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What are the barriers and benefits in developing and transferring new cottage industry papermaking technology using Westerlund’s Five Phases of Appropriate Technology Transfer Model.

Westerlund, Leslie (2014) What are the barriers and benefits in developing and transferring new cottage industry papermaking technology using Westerlund’s Five Phases of Appropriate Technology Transfer Model. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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What are the barriers and benefits in developing and transferring new cottage industry papermaking technology using Westerlund’s Five Phases of Appropriate Technology Transfer Model.

The best available craft technology is developed, in this case by the author, and a new model applied whereby innovative, appropriate, sustainable technology can be transferred to help under- developed countries. This model applies a ‘technical action research’ methodology to implement the new Westerlund’s Five Phase strategy for the transfer of technology to craft villages in developing countries. This generic new technology transfer model was tested with a controlled pilot plant for highest quality cottage craft technology of papermaking in a remote island village of Wainimakutu, Fiji, where English is a second-third language, by first redesigning and making specialised equipment, teaching the use of the equipment to skilled village artisans, value adding raw recycled paper into photocopy grade paper, then pioneering the production of traditional science based story books. This lifted the combined skill set from craft to a new genre of intensive cottage industry craft. Another pilot plant was trialled in an Australia Lifestyle village.

The 5-phase model is based on a foundation and the following steps. First is the Foundation Phase of getting to know the existing village, their culture, the level of technology, management and craft skills. Phases 1 and 2 introduces safe easy small then bigger steps in hardware and software technology. These involve making some specialised newly co-designed hardware/equipment with the author/scientist/inventor and local industry and university help while trying to source and/or make the standard manufacturing components locally. Phase 3 builds on Phases 1 and 2 and enables more radical ‘leapfrog’ steps to advanced (western papermaking) technology to gain a competitive quality and or marketing edge (smooth 150 gsm paper).

Phase 4 is the ‘vertical technology transfer’, where value adding takes place, enabling a higher quality raw standard product and a wider range of value added products to be made in the village and or local city. This involved several village, industry and university workshops over a few years of technology transfer. In this case from rough handmade paper (300gsm) into a finer, smooth sided 150 gsm quality paper suitable for printing and photocopiers. Cultural story books were also made.

Phase 5 is the ‘horizontal technology transfer’ where the technology is carried over to the next village using their new skills in papermaking and with the ownership of the new improved intellectual property. In this case local NGO workshops were organised using the upskilled training staff from the pilot village. This project provides an initial trial and a solid basis for further research into a future Phase 6 on marketing eco-friendly and sustainable products from developing countries in a new world paradigm; and Phase 7 on new management systems.

The study included two case study projects, one Fijian village verses one Australian Lifestyle village, which were evaluated from four main perspectives. Firstly, the first hand designing, making and testing of new improvements in papermaking equipment to make the best quality smooth hand made paper. Secondly, the implementation of the ‘technical action research’ was measured by the quality of the new craft paper produced for the printing industry. Several types of quality books were printed, bound and published as real examples, this included cultural stories from the village made into books for the school. Thirdly, a new modified point system survey was theoretically developed and applied to complement the five phases by rating the making of the equipment and transfer of craft (papermaking) skills; and the vertical and horizontal transfers. Fourthly, the United Nations guidelines were also modified and used to trial the evaluation with a maximum coefficient and rating system to generate optimum values of eco-friendly sustainable transfer of appropriate technologies.

In summary, the developing country setting enabled a successful trial of the new best available design and testing of equipment and the new generic technology transfer model. They appreciated the advances in hardware and software technology and have upgraded their existing papermaking project to use most of the new technology. The village depend on this project as an employment cornerstone of their remote highland village. The retired tradesmen in the Australian lifestyle village helped the author codesign and test new advances in cottage industry craft papermaking technology and push the quality parameters to new levels, however the life-stylers were more interested in enjoying retiring than taking on a new hobby of papermaking. Some used the paper to complement their other craft activities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
United Nations SDGs: Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals
Supervisor(s): Ho, Goen, Anda, Martin and Jennings, Philip
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