The main role of TDTC is coordination of technology development and transfer activities of the College of Engineering and Technology. The ultimate focus of the Centre is technology innovation, development and transfer on the basis of:
The vision of TDTC is ‘To be renown nationally and internationally as the leading resource centre for developing and transferring innovative technologies, proven solutions and reliable services to successfully resolve the challenges facing all sectors of the economy and the community at large in Tanzania and the Southern African sub-region’.
TDTC Mission is ‘to foster a competitive, safe, efficient and environmentally sustainable production and service sector in Tanzania by improving skills and knowledge in terms of quality, efficiency and relevance through technology development, technology transfer, and effective entrepreneurship’.
The Objective of the Centre includes:
TDTC is governed by the Board chaired by the College Principal and has the Management Advisory Committee (MAC) which is responsible for advising the Management of TDTC on policy and operational matters which is chaired by Deputy Principal.
Based on some general definitions, a description of the nature of each of the TDTC output delivery functions, in general terms is provided hereunder
Technology is commonly perceived to be the physical tools used for achieving any resources transformation. Very often the importance e.g. of the related know-how for either producing or using the physical tool is not realised. A broad definition of technology comprises four components:
Technical hardware ('technoware'), i.e. the specific configuration of
Machinery and equipment designed to produce a good or provide a service;
Know-how ('humanware'), i.e. the scientific and technical knowledge, formal
and experience-based knowledge;
Information ('infoware'), i.e. the document-embodied form of technology; and
Organisation ('orgaware'), i.e. the production arrangements and linkages.
Technology development involves development of new products and/or processes based on basic engineering and scientific principles using improved tools and/or processes. It also encompasses the adaptation of existing technology to local conditions and circumstances. To this end, all research activities take place in the Academic Departments being the centres of activity of the College; this includes students' projects, research projects carried out by staff members and research students. The departments shall monitor research activities within and when they reach the level of transfer, dissemination and commercialization shall then involve TDTC for the coordination of these functions.
Technology brokerage is technology transfer using a mediated approach (negotiating contracts of technology purchase and sale). However, as in the case of technology incubation, next to the sourcing of technology, a complete business support package is being offered to the client if so requested (e.g. assistance in preparing feasibility studies, business plans, and securing financial services).
A broker approach to technology transfer has the potential to significantly increase the impact on socio-economic development in the country. Next to developing indigenous technology, it is imperative to ensure efficient absorption and adaptation of imported technology appropriate to national priorities and resources. This entails for TDTC to make arrangements with leading international technology transfer centres.
Business / Technology Incubation
A business incubator can be defined as a service centre that provides entrepreneurs with the expertise, networks and tools they need to make their ventures successful, and thus catalyses the process of starting and/or growing enterprises. A technology incubator in this context is a facility that promotes enterprise development through the enhancement of the technology available to and used by enterprises, with the focus on SMEs.
The TDTC-promoted business / technology incubator will act as a micro environment operated by a small, but highly professional management team that provides affordable (subsidised) package of services for SMEs which may include all or some of the following - physical work space, shared office / administration facilities, counselling, information, training, market visibility and access to finance and professional services.
Contracted research is research that originates from a specific request by a client (company, individual or organisation), and the costs of which are paid for by the client whereas the results are ordinarily restricted for proprietary reasons and the agreement on restrictions have been recorded in the contract or grant. Contracted research is distinguished from consultancy and service to industry by the fact the contracted research involves basic and/or applied research and development and/or transfer of a new technology..
Technology transfer is defined as the broad set of processes covering the flows of knowledge, experience and equipment amongst different stakeholders such as governments, private sector entities, financial institutions, NGOs and research/ educational institutions. The broad and inclusive term 'transfer' encompasses diffusion of technologies and technology co-operation across and within countries. It comprises the process of learning to understand, utilise and replicate the technology, including the capacity to choose it and adapt it to local conditions and integrate it with indigenous technologies. Technology transfer is a means to accelerate innovation.
TDTC is primarily aiming to directly impact on the development of SMEs as well as indirectly on the lives of the Tanzanian civil society through the dissemination (transfer/diffusion) of technologies in areas of national priority and that have a direct relevance to the Tanzanian community.