Strategic alliances among firms and between firms and R&D institutions blending capital, technology, marketing efforts and raw material resources have become instruments in improving technological capacity-building in the industrialized countries over the past decade.
New technologies such as environmentally sound technologies, biotechnology and new materials development present opportunities for developing countries provided they have access to these technologies and the skills, absorptive capacity and finance to adopt and adapt them. In addition, all countries should establish an adequate regulatory framework to provide effective protection of intellectual property.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.
Agenda 21 recommends that frameworks should be established and/or strengthened at subregional, regional and international levels for the development, transfer and application of environmentally sound technology and corresponding technical know-how, with a special focus on needs of developing countries, by adding such functions to already existing bodies. Such frameworks would facilitate initiatives from both developing and developed countries to stimulate the research, development and transfer of environmentally sound technology, often through partnerships within and among countries and between the scientific and technological community, industry and governments. National capacities to assess, develop, manage and apply new technology should be developed. This will require strengthening existing institutions, training of personnel at all levels, and education of the technology end-user.