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  • Author: Paul A. David, Can Huang, Luc Soete, Adriaan van Zon
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The current economic crisis has tended to sap the policy momentum that had developed during 2006 and 2007 behind public R programmes and institutional initiatives to expand the portfolio of affordable technological means of controlling global warming. This is unfortunate, since the international negotiations about concerted actions among the leading industrial countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have so far proceeded very slowly – too slowly, considering both the global nature of the problem and the size of the stakes involved. The initial “bargaining” stance taken by some important players, notably Japan and the United States, was in some respects disappointing in that it appears to fall far short of the EU member countries' endorsement in December 2008 of the package of EC directives designed to activate its “20-20-20” renewable energy strategy – a 20 per cent reduction of GHG emissions, and 20 per cent of energy consumption from renewable sources, by the year 2020. While there have been more promising developments recently, in the convergence towards that target in some of the legislation introduced in the US Congress, and the Obama administration's issuance of US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory directives requiring the use of the latest emissions control technologies on new and retrofitted electricity power plants, the outcome of the Copenhagen conference in December 2009 remains uncomfortably uncertain.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, International Cooperation, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Grant Boyle, Lynn Mytelka
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Recent technological advances in the application of hydrogen fuel cells in the transport sector have drawn considerable attention and increased funding from both public and private sources over the past ten years. The International Energy Agency estimates that about US$1billion per year is currently being invested in public hydrogen and fuel cell research, development, test vehicles, prototype refuelling stations and demonstration projects, as compared to the total annual public budget for energy research, development and demonstration of around US$8billion. While still in the early stages of development and costly in comparison to conventional vehicle propulsion and fuel technologies, fuel cells and hydrogen offer a promising solution to address growing concerns over the transport sector's dependence on oil and its impact on climate change.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Third World
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Philip Schmidt, Rishab Aiyer Ghosh
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Free software (also called open source software or libre software) has become one of the most talked about phenomena in the ICT world in recent years. This is remarkable, not only for the usual reasons—that open source has been around for many years as a volunteer driven success story before being discovered by big business and now government— but also because it has largely developed quietly on its own without the headline coverage and glare of international attention that it now receives.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Science and Technology, Third World
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Manfred J. Holler
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the theoretical concepts underlying recent developments in the regulation of telecommunications in Europe, the USA and developing countries with respect to efficiency and welfare. It focuses on analysing standardization problems, pricing rules and entry condition related to networks and network effects and derives preliminary policy recommendations for the telecommunications industry through a discussion of network models and related empirical evidence.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, International Political Economy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Matti Pohjola
  • Publication Date: 11-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: There is substantial evidence that new information technologies are in many ways transforming the operations of modern economies. More than half of employees use a computer at work in the most advanced industrial countries. About 10 per cent of the value of all private investment in fixed non-residential capital is devoted to computers and peripheral equipment in the United States and some other economies. This share goes up to 25 per cent when investment in information processing equipment is included. Nevertheless, all spending on information technology, including hardware, software and services, does not amount to more than 3-4 per cent of nominal GDP in these countries. The share is, however, increasing rapidly, indicating that a steady state has not yet been reached.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Francis Kramarz
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The rapid diffusion of computers has widely changed the consequences of computer use on the labour market. While at the beginning of the eighties knowledge of computers was an obvious advantage in a career, this same knowledge is now so commonplace that the inability to use these tools is widely seen in many industries as a professional handicap. In relation to such drastic transformations, changes in the North American wage structure during the eighties in favour of the better educated have been interpreted by many analysts as evidence of skill-biased technical change. Evidence outside the US, and in particular in Europe, seems to support the idea that similar transformations affected most other labour markets.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe