Report by Developed Country Members on the implementation of TRIPS Art. 66.2 (re. Technology Transfer to LDCs) - View details of the document



  1. Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement requires "developed country Members to provide incentives to enterprises and institutions in their territories for the purpose of promoting and encouraging technology transfer to least developed countries in order to enable them to create a sound and viable technological base". The present note provides an overview of the relevant facilities provided by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund).
  2. Least developed countries are eligible for Norad and Norfund incentive schemes along with other developing countries.


  1. Norad is a directorate under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is responsible for quality-assurance of Norwegian development cooperation. Norad also administers several grant programmes for specific purposes, among them is private sector development. Norad provides incentives for technology transfer to least developed countries (LDCs) through its facilities for pre‑investment support, strategic partnerships, the Oil for Development programme and the Fish for Development programme. Many other NORAD programmes supported by Norad also include elements of technology transfer.
  2. The facilities for pre-investment support are application-based and untied. The main users are Norwegian enterprises. The schemes are open for all kinds of technology transfer, but priority is given to investments in renewable energy, agriculture (particularly climate-resilient agriculture in Africa), information and communication technologies (ICT) as well as the marine and maritime sectors. Technical assistance is the main mode of technology transfer but the schemes also include investments in basic infrastructure. The financing facilities are fully utilized every year.
  3. The purpose of the Norad facilities for pre-investment support is to encourage firms to invest in developing countries and LDCs. The support schemes intend to pave the way for long-term commercially viable investments through financial support for risk-reducing measures and/or measures that promote the sustainability and feasibility of private investment projects. The facilities promote cooperation, including cooperation relating to transfer of technology, through the support of feasibility studies for establishing joint ventures or foreign subsidiaries, training in order to strengthen the local staff and management of joint ventures or companies that are owned wholly or partially by one or more foreign companies, investments in basic environmental infrastructure and basic infrastructure (road, water/sanitation, electricity and telecommunication). The additionality of Norad's support to individual companies has been in helping direct investment towards countries and regions where companies would not necessarily have invested otherwise, due to lack of contact to facilitate implementation and risk, among other reasons. Supported projects are usually completed between one to three years. Disbursements to LDCs for this facility in 2020 are listed in Table 1. The Norad facilities for pre-investment support have a special window for renewable energy investments, also listed in Table 1.
  4. Within Norad's support to Renewable Energy the aim is to increase access to renewable energy in developing countries. Norad's support to renewable energy focuses on areas where Norway has a special expertise to offer and mobilizes private capital and competence in areas such as hydropower, solar, wind and bioenergy. One example is support to a five year scholarship-program on hydropower at the Norwegian Technical University - NTNU. This programme is highly valued by private sector, as the programme educates hydropower engineers, and contributes to highly qualified local workforce in partner countries.
  5. Norad has also introduced an instrument called strategic partnerships. The grant scheme aims to stimulate to a business climate that promotes private sector development in developing countries, including strategic partnerships with private enterprises and non-commercial organisations. Private enterprises and non-commercial organisations that jointly address specific framework impediments in value chains in developing countries are particularly prioritized, but vocational training is also a focus area. The facility is application-based and untied. Private enterprises could in 2020, for the first time be the lead applicant for the proposal. In the most recent application round, projects in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda were granted support. The sectors prioritised for technology transfer are agriculture and agro-processing, information and communication technology (ICT), and fish and marine resources. The supported projects are multi-year, usually between three and five years. Disbursements to LDCs for this facility in 2020 are listed in Table 2.
  6. The Norwegian Oil for Development Programme (OfD) aims at assisting developing countries and LDCs, upon their request, in their efforts to manage petroleum resources in a way that generates economic growth and promotes welfare of the whole population in an environmentally sustainable way. The Oil for Development Programme is engaged in a number of other initiatives, either directly or via other donors and implementing partners. Disbursements to LDCs for this facility in 2020 are listed in Table 3. The supported projects are multi-year, usually between three and five years. In September 2021, the Government of Norway made a decision to phase out the OfD programme within 2024, in order to give priority to greener development projects.
  7. Within Norwegian development cooperation in fisheries and aquaculture one aim is to introduce appropriate technology and systems, and over time ensure that these are operated as intended. Norway has supported the Nansen Programme for more than 40 years. One central element in the programme is the research vessel "Dr. Fridtjof Nansen". The programme aims at gathering information about the marine resources and environment, and support developing countries and LDCs in utilizing these data for improved management of their marine resources.
  8. Since 1990 the programme has mainly been operating in the coastal states of Africa, including LDCs like Angola, Benin, Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mozambique, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. The programme has also over the years conducted three surveys in Myanmar. Scientists and managers take part in the planning and operation of the surveys, as well as post-survey work. The participants learn about instruments and techniques to measure the size and composition of fish stocks as well as identification of other organisms in the ocean. Physical parameters of the marine environment are measured continuously. The results are analysed and formulated as basis for management decisions. With time series that are developed, information can be achieved about changes and trends in the marine environment and its resources. The data collected are the property of the country in question. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) manages the programme. The Institute of Marine Research in Norway provides scientific expertise.

