify and promote the development and transfer of technologies relevant to the region. A total of 53 member states and nine associate members make up UN ESCAP and are part of the center. “The role for technology innovation in the Asia-Pacific region is quite enormous,” Michael Williamson, head of the APCTT, explains. Applications include the deterrence of climate change, food security, energy, sanitation and clean water. “For all of these challenges, we need new and innovative technologies,” Williamson says.
In 2013, the center developed a strategic plan with three main goals: science, technology and innovation (STI); technology transfer; and technology intelligence. The APCTT assists member countries by strengthening those fields, including by cooperating with small and medium enterprises that can help. The organization is not a technology hub but a resource to help countries manage the technology transfer process.