Wave of Fossil Fuel Dislike amongst the Young

Further to our Demand May Top Out Before Supply Does, here is an interesting article on the side-lines of one of the Oil Industry’s concerns as elaborated on this report of the IBT on the recently held 22nd World Petroleum Congress – Istanbul, 2017 where it was a question of how age and gender could obviously affect the industry to survive this wave of fossil fuel dislike amongst the young.  The unleashing of a frenzy amongst today’s youth as Fossil Free is a growing international divestment movement calling for organisations, institutions and individuals to demonstrate climate leadership and end their financial support for the fossil fuel industry.

No industry for old men: Why ‘Big Oil’ needs to woo younger, female workforce

Energy industry’s lack of appeal for women and the young remains a major cause for concern.

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Further to our Demand May Top Out Before Supply Does, here is an interesting article on the side-lines of one of the Oil Industry’s main concerns as elaborated on this report of the IBT on the recently held 22nd World Petroleum Congress – Istanbul, 2017 where it was a question of how age and gender could obviously affect the industry to survive this wave of fossil fuel dislike amongst the young.  The unleashing of a frenzy amongst today’s youth as Fossil Free is a growing international divestment movement calling for organisations, institutions and individuals to demonstrate climate leadership and end their financial support for the fossil fuel industry.

No industry for old men: Why ‘Big Oil’ needs to woo younger, female workforce

WPC 2017

Energy industry’s lack of appeal for women and the young remains a major cause for concern.

By Gaurav Sharma in Istanbul, Turkey

Updated on July 14, 2017 20:22 BST

It may not be as pressing an issue for the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) as the crude oil price slump, but had you asked around the oil and gas industry’s recently concluded triennial jamboree held in Istanbul, Turkey, plenty of high profile people would point to a lack of female executives as a major concern.

Furthermore, equally concerning is the perceived loss of the industry’s appeal for young professionals choosing a career pathway. To his credit, Dr Jozsef Toth, President of World Petroleum Council, which has been organising the congress since 1933, acknowledged the problem in his very first quip of the event.

“Oil and gas will play a role in the energy mix for decades to come. Yet, at the same time the number of people joining the energy industry is declining.”

Much more needs to be done when it comes addressing the gender balance in the business, he added. “We are committed to changing this, as well as showcasing the talent of female industry executives to inspire.”

That’s all well and good; but a cursory look around the WPC plenary halls, auditoriums and corridors by your correspondent found an overwhelming number of delegates of the male and middle-aged variety, regardless of which country they were travelling from.

Of course, there was a young professionals’ floor and youth congress, and events such as a youth night and a ‘Women in Energy’ breakfast.

Despite being well-intentioned objectives aimed at promoting dialogue, to many participants interviewed by IBTimes UK they seemed to be perfunctory box-ticking exercises being conducted because a mega industry event of the WPC’s size could not possibly, not have them. The previous Congress in Doha (2011) and Moscow (2014) had the very same events.

Hope is that the hard work in attracting young recruits and tackling the gender imbalance will finally begin in earnest once WPC’s 6,000-odd delegates, 500 CEOs, 50 Ministers and heads of state go home and ponder about it.

For that to happen, it is worth getting a deeper understanding of the problem first, according to Deborah Byers, US Oil & Gas Practice leader at global consultancy EY. A recent polling exercise in the US by Byers’ colleagues found that most of the younger generation perceive oil and gas jobs as a bit too blue collar and dangerous.

“That’s generation Z – or post-Millennials – typically born in the mid-1990s to early 2000s to you and me. We also find a disconnect between what oil and gas executives think young people want from a career and what they actually want. There’s a general lack of awareness about the industry and the careers that power it, and a substantial gender gap.”

When EY asked which three considerations are the most important in selecting a future career, both Millennials and Generation Z, as a whole, prioritised salary (56%), good work-life balance (49%), job stability (37%) and on-the-job happiness (37%).”

However, oil and gas executives polled expected the leading career drivers for young people to be salary (72%), technology (43%), good work-life balance (38%), and the opportunity to try new roles (28%). The study also found that only 24% of women in the 16-35 age group find oil and gas jobs appealing, while 54% of men in the same age range find them appealing.

The findings were based on a survey of 1,204 US consumers and 109 industry executives conducted earlier this year. In the wider scheme of things, the consultancy’s findings offer only a glimpse into the thinking of female and young people hunting career prospects. However, what it also does is flag up the enormity of the task ahead.

“In an era of lower for longer, some say lower forever oil prices, the industry has a call to action to solve this perception problem for the sake of their future workforce and their success,” Byers concludes.

