338. The EU thanks the delegations of Chad and the Group of Least Developed Countries for having submitted this communication on a new proposal for a template for annual reporting under Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement.
339. The EU and its Members take their commitment under Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement very seriously and annually provide a detailed update on their respective technology transfer programmes. The EU and its Members provided proof of having promptly and attentively reacted to natural, social, health, climate and economic changes by implementing projects specifically tailored to the current needs of LDCs and their regional organisations.
340. The EU has always supported efforts to simplify the reporting process and to synchronise the reports in order to guarantee their user-friendliness and broad accessibility by LDCs. The EU and its Members have been using the previous template provided by LDCs from the moment it was officially submitted to the TRIPS Council by the LDC Group. Motivated by the aim of improving the reporting process even further, in 2019, the EU started using the e-TRIPS Portal developed and promoted by the WTO Secretariat.
341. As Members will know, the e-TRIPS Portal guarantees the full harmonisation of the reports as well as accessibility and searchability for LDCs and others. The EU intends to continue using the eTRIPS Portal, also for the preparation of its next submission in 2020.
342. As for the new proposed template from the LDC Group, the EU is open to engage constructively in the discussion on the use of the new template and the consequent adaptation of the e-TRIPS Portal where it helps promote objectives such as accessibility and searchability. We would like to make a couple of comments regarding the proposed template.
343. Technology transfer refers to the ways and means through which companies, individuals and organisations acquire technology or know-how from third parties, irrespective of whether such technology is IPR-protected or not.
344. More often than not, technology transfer is just one component of a more complex project, rather than a stand-alone activity. The acquisition by LDCs of a sound and viable technological base does not depend solely on the provision of technology or equipment, but also on acquisition of know-how, management and production skills, improved access to knowledge sources as well as on adaptation to prevailing local economic conditions.
345. Therefore, factors such as training and education of university graduates, exchanges of qualified staff, and joint research projects must accompany the buying or licensing of IP rights related to the transferred technology. Relevant literature tells us that the mere transfer of technology - without the training of local employees - does not enable the recipients to achieve the internalisation of the technology provided and to reduce the technology gap as compared with developed country Members. Accordingly, several projects implemented by the European Union and its Members are aimed at providing such training and education.
346. It also warrants highlighting that the EU actions usually target groups of countries or regions. The reason is that the EU strongly supports regional integration. That is why our technology transfer projects sometimes target regions including both LDCs and also other developing countries.
347. The EU proposes that any discussion on revised or new template takes these issues duly into account. The EU stands ready to discuss the matter further.