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FROM CONVENTIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE TO TECHNOLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE CAPABILITIES: A NEW ALTERNATIVE FOR HARNESSING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Shem O Wandiga Centre for Science and Technology Innovation (A UNESCO Associated Centre) Utalii House, Utalii Street, Room 802
FROM CONVENTIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE TO TECHNOLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE CAPABILITIES: A NEW ALTERNATIVE FOR HARNESSING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Shem O Wandiga Centre for Science and Technology Innovation (A UNESCO Associated Centre) Utalii House, Utalii Street, Room 802 P.O. Box 42792-00100, Nairobi, Kenya E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
PRREQUISITES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF CONTINOUS LEARNING PROCESS ARE: • Establishment of a strong science, technology and innovation policy with forward and backward linkages • Reliance on and use of indigenous resources • Formulation of national innovation systems • Clustering of institutions and organizations to maximize co-operation between private sector, universities and research institutions and government • Establishment of legal and institutional framework laws and regulations which are essential for business investments • Provision of incentives, loans, investments and guarantees that will attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and private sector participation and • Restructuring of how government does business so that there is strong government leadership through policy formulation and operations without strong government command and obey practices.
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES DEPEND ON NATURAL RESOURCES,TOURISM,SERVICES AND RAW MATERIALS FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH • EDUCATION SYSTEM, RESEARCH DIRECTED AT MEETING NEEDS OF ECONOMIC DRIVERS • DECLINE IN ECONOMIC GROWTH NECESSITATES CHANGE TO COMPETE IN KNOWLEDGE LED ECONOMY • EMPHASIS SHOULD BE PLACED IN INVESTMENTS THAT WILL IMPROVE THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGICAL LEARNING PROCESS • REDUCE RELIANCE ON EXTERNAL RESOURCES FOR BASIC SCIENCES IMPROVEMENT. YOUR COMPETITOR CANNOT BE RELIED UPON TO DEVELOP YOUR CHALLENGING PRODUCT TO THE ONE SOLD TO YOU • DEVELOP NEW NICHE FOR TRADE
Making Development Programs and Objectives Choices: • USE INFRASTUCTURE AS A BASIS FOR TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT • USE ALL RESOURCES AVAILABLE IN THE COUNTRY • INFRASTRUCTURE IS NORMALLY CONSIDERED A NON-STATIC PROCESS THAT SERVES WELL DEFINED NEEDS THROUGH KNOWN METHODS WITHIN EXISTING MARKETS • A NEW CONCEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE INVOLVES IDENTIFICATION OF NEW SOLUTIONS AND CAPABILITIES WITHIN A NEW DIFFERENTIATED AND SPECIFIC MARKETS INTENDED FOR VARIED APPLICATIONS
TECHNOLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE-THE BUILDING BLOCK FOR SERVICES • LOCAL INDUSTRIES • POVERTY REDUCTION • QUALITY ENVIRONMENT • DEMOCRACY • SOCIAL COHESION TANGABLE CAPABILITIES INCLUDE • INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION • TRANSPORT SYSTEMS • PUBLIC UTILITIES • PUBLIC WORKS • RESEARCH AND EDUCATION FACILITIES • SPORTING AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES
INTANGABLE CAPABILITIES INCLUDE: • INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT POLICY • LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK LAWS AND REGULATIONS • LIBERAL INVESTMENT INCENTIVES • NETWORK OF KNOWLEDGE PRODUCING INSTITUTIONS • TECHNOLOGY INCUBATION CENTERS • DATA CENTERS AND INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION NETWORKS • PRODUCT TESTING FACILITIES • SECTORAL INNOVATION CENTERS • STANDARDS SETTING ORGANIZATIONS ALL THE ABOVE ESSENTIAL AND CRITICAL FOR VIABLE RESEARCH, ACADEMIC AND BUSINESS OPERATIONS
TECHNOLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE NURISHES SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LEARNING • SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY GOALS ARE ENHANCED AND IMPROVED BY GOALS SET FOR TECHNOLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE • PRIVATE SECTOR BUSINESS BENEFITS FROM BASIC SCIENCES KNOWLEDGE GENERATED AT UNIVERSITIES • IMPROVED INFRASTRUCTURE IS GOOD FOR DEVELOPMENT BUT AT PRESENT IS BOUGHT AT HIGH COST FROM FOREIGN SOURCES • ACQUISITION OF NEW SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CAN BE FACILITATED THROUGH USE OF INFRASTRUCTURE • GOVEERNMENTS, PRIVATE SECTOR AND ACADEMIA NEED TO WORK TOGETHER TO CREATE AND DIFFUSE NEW KNOWLEDGE USING INFRASTRUCTRE.
