Transfer of Technology
“It’s not that we use technology, we live technology” – Godfrey Reggio
We use technology in our everyday quick paced lives in order to facilitate our daily interactions in all fields. The ever growing and evolving technology is transferrable to give everyone access to its use. In this article we aim at tackling various points and shed light on the transfer of technology in Egypt and its effects on developing projects.
As our world grows more into a global village, one cannot deny that its universal culture was cultivated due to our ever-growing attachment and development in all fields of technology. When we compare people’s basic daily use of equipment or exposure to sources or items associated with the tech world 20 years ago to today, the leap is immeasurable. The speeds in which we have come to improve, acquire, and disperse the “know-how” and knowledge behind technology is incalculable, and only getting faster and more efficient.
The transfer of technology (TOT), is a process that is not only the transferring of skills, knowledge, licensing, trade and various methods of invention, industrialization and production of both data and products, but also a platform that gives access to an extensive range of users (both in the technological or scientific fields) allowing them to penetrate, develop and utilize the technology to either, on one hand, further their products or studies, or on the other hand, help them initiate the development of innovative applications, products or materials.
Synonymous to the transfer of information or knowledge, TOT is done through conferences or research journals. It can be transferred both vertically and horizontally, meaning it can be transferred from scientific or research centers to various research and development (R&D) departments in various industries or it can be transferred from one field or industry into another.
Egypt is becoming a growing tech hub in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and it is all due to conferences such as RiseUp Summit Egypt, which is an annual conference in Cairo that acts as a platform for startup and the entrepreneurial communities worldwide to come together to network and share ideas. From gamers, lawyers, real estate developers and Facebook executives, RiseUp brings together people from various industries who are all interested in the same thing, innovation, and that is not conceivable without TOT.
Such summits become a bridge between industries and nations, allowing for countries like Egypt (classified as an emerging economy) to become exposed to the new concepts and scientific developments across the various fields associated with technology. Moreover, as the speed of innovation accelerates, so does the volume of knowledge that becomes distributed. With that being said, it is the duty of the Law to give these bright minds the legitimate right to their ideas, and the knowledge they have thirsted upon our universal culture.
Basically, technology is transferred from developed societies to other societies that need to develop themselves in various fields including the economic, social, technological and others fields. The developing countries are in need of technology, not only not only in the form of state of the art machines and equipment, but also they need the know-how that would enable them to make use of the foreign expertise, to boost their production, achieve optimum usage of its resources whether in manufacturing, consumption or other assorted fields.
Given that these are human activities and transactions, they must be organized and legitimized by law. In Egypt, on the commencement of the actual TOT activities, the relevant contracts were subject the general rules of law. However, as the need for more specific rules of law was quite manifested by acceleration of the TOT activities, the Egyptian legislator has deemed it fit, for the first time in the history of the Egyptian legislation, to introduce regulations organizing TOT, which has been provided for under articles 72 – 87 of the Commercial Law No. 17 /1999. The aim of this legislation was to match the conflicting interests of the different parties of the TOT contracts, preserving the interests of our society on the one hand without prejudice to the lawful interests of the technology providers. The aim of the legislation organizing the TOT contracts should in no way prevent the technology providers from coming into the Egyptian market, buy at the same time, it should warrant that the Egyptian importer would actually acquire and understand this technology in such a manner that it would become a tool to develop the economy and maximize its capabilities to compete in the of International Trade Markets.
For that reason, the Legislator have set a condition that the Governing Law for the TOT contracts and any dispute arising thereof would be the EGYPTIAN LAW and under the Egyptian Courts jurisdiction. In view of the trend to arbitrate commercial disputes to arbitration, the Egyptian legislator allowed the Parties to resort to arbitration provided that it would be held in Egypt. Any agreement to the contrary of the said rules shall be considered null and void, notwithstanding the contractual parties’ agreement to the contrary.
Having noted the rapid development of the technology and the price of the new tech drastically fluctuates over the time, the legislator allowed the contractual parties to freely determine the duration of the agreement, to request its termination or to improve its conditions no less than five years from the conclusion of the agreement. This may be repeated every five years bearing in mind that the parties to the contract may agree to a different period than this five years period.
Technology Transfer Projects In Egypt:
Egypt is one of the developing countries, which remains in need of technology transfer to become part of the industrial world, and the main areas where technology transfer agreements are presently concluded are the fast growing energy sector, the automotive industries as well as other heavy industries.
Given that Egypt is aiming to enhance its infrastructure in securing a clean energy resource to create more attractive business environment and provide various kind of energy for investors, recently Egypt and the Russian Federation reached an agreement on transferring technology as concerns EL-Dabaa Nuclear power plant. Egypt has decided to enter into this agreement to possess the know-how of this sort of technology from a country that owns the know-how of this kind of technology.
We hope that this kind of mega and high tech projects will be the beginning of a series of similar projects in the different fields of industry, communications, energy, gas and oil and will enable the smooth transfer of technology into Egypt and from Egypt to less developed countries.