Keywords: cleaner production, cleaner technology, National Cleaner Production Centres, technology transfer
Technology transfer and the UNIDO/UNEP national cleaner production centres programme
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) jointly initiated the National Cleaner Production Centres (NCPCs) Programme in 1995. As of January 2003, there were 25 Centres. The Centres do not deliver ready-made solutions, but rather they train and advise their clients on how to find the best solutions for specific problems. An evaluation of the first eight Centres found that about 75% of the Cleaner Technology (CT) measures implemented by plants were primarily in the lower order of complexity and investment. The most obvious reasons for this outcome were the need for investment and time to implement more complex changes. Very few of the options included transfer of technology from abroad. The potential for the NCPCs to promote transfer of more complex technologies would have required specialisation in sector-specific technologies, links with suppliers of cross-sectoral cleaner technologies and incremental innovations brought about by partnerships.