The following communication, dated 24 September 2015, from the delegation of Australia is being circulated pursuant to paragraph 1 of the Decision on the Implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement (IP/C/28).
1. Australia is committed to implementing Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. Australia is also committed to sharing information with other WTO Members about incentives and support it offers enterprises and institutions to promote and encourage technology transfer to least developed countries (LDCs).
2. This is a full report in respect of Article 66.2 which builds upon annual update reports provided in 2012 (IP/C/W/580/Add.2), 2013 (IP/C/W/594/Add.7) and 2014 (IP/C/W/602). It is submitted in accordance with the TRIPS Council's decision of 20 February 2003 on implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement (IP/C/28). Consistent with that decision, developed country Members are to provide annual reports on actions taken or planned in pursuance of their Article 66.2 commitments. The report focuses on incentives that are either targeted specifically at LDCs or at a group of countries which includes an LDC.
3. In this report technology transfer is taken to include training, education and the dissemination of knowledge, as well as the intellectual property embedded in transferred goods and services and the dissemination of business information and know-how on which a product, process or service is based.
4. This report focuses on Australia's efforts to help LDCs create the conditions essential to encourage technology transfer to them. Technical cooperation in favour of least developed and developing countries to facilitate the TRIPS Agreement's implementation is another discrete obligation, on which Australia reports separately. Australia recognises that some technical cooperation activities may help to create an environment conducive to the creation or acquisition of technologies.
5. In Australia, many incentives for technology transfer take the form of official development assistance. These incentives align with Australia's strategic focus on using aid as a catalyst to promote economic growth and poverty reduction, including through a strong emphasis on aid for trade. Since 2012, Australia's Aid for Trade Program has provided funding to the Australia-WIPO Funds in Trust to assist technology and knowledge transfer to LDCs and developing countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
6. Enterprises and institutions eligible for funding to deliver projects and activities to facilitate technology transfer include government agencies and public institutions, non-government organisations, independent consultants and experts, and universities and research organisations.
7. Australian aid has been untied since 2006, allowing non-Australian organisations to bid for contracts to supply goods and services under bilateral and multilateral development assistance programs. Untied aid is the best way to ensure activities represent value for money, are cost-effective and use the best globally available expertise, thereby achieving the best development results. Consistent with this, Australia's aid-funded incentives for technology transfer are not exclusive to Australian institutions and enterprises.
8. Australia recognises that LDC Members are interested in the outcomes and outputs of Members' activities with a technology transfer dimension. This report's annex includes specific examples of relevant programmes and projects in the format suggested by LDCs (IP/C/W/561).