You are here

Shashank Mittal asked: What is technology transfer and with which all countries have India engaged in this regard?

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • Amit Cowshish replies: Transfer of Technology (ToT) is the process by which the know-how underlying the development of a product, or any activity associated with its development, production or maintenance, is passed on by the original equipment manufacturer to another entity on mutually acceptable terms, largely financial.

    Generally, ToT involves the physical conveyance of drawings, designs, data, software codes, technical documents, and materials. It also encompasses technical assistance to facilitate absorption of the transferred technology by the recipient through training, skill development, and other forms of 'handholding'.

    Depending on the scope, range and depth of the transferred technology that is conveyed, the recipient may acquire the 'Build to Print' or 'Built to Specs' (also referred to as 'Build to Design') capability.

    The term 'Build to Print' denotes the acquisition of the 'know-how' capability by the recipient to assemble or manufacture the original product or its components as per the technology provider's instructions. Typically, all licensed production is based on the transfer of 'Build to Print' technology.

    The term 'Build to Specs' (Specifications) refers to the transfer of the 'know-why' aspects of technology that goes into the making of a product from scratch according to specifications provided by the customer. The recipient acquires proficiency in making use of this technology not only to replicate the original product but also to modify it, and to develop new prototypes with the help of the attained knowledge.

    In other words, with the Build to Print technology, the recipient only acquires the 'know-how' of the manufacturing processes to make that product, with or without minor modifications, which are originally manufactured by the technology provider. But, with the Build to Specs technology, the recipient acquires the 'know-why' or overall knowledge which enables it to use the transferred technology to manufacture products that can and at times vary from the original product.

    Over several decades Indian public and private sector defence vendors have engaged with manufacturers from several countries like Russia, France, Israel, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States of America (USA), to acquire technology to build equipment for use by its military.

    Posted on 18 May 2022

    Views expressed are of the expert and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Manohar Parrikar IDSA or the Government of India.