3  Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (NORFUND)

About Norfund

  1. The purpose of Norfund is to contribute to building sustainable commercial businesses in developing countries by providing risk capital and expertise. Norfund contributes to economic development and sustainable jobs in poor countries through the development of profitable enterprises, particularly within the fields of clean energy, the financial sector and agribusiness, coupled with transfer of knowledge and technology.
  2. Norfund's main priority investment region is Sub-Saharan Africa. We also invest in selected countries in South-East Asia and Central America. Norfund has a local presence with offices and staff in all the main geographic areas. We aim for that at least 33% of our portfolio should be in least developed countries and 50% in Sub-Saharan Africa as these are areas with a particular shortage of capital and expertise. Of new commitments in 2020, the LDC share was 31%, which amounts to NOK 1.5 billion. Of the total portfolio, our commitment in LDCs is 39%, well above our target of 33%.
  3. Norfund concentrate our investments in clean energy, agribusiness and manufacturing, green infrastructure and financial institutions. These are sectors with high developmental returns and where Norfund's prerequisites for mobilising expertise of international quality are good. Assistance from Norfund is untied and does not have to be in cooperation with Norwegian enterprises.
  4. Norfund provides capital in the form of equity and debt. Preference is given to equity investments because in most developing countries equity is the scarcest type of capital that enterprises need. Our direct ownership enables us to be an influential investor and have direct impact on company governance. As an equity investor, we have a long-term perspective on our investments. Technology and competence transfers are an integral part of Norfund's investment activities, both regarding operational and industrial management, as well as health, safety and environmental issues. The development of these elements is core to the organization's mission.
  5. Norfund exercises active ownership in the companies and funds it invests in and it often requires seats on the investees' boards or other decision-making bodies. This gives Norfund proximity to operations and the possibility of influencing practices and standards over time. Given an ownership horizon of four-ten years, Norfund works for the creation of a corporate culture that is engaged in continuous improvement of corporate governance, and environmental and social standards. Action plans are sometimes used to stake out a long-term course for how companies should shift from operating according to local standards to using international standards.
  6. Norfund also has a special business development and support scheme, the Business Support, which is financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to support sustainable investments. The Business Support was established in 2000 based on a mutual recognition by the MFA, Norad and Norfund of the need for technical and professional assistance in relation to investment in the private sector in developing countries. The grants contribute to strengthening the developmental impacts of Norfund's investment activities. In 2019 Norfund disbursed NOK 14 million to 38 projects, which of 13 were exclusively in LDCs. Digitisation is one of the priorities in the Business Support strategies, and in 2020 we have seen an increase in applications focusing on digitisation after the COVID-19 outbreak.

Investments in agribusiness and manufacturing

  1. Within the agribusiness and manufacturing sector, Norfund disbursed around NOK 754 million in 2020 to our directs investments in investees' operations in least developed countries. Overview of Norfund's investments in food and agribusiness with disbursements in LDC's in 2020 are shown in table 4.

Investments in clean energy

  1. Within the field of clean energy, Norfund has several investments involving transfer of state‑of‑the-art technologies to developing countries. NOK 251 million were disbursed to investees within clean energy in LDCs in 2020. Clean energy investments with disbursements to LDCs in 2020 are listed in table 5.

Investments in financial institutions

  1. Financial inclusion is critical to support growth and job creation. When investing in banks, microfinance providers, and other financial institutions Norfund focuses on locally owned financial institutions with good growth potential that are suited to creating and delivering valuable services. Close to NOK 635 million were disbursed to our direct investments in LDCs within the financial sector in 2020. Overview of Norfund's equity investments in the financial sector with disbursements in LDCs in 2020 is shown in table 6.
  2. In addition to direct investments, Norfund also invests in funds that focus on small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs are important for local value creation and employment, but are generally too small and too diverse for Norfund to invest in directly. By investing through local and regional funds, Norfund can reach enterprises that often have trouble getting finance from formal banks.
  3. Tables 1-6 are contained in Annex 1 to this report.
# Name of programme or project Beneficiary Members(s) Category of technology  
There are currently no items in the database