This paper presents an operational definition of technology transfer, to be applied in studies of technology transfer in projects under the Kyoto Protocolâ€™s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Although the CDM has never been given an explicit mandate for transferring technologies, its contribution in this respect has both been hoped for and exacted. The discussions of technology transfer in CDM projects are however blurred by widely varying conceptions of what technology transfer is.
Quantitative studies of technology transfer in the CDM therefore need a clearer definition of technology transfer, and one that can be made operational. On the basis of discussions of the CDM and of technology, the present paper establishes such a definition through four main criteria, and applies it to a small set of CDM projects in order to test its operational quality.