Friday, June 30, 2006

"Technology Business Incubation"

By Rustam Lalkaka, UNESCO, 2006.

This UNESCO Toolkit on Innovation in Engineering Science and Technology is intended to guide sponsors, researchers, educators and corporate and government planner in exploring the incubation option, and then in establishing and operating a successful Technology Business Incubation programme.

Innovation and new technologies can have an impact at all levels -- from commercializing R&D in hi-tech sectors to fining solutions such as improved water pumps and cooking stoves at the grass-roots level in developing countries. To maximize this potential, strong linkages must connect innovation, knowledge production and the diffusion of knowledge.

A Technology Business Incubator (TBI) is a facility providing nurturing services to selected start-up and entrepreneurial groups in early-stage technology-related ventures, to help them scale-up laboratory research results, or their own innovations and to develop viable businesses.

The Toolkit begins by explaining what a technology business incubator is, followed by detailed chapters on planning, implementing and operating an incubator. Using concrete examples and practical information, it outline the process of set-up; from the initial feasibility study and business plan; through choosing a location, planning the layout and finding sponsors; to selecting managers and tenants and monitoring incubator performance. It is published in the Science and Technology Development Series.

For more information contact: Tony Marjoram or UNESCO Publishing.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

"The Fundamental Role of Science and Technology in International Development: An Imperative for the U.S. Agency for International Development"

The Fundamental Role of Science and Technology in International Development: An Imperative for the U.S. Agency for International Development

The paper copy of this book has just been published. The online version has been available for some time. I suspect the report is must reading for those in the United States interested in science and technology for international development. The book does not deal with UNESCO explicitly, but UNESCO is the lead agency in the UN system for basic science and engineering, as well as social science and some fields of applied science.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

U.S. Participation in UNESCO Deliberations

Read the full article, "Damage Control." By Barbara Crossette in the current edition of Foreign Policy. (Subscription required.)

In an article generally critical of U.S. Representative to the United Nations John Bolton and U.S. Ambassador to the Economic and Social Council Richard “Terry” Miller, Barbara Crossette makes the following comment:
At the United Nations, with 191 nations and foreign policies, compromise is inevitable. The trick is to know when to quit debating and cut a deal.

Take the case of UNESCO, the United Nations’ social and cultural arm. Fed up with its anti-American bias, the United States withdrew from the organization in 1984. After winning some important reforms, the United States returned to unesco in 2003. First lady Laura Bush was even dispatched to Paris to mark the American return to the fold. Yet by the fall of 2005, Bolton’s team was embroiled in a nasty fight over a draft Cultural Diversity Convention. Let’s be clear: The convention was clumsily written and contained provisions that were a transparent attempt to protect the French entertainment industry from competition. The way the United States (often represented by Terry Miller) went about opposing it, however, was disastrous. Almost all U.S. amendments were voted down unanimously; in retaliation, Bolton’s team voted against the agency’s budget. “Japan was particularly troubled and outspoken in opposition,” reports former U.S. diplomat Ray Wanner. “It is difficult to understand how this vote served the national interest.”

Bolton almost always has a solid rationale for the arguments he makes. But having U.S. representatives bravely charging up well-defended diplomatic hills only to be mowed down is not good strategy, particularly when it irritates critical allies. Your office needs to do a better job of making him choose his battles.

Barbara Crossette was United Nations bureau chief for the New York Times from 1994 to 2001. She is now a consulting editor at the United Nations Association of the United States.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Announcing the new Americans for UNESCO Website

Americans for UNESCO (AU) has just remounted its website on the Internet. We hope to make it a useful source for Americans interested in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. At the moment it has information on the AU itself, and links to some useful website at UNESCO and the State Department.

Lien / Link: 60th Anniversary Issue

Emily Vargas-Baron writes:

Dear Friends,

I wish to inform you that in the current issue of "Link," Bulletin No. 96 of the Association of Former UNESCO Staff Members, there are several valuable sections: a wonderful article on Andre (plus a fine picture of him), an insightful article on AU written by Andre, and a touching article by Michel Debeauvais on Phil Coombs.

I think Andre's article will be most helpful in informing UNESCO colleagues (both current and former) about AU and its support for expanding collaboration with UNESCO.