Climatic Change

, Volume 131, Issue 3, pp 401–415 | Cite as

Collaborative research and development (R&D) for climate technology transfer and uptake in developing countries: towards a needs driven approach

  • David Ockwell
  • Ambuj Sagar
  • Heleen de Coninck


While international cooperation to facilitate the transfer and uptake of climate technologies in developing countries is an ongoing part of climate policy conversations, international collaborative R&D has received comparatively little attention. Collaborative R&D, however, could be a potentially important contributor to facilitating the transfer and uptake of climate technologies in developing countries. But the complexities of international collaborative R&D options and their distributional consequences have been given little attention to date. This paper develops a systematic approach to informing future empirical research and policy analysis on this topic. Building on insights from relevant literature and analysis of empirical data based on a sample of existing international climate technology R&D initiatives, three contributions are made. First, the paper analyses the coverage of existing collaborative R&D efforts in relation to climate technologies, highlighting some important concerns, such as a lack of coverage of lower-income countries or adaptation technologies. Second, it provides a starting point for further systematic research and policy thinking via the development of a taxonomic approach for analysing collaborative designs. Finally, it matches characteristics of R&D collaborations against developing countries’ climate technology needs to provide policymakers with guidance on how to Configure R&D collaborations to meet these needs.


Climate Policy Climate Change Adaptation Climate Change Mitigation Adaptation Technology Climate Technology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Supplementary material

10584_2014_1123_MOESM1_ESM.doc (139 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 139 kb)


  1. Bazilian M et al (2008) Considering technology within the UN climate change negotiations. ECN-E--08-077, ECN, Petten, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  2. Bell M (2009) Innovation capabilities and directions of development, STEPS Working Paper 33, STEPS Centre, BrightonGoogle Scholar
  3. Coninck HC, de Fischer C, Newell R, Ueno T (2008) International technology-oriented agreements to address climate change. Energy Policy 36:335–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. EGTT (2009) Recommendations on future financing options for enhancing the development, deployment, diffusion and transfer of technologies under the Convention. FCCC/SB/2009/2, UNFCCC Expert Group on TT, BonnGoogle Scholar
  5. Forsyth T (2007) Promoting the “Development Dividend” of climate TT: can cross-sector partnerships help? World Dev 35(10):1684–1698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gagnon-Lebrun F (2004) International energy technology collaborations and climate change mitigation. Case Study 2: Cooperation in Agriculture: R&D on High-Yielding Crop Varieties, OECD Environment Directorate and International Energy Agency, ParisGoogle Scholar
  7. Grübler A, Nakićenović N, Victor DG (1999) Dynamics of energy technologies and global change. Energy Policy 27(5):247–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hagedoorn J, Link AN, Vonortas NS (2000) Research partnerships. Res Policy 29(4–5):567–586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. IEA (2012a) Energy technology perspectives. IEA, ParisGoogle Scholar
  10. IEA (2012b) World energy outlook 2012. IEA, ParisCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. IPCC (2000) Methodological and technological issues in TT. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Lim SS et al (2012) A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 380(9859):2224–2260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mazzucato M (2011) The entrepreneurial state. DEMOS, LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. Mowery DC, Nelson RR, Martin BR (2010) Technology policy and global warming: why new policy models are needed (or why putting new wine in old bottles won’t work). Res Policy 39:1011–1023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ockwell DG, Mallett A (eds) (2012) Low carbon TT: from rhetoric to reality. Routledge, AbingdonGoogle Scholar
  16. Ockwell DG, Watson J, MacKerron G, Pal P, Yamin F (2008) Key policy considerations for facilitating low carbon TT to developing countries. Energy Policy 36:4104–4115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ockwell DG, Haum R, Mallett A, Watson J (2010) Intellectual property rights and low carbon TT: conflicting discourses of diffusion and development. Glob Environ Chang 20:729–738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Prahalad CK (2004) The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. Wharton School Publishing, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  19. Sagar A (2009) Technology development and transfer to meet climate and developmental challenges, background note for UNDESA Background Paper for Delhi High Level Conference New Delhi, India, 22–23 October 2009Google Scholar
  20. Sagar A (2010) Climate innovation centres: a new way to foster climate technologies in the developing world? An infoDev publication in collaboration with UNIDO and DFID available at:
  21. Schmidt TS, Born R, Schneider M (2012) Assessing the costs of photovoltaic and wind power in six developing countries. Nat Clim Chang 2:548–555Google Scholar
  22. TEC (2013) Information note. Summary report of the thematic dialogue on research, development and demonstration of environmentally sound technologies. Document TEC/2013/7/8Google Scholar
  23. UNFCCC (2011) Ad hoc working group on long-term cooperative action under the convention. FCCC/AWGLCA/2011/L.4Google Scholar
  24. Venkataraman C, Sagar AD, Habib G, Lam N, Smith KR (2010) The Indian National Initiative for Advanced Biomass Cookstoves: the benefits of clean combustion. Energy Sustain Dev 14(2):63–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wang Y, Vanhaverbeke W, Roijakkers N (2012) Exploring the impact of open innovation on national systems of innovation—a theoretical analysis. Technol Forecast Soc Chang 79:419–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Ockwell
    • 1
  • Ambuj Sagar
    • 2
  • Heleen de Coninck
    • 3
  1. 1.University of SussexBrightonUK
  2. 2.Indian Institute for TechnologyDelhiIndia
  3. 3.Radboud University NijmegenNijmegenNetherlands

Personalised recommendations