New approach for tech transfer and diffusion

UDP is piloting a new approach to analyse low-carbon technology transfer, in support of long-term climate goals and sustainable development

May 27, 2019

By James Haselip, UNEP DTU Partnership

UNEP DTU Partnership is piloting a new analytical approach to investigate the processes of technology transfer and diffusion, converting this into actionable recommendations, in close partnership with government and private sector actors.

The Technology, Markets and Investment for Low Carbon and Climate Resilient Development (TEMARIN) project draws upon insights gathered from UNEP DTU’s research in the areas of climate technologies and systems innovation.

TEMARIN will operate in Kenya and Uganda, and run until the end of 2021, building on the Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) work, which has been completed or is underway in both countries.

What’s it all about?

The uptake and diffusion of new or innovative technologies is a known driver of economic growth and development. In addition, large-scale uptake and diffusion of climate technologies is necessary to achieve the long-term temperature and adaptation goals of the Paris Agreement, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

A key conclusion of most TNAs is the existence of unexploited markets for climate technologies, which also deliver other social, economic and local environmental co-benefits. However, it is clear that a market-driven transfer and diffusion of technologies does not occur automatically, or in a vacuum; the process requires State and donor-backed interventions that deliver capacity building and technical assistance, to build strong partnerships with financial providers that can facilitate the sale and purchase of new technologies, once the economic incentives to do so are clear and stable.

In order to secure investment in low-carbon and climate resilient development, functioning markets must exist. Where these markets do not exist they must be created and where they are weak or nascent they must be strengthened and expanded. Achieving that requires both supply-push and demand-pull actions, involving leadership from Governments in the form of clear policies, legal frameworks, incentives and regulations.

However, such ‘enabling frameworks’ for investment often require targeted support from Development Partners, in the form of financial and technical assistance, and by actively connecting private business leaders with Government-led and donor-backed forums, to communicate and help ‘de-risk’ new commercial opportunities.

Since 2010 UNEP DTU Partnership has provided technical assistance to more than 60 counties implementing TNAs which go some of the way to creating or strengthening the markets. However, more targeted work is needed. The TEMARIN project fills this need by providing a deeper understanding, in partnership with relevant in-country actors, of the specific market and regulatory conditions, and converting this into actionable recommendations.

So what will TEMARIN do?

The aim of TEMARIN is two-fold: 1) to strengthen national Technology Action Plans for climate change and spur new technology transfer and diffusion partnerships and 2) to support local access to and upgrading in clean energy value chains.

The project thus aims to help accelerate technology transfer and diffusion as well as to ensure that local economies reap the benefits from these investments.

Specifically, TEMARIN will:

  • Conduct in-depth analysis of the mechanisms for market creation, including the role and importance of global partnerships for technology transfer and diffusion. These analytical insights will be converted into recommendations, fed into decision making processes (to affect the enabling framework) and used to facilitate new partnerships.
  • Understand how local private companies can increase their share of the global value chain for specific climate technologies – and support them in doing so – in order to maximise local job creation and reduce investment project costs. Recommendations regarding these opportunities will be fed into both public and private sector decision making processes.

As part of the TEMARIN project activities, UNEP DTU will pursue collaboration opportunities with other international agencies and donors to apply this analytical approach to other countries, including those currently completing their TNAs. If you’re interested to discuss how your country or organisation can get involved, please contact Mathilde Brix Pedersen (

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Mathilde Brix Pedersen

Senior Researcher

Phone: +45 45 33 52 93