TECHNOLOGICAL INFRSTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT NECESSITATES FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES IN APPROACHES OF UNIVERSITIES, PRIVATE SECTOR AND GOVERNMENT • UNIVERSITIES TO RESHAPE THEIR CURRICULA • CHANGE SCHEMES OF SERVICE • MODIFY PEDAGOGY • SHIFT LOCATION • CREATE WIDER INSTITUTIONAL ECOLOGYPRESENTLY MISSING IN DEVELOPMENT PROCESS • PRIVATE SECTOR NEEDS TO SPEND PART OF THEIR PROFITS IN LOCAL RESEARCH • PRIVATE SECTOR TO SUPPORT LOCAL UNIVERSITIES AND RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS IN DOING PROBLEM ORIENTED RESEARCH • GOVERNMENTS TO NEGOTIATE CONTRACTS FOR TECHNOLOGICAL IFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT TO INCLUDE LOCAL EXPERTISE IN IMPLEMENTATION
BUILDING STRONG NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM REQUIRE • PRESENCE OF ACTIVE INTERACTION AND CO-OPERATION BETWEEN THE TRIOKA (UNIVERSITIES,PRIVATE SECTOR AND GOVERNMENT) • UTILIZATION OF IDEAS BY MANY PLAYERS • PROVISION OF TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE INCENTIVES • ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR FREE THINKING, EXPERIMENTATION AND RISK TAKING • CO-ORDINATION OF VARIOUS PLAYERS IN THE NNOVATION PROCESS
EXAMPLES OF TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT INFRASTRUCTURES- Example 1: Development of ICT Center • The center will accommodate and co-ordinate all clusters of firms in information and communication technology sector. It will establish an industrial and technological policy incorporating strategic ICT infrastructure development into a domestic technological capability. It will provide liberal investment incentives, favorable legal and institutional arrangements that are attractive to FDI and private sector investment. Its planning shall include provision of high quality infrastructures that link it to its markets; establishment of research institutes, technology (parks) incubation centers and data centers, and technical universities. • Sporting and recreational facilities and other amenities necessary for the support of modern life shall be included in the center. In addition the center shall have product testing facilities, sectoral technology center and standards organization. • Through contract negotiation a suitable multinational corporation that is willing to desegregate and transfer technology and organizational components to local companies could be selected. Similarly, technology packaging and sales shall be negotiated with the technology provider before the project implementation. Design and planning of the project should be handled by local companies.
Example 2: Development of new Railways Transport Infrastructures • The project should incorporate local companies with foundry capacities, private mechanical companies, universities and research institutes, and government. It shall select through contract negotiation a suitable multinational corporation that is willing to desegregate and transfer technology and organizational components to local companies. Design, planning and materials testing shall be done by local institutions with advice and supervision from the technology provider. Local and international training of staff shall be undertaken by local firms and institutions and at technology provider institutions/organizations. There shall be established organizational and institutional arrangements for the services and maintenance of products. The local universities and research institutions shall undertake advancement in communications and data processing technologies that will yield Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for more efficient traffic management. • The government should establish a technological development policy for the railways transport and infrastructures development. Through such policy there shall be provided incentives and amenities attractive enough for foreign direct investment and local private sector participation. Within the project there shall be institutions and organizations that will provide product assessment and quality assurance.
Example 3: Road Transport Infrastructures Development • The government shall establish road transport infrastructure development as a technological development policy. The policy shall enhance co-operation between construction industry sub-sector, universities, research institutes, government and other stakeholders. Through a negotiated contract, a technology provider shall decompose and desegregate the project into exploration and planning, design, roads materials testing and construction of three quarters of the project road by local firms under supervision of technology provider. The remainder of the undeveloped road shall be done by the technology provider. There shall be established legal and institutional frameworks for managerial and maintenance services. A negotiated technology packages shall allow the local firms to export the technology to an agreed destinations. Capacity building shall be undertaken at local universities and research institutes. • Participation in technological infrastructure development projects shall build confidence in academia, political policy makers and the general public as demonstrated by quality product outputs. Students will improve their research capability through hands on practice or development of useable products. National innovation system will be improved and knowledge shall be owned locally. Other added advantages include not only quality national infrastructure whose maintenance is affordable but also export of such technologies at a cost to markets in the region or outside the region.
Example 4: Solution for a National Problem • Every developing country has a pressing national problem that needs science and technology for finding solution. These problems range from agricultural pests to diseases. • It is conceivable that a nation may wish to marshal its scientific forces by challenging them to find a solution to a problem. • The challenge posed to the scientific and technological community will ensure that the talents available in a country are used. It also implies that facilities are made available to the scientists to help solve a challenge. • Often, such facilities are available within a country and all that is needed is a policy direction and a willingness to share such facilities. • In my mind the challenges facing African societies range from outbreak of diseases like malaria, cholera, HIV/AIDS to pests like desert locusts and other related crop pests. • It may also include the development of a petroleum-based chemical industry, development of quality machine tools, new materials for communication and/ or power transmission, and solar energy cells. • The developing countries need to explore some of these challenges if science and technology is to take root and meaning in society.