The contents include “knowledge, skills, and means to use and control the elements of production for the purpose of developing, delivering to users, and maintaining goods and services for which there is an economic and (or) social needs.” According to Alkhafaji, technology transfer can imply three different meanings:
i. It can be used to indicate the process whereby technical information originating in one institutional setting is adapted for use in another institutional setting.
ii. It can refer to moving something from one person to another.
iii. It can specifically indicate that technology has been transmitted, received, and applied.
The articulation of the concept of technology transfer is about four decades old. But now it is of importance to both the developed and developing countries as it has proved to be crucial to the processes of industrial growth and global integration.
Countries that fail to keep up with global technology often collapse, unable to maintain a given standard of living, much less to increase it. Technology transfer normally refers to transfer from advanced economies to developing or industrializing countries, but it may take place among the industrializing countries also.
The process of technology transfer is quite complex. Modes available are many and actors to participate may also be many. In terms of phases, they may be as under in a chronological sequence:
1. Material Transfer (transfer of new product or new material)
2. Design Transfer (to enable manufacture new product / material in host country)
3. Capacity transfer (transfer of capacity to adapt technology to local conditions)
In terms of players involved in transfer it may be:
i. Point-to-Point (single donor and single recipient)
ii. Diffusion (many recipients)