Dr Jozsef Toth, President of World Petroleum Council, says the industry must improve its appeal to younger recruits and female aspirants.Gaurav Sharma / IB Times UK

Paradoxically, Eithne Treanor, a seasoned energy sector broadcaster and conference moderator based in Dubai, feels it’s the low price environment that is putting people off.

“Oil and gas companies aren’t in hiring mode in any case to begin with, as opportunities from geology to engineering, management to on-site operations dwindle. Furthermore, young people and suitable female candidates ask themselves should I really choose a future in an industry that’s in decline or at least appears to be.”

While the oil price environment is a relatively recent development, Treanor said the industry’s problem of attracting fewer qualified female professionals and its lack of appeal to youngsters also has to do with historical reputational problems.

“The industry has been quite poor at engaging with young people, something I feel it is attempting to rectify. When the idea is to catch them young, leaving it till they are at university is a bit too late; I’d say go all the way lower to junior school.

“For example – a programme started by a science professor in Lebanon called ‘The Young Engineer’ has been running for 10 years and piques the interest of kids when they are 5-6 years old.”

Specifically on the subject of attracting female talent, Trainer said: “Look around the WPC, majority of the panel discussions and deliberations have mostly male speakers. The lack of diversity is visible. Some women have risen through the industry ranks and have become role models, and are indeed here, but there are not that many.”

Positive discrimination is needed, she added, including perhaps an introduction of the Norwegian model of mandatory quotas for women to be on corporate boards and in positions of authority.

iStock

Time is running out, and the industry needs to act fast, according Aleek Datta, Managing Director at consultancy Accenture.

“In 2011, around $590bn (£455bn) was spent on petrotechnical workforce development, which rose to a commendable $760bn in 2014. However, oil price slump hit and spending on talent fell to $570bn in 2015, and has been in decline ever since.

“If we assume oil demand will increase, yet spending on talent continues at its current level, the global industry will have 30% deficit of petrotechnical professionals as early as 2020.

“The oil and gas industry is losing the fight for top millennial talent, as young professionals prefer other industries, like the technology industry. Only 2% of US graduates, according our research, consider oil and gas as a primary career choice.”

To some it might seem counterintuitive to invest in attracting and training young professionals and wooing more women to the industry when the oil price is down, but the risk of not doing so could be even more dire.

 

The Industry of the Future & the Future of the Industry

Believe in the industry of the Future and the Future of the Industry was a Report to the French Government on the impact of the Fourth World Economic Revolution is believed to be as relevant to the new Algerian growth model global geostrategic challenges of 2030 as it is to that of France itself. 

Hoping for a concrete application and meaning for the well-being of Algeria, I have with few experts worked free of charge, on what I was and still am advocating the reasonable solution of deep reforms, as always taking into account the social reality.

Several international media have recently asked me about Algeria and its economic choices that affect its future sustainable growth, taking account all of the geostrategic changes that lie ahead between 2020 and 2030. My reply was that I have discussed the very topic between 2010 and 2016.  Would these be applied by the new Government, I wondered ?

Believe in the industry of the Future and the Future of the Industry Is a Report to the French Government on the impact of the Fourth World Economic Revolution and is believed to be as relevant to the new Algerian growth model as global geostrategic challenges of 2030 as it is to that of France itself. 
Hoping for a concrete application and meaning for the well-being of Algeria, I have with few experts worked free of charge, on what I was and still am advocating the reasonable solution of deep reforms, as always taking into account the social reality.

Several international media have recently asked me about Algeria and its economic choices that affect its future sustainable growth, taking account all of the geostrategic changes that lie ahead between 2020 and 2030. My reply was that I have discussed the very topic between 2010 and 2016.  Would these be applied by the new Government, I wondered ?

So, instead of indulging in the installation of yet again other commissions or to rush to other expensive consultancies, I would with all due respect recommend to the Government to study so as avoid the mistakes of the past and in order to adapt it to the country’s reality the important and useful white paper titled “Believe in the industry of the future and the future of the industry”; a report addressed to the French Government (2017) in 84 pages based on a survey of French industry leaders.  It is as a matter of fact, the backbone of the economic program of the French president Emmanuel Macron (1).

This report first recalls that industrial history would without doubt that the formalization of the concept of industry of the future was born in Germany under the heading “industry 4.0”as of a will to drive upmarket the German machine tool industry in the face of competition from Asia. But with the gradual rise in power of the processing of industrial data and acceleration of innovations, the concept took a whole other dimension.

Meanwhile, the avalanche of new technologies that occurred in recent years has indeed an important potential for transformation and improvement of the performance of the industry which could make the assumption of re-industrialization of our country credible again.

The goal is to customize mass production that has not yet been reached, the ecosystems that will be the first to provide a “digital continuity” will also be those that help get production that much closer to the final customer.

