Appropriate Technology is generally recognized as encompassing technological choice and application that is small scale, labor intensive, energy efficient, environmentally sound and locally controlled.[1]

Appropriate technology is most commonly discussed in its relationship to economic development and as an alternative to transfers of capital-intensive technology from industrialized nations to developing countries.[2]

Ecosystem for Impact – The Center for Applied Innovation (CAI) has partnered with several organizations, creating an Ecosystem for Impact. While each member organization provides unique experience, skills, insights and deliverables, it is through collaboration among all Ecosystem members that Invent for Humanity maximizes impact.

The Ecosystem, along with participating Needs Organizations and Technology Providers, creates campaigns. Ecosystem members are classified across three primary channels – licensing, infrastructure, and marketplace.

Campaigns –Invent for Humanity collects and evaluates submissions of Appropriate Technology and Partnering Needs Organizations for placement as Campaigns within the Kopernik online marketplace. Campaigns are funded by individual donors and foundations. Once we receive complete funding for the Campaign, the local needs organization and technology provider work with the Invent for Humanity Ecosystem to develop manufacturing infrastructure, licensing agreements, sustainable enterprise, job creation and local business growth. The Campaign process and status is available on the Invent for Humanity website.

Intellectual Property (IP) – A term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law.[3]  Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types of intellectual property include copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets in some jurisdictions.

Licensing -The verb license or grant license means to give permission. Licensing refers to that permission as well as to the document recording that permission.

A license may be granted by a party (“licensor”) to another party (“licensee”) as an element of an agreement between those parties. A shorthand definition of a license is “an authorization (by the licensor) to use the licensed material (by the licensee).”

A licensor may grant a license under intellectual property laws to authorize a use (such as copying software or using a (patented) invention) to a licensee, sparing the licensee from a claim of infringement brought by the licensor.[3] A license under intellectual property commonly has several component parts beyond the grant itself, including a term, territory, renewal provisions, and other limitations deemed vital to the licensor.

Needs Organizations – Organizations and agencies with active needs for innovation, and whose basic humanitarian missions are frustrated by a chronic lack of clean water; proper nutrition; sustainable agriculture; information technology; unmet subsistence needs or medical relief.

Technology Providers – Those who can develop or apply existing solutions to solve challenges including chronic lack of clean water; proper nutrition; sustainable agriculture; information technology; unmet subsistence needs or medical relief.

Technology Transfer – The process of skill transferring, knowledge, technologies, methods of manufacturing, samples of manufacturing and facilities among governments and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users who can then further develop and exploit the technology into new products, processes, applications, materials or services. It is closely related to (and may arguably be considered a subset of) knowledge transfer.

[1] Hazeltine, B.; Bull, C. (1999). Appropriate Technology: Tools, Choices, and Implications. New York: Academic Press. pp. 3.

[2] Todaro, M.; Smith, S. (2003). Economic Development. Boston: Addison Wesley. pp. 252-254.

[3] Intellectual Property Licensing: Forms and Analysis, by Richard Raysman, Edward A. Pisacreta and Kenneth A. Adler. Law Journal Press, 1998-2008.

[4] Licensing.org, Licensing Industry Merchandiser’s Association.