Absorptive capacities for sustainability technologies: Perspectives from the BRICS and China
For the development process in the rapidly growing economies, knowledge transfer and technology cooperation are becoming important issues. Research and technological competences are key indicators for the absorptive capacity of sustainability technologies and for the ability to export them. These issues are analyzed empirically for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). Sustainability related research in BRICS is mostly carried out within broader, more sector oriented programmes. Specialization patterns of international patents and in foreign trade indicate various strengths and weaknesses of the BRICS countries. The differences within the countries imply that the analysis must proceed at a technology specific level. China has considerable capabilities in technologies such as photo voltaics, solar thermal or buildings. There is a strong need for strategic positioning of the countries and for coordination of the various policy fields involved.