Knowledge Dissemination

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Overview

This distribution model works by sharing plans for technologies or business models with other companies or organizations who then implement on the ground. Some enterprises specialize only in technology development and leave implementation entirely to others. Knowledge sharing can be done freely or with commercial licensing. Some enterprises operate intensively at a local level and spread their impact more broadly by sharing their methods with others.

Pros

Enterprises using this model can specialize in technology development while letting others be responsible for distribution and commercialization. Therefore, enterprises that would have less of an impact if they tried to cover too broad a geographic area can gain wider reach.

Cons

With this model, the impact is less direct and sometimes it is challenging to find funding. It may be difficult to coordinate between businesses and translating knowledge between different cultures and contexts may be challenging. Enterprises trying to focus locally and disseminate lessons more broadly don’t always have the bandwidth to document their approaches.

Case Study

The Center for Rice Husk Energy Technology (CRHET), at the University of Central Luzon in the Philippines, develops rice husk gas stove technology and disseminates the information free of charge, including technology handbooks and fabrication manuals.

CRHET’s method of distribution is to teach others around the world how to build its stove and innovate to improve upon it. CRHET does not sell the stoves itself or claim IP rights to them. To date there are 4 cooperating manufacturers in the Philippines, 3 in Vietnam, 1 in Indonesia, and 1 in Sri Lanka. Several producers of the stoves and gas burners worldwide who were initially assisted by CRHET are now freely producing the technology. Because the plans are freely disseminated, CRHET does not have full knowledge of the other organizations who are developing and producing the stove and gas burner.

Enterprises