ARTICLE IN PRESS
Technology in Society XX (2003) XXX–XXX
International technology transfer and
distribution of technology capabilities: the case
of railway development in Indonesia
Kartiko Putranto ∗, Don Stewart, Graham Moore
International Technologies Centre (IDTC), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia
Technology capabilities include various abilities from project planning to learning. In developing countries, technology transfer is often carried out in order to enhance the local technology capabilities. Through a case study of railway technology transfer to Indonesia, this article endeavours to provide empirical evidence that these capabilities are distributed among local institutions. This distribution is actually a way for developing countries to acquire a complex technological system by combining their various local resources. Since newer technologies tend to be more complex, in the future, more than just accumulating capabilities through technology transfer, the transferees will achieve more by learning in a systemic environment. 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Indonesia; Railway; Technology capability; Technology transfer
This paper relates international technology transfer to the development of local technology capabilities. Stages in technology transfer are identiﬁed. A particular stress is put on the importance of a feedback stage. Furthermore, based on the literature, types of technology capabilities are linked to each stage. In the literature, technology capabilities have been discussed at three levels: ﬁrm level, industrial branch level, and national level . The capabilities discussed in this paper are not at a national level (e.g. [2,3]) nor they are conﬁned at a ﬁrm level (e.g. [4,5]). This study ∗
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E-mail address: email@example.com (K. Putranto).
0160-791X/03/$ - see front matter 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/S0160-791X(02)00035-0
ARTICLE IN PRESS
K. Putranto et al. / Technology in Society XX (2003) XXX–XXX
focuses on a branch/ﬁeld level. However, this study does not consider the ﬁeld as being composed by industries with similar business (e.g. ). The remarkable point that the authors seek to highlight is a ﬁeld composed by several actors, with different backgrounds, in which their interactions are essential.
The problem put forward in this paper is when the capabilities needed to master a particular ﬁeld are distributed among several actors. This is a consequence of the limited resources in developing countries. However, this can be regarded as an opportunity to create a synergy among the local resources. This problem is addressed through a case study of railway development in Indonesia, in particular through technology transfer of electric railcars for urban rail transport in Jakarta. Railway transportation has a long history in Indonesia. The ﬁrst railroad in Indonesia was opened in 1868 in Java, during the period of Dutch colonization. By the 1940s the railway network had spread throughout Java and some parts of Sumatera island. The total route length was about 6000 km, most of which still remains today. After independence in 1945, the railway operation came under Indonesian administration. Due to political instability in the country, the state railway struggled to survive for over 20 years. In the mid 1970s, the government decided to revitalize the railway network. This policy was backed up by the establishment of a rolling stock industry, PT.INKA, in 1981. The government’s aim was to transform this industry from a workshop to a full-scale rolling stock industry through technology transfer. The government played a direct role in the transfer processes. The complexities of the products and the limited...
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