20 EPA J. 32 (1994)
U.S. Ties: Diffusing Technologies Abroad - EPA Puts Overseas Problems Together with U.S. Vendors

handle is hein.journals/epajrnl20 and id is 81 raw text is: U.S. TIES:
Diffusing Technologies Abroad
EPA puts overseas problems together with U.S. vendors
by Jamison Koehler and Stephen Lingle

echnology transfer programs in
the United States have tradition-
ally concentrated on the supply
side of the market for environmental
technologies. Using a procedure often
referred to as technology push, these
programs first identify a promising
technology, then attempt to place it with
a user who needs it. Conversely, U.S.
development assistance programs
abroad have tended to focus on the
user's environmental problems and the
consequent demand for environmental
technologies and expertise-in other
words, market pull. They have not, as
a matter of course, tried to match an
identified environmental problem
overseas with the vendor of a technology
or service in the United States.
Designed to enlist the private sector on
behalf of the global environment, U.S.
Technology for International Environ-
mental Solutions (U.S. TIES) brings
together the supply and demand sides of
environmental technology in a way EPA
has never done before. Launched in
1994, with funding of more than $11
million in its first year, this EPA-led
technology diffusion program serves as
the primary international component of
the President's Environmental Tech-
nology Initiative.
U.S. TIES projects help strengthen
environmental legislation and institu-
tions worldwide. By focusing on the
development of environmental assess-
ment, monitoring, and human-resource
capabilities, the programs help countries
(Koehler is Acting Director of the International
Issues Division of EPA's Office of International
Activities. Lingle is Deputy Director of the
Office of Environmental Engineering and
Technology, which is part of the Agency's
Office of Research and Development.)

to deal with their environmental prob-
lems while creating the demand for U.S.
environmental technologies and expertise.
U.S. TIES projects assist developing
countries in identifying and mitigating
specific environmental problems, with a
particular emphasis on the assessment of
various technology, supplier, and
financing options. Funding in 1994
includes a grant to the U.S. Environmen-
tal Training Institute (see box on page 12)
for training private and public sector
officials in developing countries concern-
ing U.S. environmental technologies and
management techniques. Another
project will develop environmental
reference materials for U.S. commercial
personnel in the field.
U.S. suppliers need information on
international environmental markets,
regulations, and needs. Foreign officials
can benefit from credible information on
the performance and cost of U.S. tech-
nologies to meet these needs. The 1994
program plan includes projects in both
areas. One project, for example, will
combine international workshops with
the publication of technology mono-
graphs and handbooks to highlight U.S.
technologies and services worldwide.
U.S. TIES demonstrates the specific
performance capabilities of selected U.S.
technologies under real-time, country-
specific settings. Coupled with technical
assistance, training, and other U.S. TIES
programs, these demonstrations encour-
age the acceptance and use of U.S.
technologies on a broader basis. Fiscal
year 1994 projects include the demon-
stration of drinking water technologies
in Mexico (see box) and Nepal, wastewa-
ter collection and treatment systems in
the Middle East, and air-pollution
control technologies in Russia and the
Ukraine. EPA will work with other

countries and with nonprofit groups in
identifying opportunities for demonstra-
tion and with other agencies, such as the
Agency for International Development
and the U.S. Trade and Development
Agency, in conducting the demonstra-
Consistent with the Administrator's
desire to redefine EPA's relationship with
the business community, U.S. TIES is
studying the feasibility of an environ-
mental technology cooperation center to
facilitate the interaction between govern-
ment and the private sector. EPA clearly
recognizes the important role the U.S.
private sector can play in solving
environmental problems overseas. U.S.
business and industry possess un-
equalled environmental resources and
expertise, and many of the technologies
most relevant to the needs of developing
countries can only be obtained through
commercial channels. Environmental
protection can benefit from business-to-
business cooperation and the efficient
functioning of international markets for
environmental technologies and expertise.
At the same time, EPA's ability to
fulfill its mission requires the Agency to
preserve its credibility and reputation for
objectivity. The delegation of broad
powers to EPA is predicated on Congres-
sional and public trust in EPA's integrity
and its ability to make honest, credible,
and independent technical judgements.
This objectivity and independence of
judgement imply certain boundaries on
EPA's working relationships with the
private sector.
A primary purpose of an environmen-
tal technology cooperation center would
be to serve as an intermediary between
EPA and the private sector in conducting
technical assistance, technology demon-
strations, and other U.S. TIES activities.


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