TechBiz Strategy

Technology Strategy

Technology Selection


Evaluating and Selecting Technology

By: United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)



Innovation Strategy

Technology Assessment

Technology Acquisition


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This module suggests methods for evaluating technologies.  These methods will enable countries to select appropriate technology, considering the technical, commercial and economic factors prevalent in the country where it will be employed.  While the objective of technology transfer is to transmit advantages to its acquirer or licensee, transferring technology can involve serious risks.  The terms  “transport” and “transplantation” of technology appear often in this module to underscore the feasibility of successfully transferring the technical attributes of a technology which make it excellent and competitive – especially to developing countries.  For example, it may or may not be feasible to transport automation, which may be viewed as a technical attribute, to a country where industry is characterized by a relatively low level of technological complexity.


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The term “technology” has many connotations.  In this module it connotes industrial technologies, i.e. the technical means employed for producing established commercial goods.  Technology can be a package of various kinds of information (general, specialized or proprietary) coupled with the technical, managerial and craft skills embodied in an individual Team Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book.  Depending on the intended product’s nature and capacity, the package can be simple or complex. 

Viewed differently, technology  is a combination  of invention, scientific discovery and principles, data accumulation and experience in constructing, using and servicing  equipment and machinery. Good technology is configured to obtain a desired commercial result economically, conveniently and safely  and to ensure its maintainability.  It may be  supported by patents, trade marks, copyrights or proprietary  data and information (intellectual property rights), which enhance its commercial value. 

Acquiring technology bypasses the rigorous trial-and-error process and yields immediate, significant rewards for the buyer.



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By and large, industrial technologies belong to one, or a combination, of the following five categories :

  1. Technologies for the production of goods, measured, or classes of goods, of near identical design  or properties, whose output is in volumetric units.    Technologies oriented to the manufacture/production of ores, implements and tools, glass sheets, cement, caustic soda, vegetable oils, pharmaceuticals, machinery (e.g. lathes), or components of machines  and appliances typify this category.  The production operation itself may involve mining, extraction, fabrication, assembly formulation, physical transformation or chemical conversion (process).

  2. Technologies that enhance the properties, features or qualities of a product to create a commercially relevant advantage such as cost, convenience, performance or safety.  Examples of product improvements include “free-flowing” salt, the twin blade shaving razor, cocoa butter  substitutes for making chocolates and encapsulation of pharmaceuticals.

  3. Technologies that produce one or more special effects, e.g. Hot and cold rolling steel; anodizing, galvanizing or electroplating metals; texturizing yarn; waterproofing, fireproofing and dyeing fabrics; fumigating and detoxifying grain, tubers or feeds; sterilizing and pasteurizing dairy or other processed food products.  The product   may be produced in-house, be a bought item, or it may be contracted out to a third party with expertise in the specific conditioning process.

  4. Technologies that modify a production process or contract equipment manufacturer system to bring about some advantage or leverage.  Examples include: improving operating or public safety by eliminating pollutants in products and processes,  removing  phosphates in detergents and cleaning up automobile exhaust gases.  Such technologies can also comprise the automation, computerization or robotization of processes and mechanical sequences to improve a particular feature.  (these technologies  do not always have a microeconomic significance but can enhance the image of the technology).

  5. Technologies for the “production”  of technical services, eg   product/process design and engineering, computer software development and modeling and productivity enhancement techniques.

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Since developing countries tend to be interested in technologies in the first three  categories, which can stimulate entrepreneurship or economic development, this module focuses on the analysis and evaluation of those types.  >>  Next




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