The report is structured as follows:

Part I – Industry of the future: framing, context and issues

  1. Framing and context
  2. What economic issues?

Part II – The five challenges of the industry of the future:

  1. How to think the transition?
  2. L’ industry of the future must be thought of in terms of performance, not technology.
  3. Do not underestimate the emergency, nor the competitive pressure
  4. Make transformation a matter of skills and organization
  5. Adopt a broader vision of the value chain
  6. Place the internal operational model and the ecosystem management at the heart of transformation plans.

Part III – different degrees of mature businesses: an industry of the future with variable geometry

  1. Introduction and definition of the criteria taken into account
  2. Variable maturities
  3. Putting into perspective of the model

Part IV – threat or opportunity of an industry of the future

  1. What are the prospects for French industry?
  2. The French specificities
  3. What decisions are at stake? –

Conclusion

  1. Business leaders
  2. Public leaders
  3. A shared vision?
  4. Survey methodology and assumptions of the model.

It must be said that the majority of the experts including those of the Economic and Social Council of Algeria use to always say the opposite of what is proposed today by the Government. How then can they be now that credible?

In several of my contributions from several years ago, I drew the attention of the Government that hydrocarbons price will be low and for a long-time; refer my conference before the Prime Minister and the members of the Club of the Pines of Algiers on November 4, 2014 and before the senior executives of the National Security Department on May 15, 2015

I elaborated on the policy of widespread subsidies that together with current industrial policy could lead Algeria right against a brick wall.  Short of ideas, the country must avoid living on the illusion and outdated patterns of development, such as conventional mechanical industries of which car assembly of very low capacity, highly capital-intensive with Algeria taking on all costs with the rule of 49 / 51% is at the forefront.

Without a serious shift in economic policy, based on good governance and the development of knowledge, Algeria may end up deadlocked by 2018/2020 with the risk of depletion of its foreign exchange reserves when foreign operators, not getting remunerated, may decide to leave it altogether.

As far as the “emergence of an economy” and a globalized product of development of today’s capitalism is concerned, the process is not yet complete, and since the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, questioning on the one hand of the ability of nation States to do in the face of these changes.

This is no longer the time where the wealth of a Nation identified with its major firms, large firms having been modelled on military organization and have been described with the same terms: chain of command, job classification, scope of control with their leaders, operating procedures and standard guidelines.

All jobs were defined in advance by rules and pre-established responsibilities. As in the military hierarchy charts determined internal hierarchies and great importance was attached to the permanence of control, discipline and obedience. This rigour was necessary in order to implement plans with accuracy to benefit from economies of scale in mass production and to ensure a strict control of prices in the market.

As in the operation of the army, strategic planning required a decision on where you want to go, followed up by a plan to mobilize the resources and troops to get there. In the totally outdated mechanical era, the production was guided by predetermined objectives and sales by pre-determined quotas. The innovations were not introduced by small progress, but by technological leaps due to the rigidity of the organization.

At the top, large bureaucracies occupied the rectangle of the chart, halfway up middle managers and right at the bottom the workers. Education, from elementary to upper education through high school, was only a reflection of this process, orders being transmitted by the hierarchy, the schools and universities in large sizes to ensure economies of scale as well.

These analyses have also been widely developed between 2012 and 2017 in the Algerian press and internationally under the titles as shown below.

A new organization is currently taking place showing the limits of the old organization with the emergence of new dynamic sectors in order to adapt to the new global configuration. We are seeing the successive passage of the so-called Taylorism organization marked by integration, the Divisional, matrix organization that are intermediary organizations and finally to the recent organization in networks where the firm focuses its strategic management on three segments: research and development (heart of value added), marketing and communication and under the Treaty all the other components.

And with more and more oligopolistic organizations of a few companies controlling the production, finance and marketing networks are no more national. Even those said small and medium-sized enterprises connected as networks of subcontractors to large ones could be among these.

Jobs in current production tend to disappear involving mobility of workers, the widespread use of temporary employment, and therefore a permanent flexibility of the labour market with the permanent recycling training called upon in the future.

Thus, other types of jobs appear including the breakthrough of producers of symbols whose conceptual value is higher than the added value from the classic economies of scale, questioning the ancient theories and economic policies inherited from the mechanical age era like the old political “industrialising industries” based on the model of the old Soviet Union while the 21st century is characterized by the dynamism of large firms but especially those linked in networks to them SMIs/SMEs all devoting a good portion of their budget to research and development.

With the predominance of services that have a more and more merchant character contributing to the increase in the added value, the firm turns into a global network, and it is impossible to distinguish between individuals affected by their activities that as a consequence would be a large, diffuse group, around the world. In this global village, there exist only consumers/producers cross networks.

This will have implications for the future organization at all political, economic and social systems levels.

