Aid-Financed Mechanisms for Technology Development

June 30, 2020


This paper outlines the broad rationale for approaches beyond patents to support the development of technologies specifically useful to developing countries and the role for aid-funded approaches within that. It outlines some of the mechanisms that can be used and summarizes their strengths and weaknesses. The exercise suggests the need for an ecosystem of support mechanisms, and a concluding section asks how the United Kingdom’s official development assistance (ODA) for R&D could better support such an ecosystem. The UK government has committed to establishing a new institution to fund non-ODA R&D, modelled on the Advanced Research Projects Agency. We talk about how a similar model would work for development-orientated research, and what amendments may need to be made to ensure ODA-funded R&D reaches its potential.

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