Background readings

Immigrant Knowledge Networks

Date: 24 septembre 2006 - Imprimer cette page
Rudi Robinson of the Canadian North-South Institute at Ottawa studies immigrant knowledge networks as potentially non-market vehicles for technology transfer, innovation and capability building in developing countries

Most models of technology transfer emphasize market transactions in FDI, trade, joint venture, and technology licensing as the vehicles for effective transfer of technology from developed to developing countries. Given that technology producers and suppliers make technology transfer decisions that give them a competitive edge in the global market place, non-market vehicles such as social networks (which are ’open’ channels as opposed to ’closed’ conduits) do not play as prominent a role in these models as market vehicles. Yet, many developing countries have complained for years that while market vehicles may be adequate for the transfer of codified knowledge, they are inadequate for the transfer of the tacit knowledge needed to complement advances in codified knowledge, and consequently, needed for their technological and industrial progress. Through a strategy of dynamic brain drain reversal and brain gain circulation, Indian and Chinese immigrant professionals and their knowledge networks are increasingly engaged, with marked success, in the technological and industrial development of their native countries. Dynamic brain drain reversal and brain gain circulation is inspiring policy enthusiasm among several donor agencies and developing countries as a network- embedded technology transfer strategy. Policy enthusiasm outpaces evidence-based research information, however.

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