Finally, this analysis raises the issue of national security. Since 2012, I did not do enough warning the Government on the inconsistency of its policy of subsidies, the inconsistency of its industrial policy and against a policy of hidden import of car assembly plants as well as other industrial segments living off a certain rentier situation.

Two lessons are to be learned.

  • First, the money capital does not create wealth; it is only a means to an end. In fact it’s the work and intelligence that are the source of permanent and sustainable wealth of a Nation.
  • Second, globalization is a reality and time is never caught back in economics. There is urgent need for a strategic vision as an adaptation to this unstable and turbulent world, a Nation that does not move forward, would necessarily step back.

I would not remind enough that the engine of any development process lies also in research and development, and that without the integration of the knowledge economy, no industrial and economic policy would have a future in the 21st century, where technological innovations would be inevitably have a constant changing feature.

Algeria would be best in investing in democratic institutions than in segments where it can temporarily have some comparative advantages: agriculture, tourism major deposit, new technologies and in sub segments of industrial sectors taking into account the profound technological changes. I would suggest a Monitoring Committee to coordinate the investment policy which must synchronize with the dialectical relationship between the complementary roles of the State and the market, put an end to the present distortions which may cause losses, due to lack of visibility and strategic coherence. ademmebtoul@gmail.com

(1) « Croire en l’Industrie du futur et au futur de l’industrie » as translated by “Believe in the industry of the future and the future of the industry” – white paper – report to the French Government – (2017) in 84 pages – A survey of french industry leaders with (1) to Ernst Young by Opinion Way between September and October 2016 directed by Alain Galloni and Olivier Lluansi associate, Ernst & Young Advisor (Paris 2017) . The same report in PDF format is at

http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/ey-resultats-enquete-industrie-du-futur/$FILE/ey-resultats-enquete-industrie-du-futur.pdf

How to improve the Climate of Business in Algeria

This brief analysis is a synthesis of the Doing Business Report 2017 data compiled upto and as of June 1, 2016. The indicators are used within the context of Algeria to analyze economic outcomes of countries of the same calibre and identify the regulatory reforms of all legislation that are required so as the economies where they have been adopted and the reasons for which they have been implemented have born fruits. The question that such report brings to mind would therefore be about how to improve the Climate of Business in Algeria and how to go about it.  

In the meantime, the above mentioned report findings were that :

Starting a business
Algeria made starting a business easier by eliminating the minimum capital requirement for business incorporation.

Dealing with construction permits
Algeria made dealing with construction permits faster by reducing the time to obtain a construction permit.

Getting electricity
Algeria made getting electricity more transparent by publishing electricity tariffs on the websites of the utility and the energy regulator.

Paying taxes
Algeria made paying taxes less costly by decreasing the tax on professional activities rate. The introduction of advanced accounting systems also made paying taxes easier.

This brief analysis is a synthesis of the Doing Business Report 2017 data compiled upto and as of June 1, 2016. The indicators are used within the context of Algeria to analyze economic outcomes of countries of the same calibre as first reviewed back in October 2016 and identify the regulatory reforms of all legislation that are required so as the economies where they have been adopted and the reasons for which they have been implemented have born fruits. The question that such report brings to mind would therefore be about how to improve the Climate of Business in Algeria and how to go about it.  
In the meantime, the above mentioned report findings are excerpted below:
  • Starting a business
Algeria made starting a business easier by eliminating the minimum capital requirement for business incorporation.
  • Dealing with construction permits
Algeria made dealing with construction permits faster by reducing the time to obtain a construction permit.
  • Getting electricity
Algeria made getting electricity more transparent by publishing electricity tariffs on the websites of the utility and the energy regulator.
  • Paying taxes
Algeria made paying taxes less costly by decreasing the tax on professional activities rate. The introduction of advanced accounting systems also made paying taxes easier.

 The authors state at the outset that there are some important areas not covered by the Doing Business report and that it does not evaluate all of the factors such as policies and institutions that affect the quality of the framework of the economic activity of an economy or its competitiveness. It does not for example,  consider the macroeconomic stability, the development of the financial system, the size of the market, the frequency of bribery and corruption, nor the quality of the workforce, deadlines and costs as related to the logistics of the import and export of goods, indicators on the cross-border trade, or the cost of international transport as well as the effect of roads, rail, ports and inadequate communication systems that can have on operating a business and their consequences in terms of competitiveness.

However, if this report does not evaluate and/or is not intended to assess the benefits of all social and economic programs funded by tax revenues, assessing the quality and efficiency of the business regulation is something to take into account in the debate on the burden on enterprises regulatory objectives, which may vary from one economy to another.

The score awarded to each country on entrepreneurship is based on the following criteria.

– Procedures, deadlines, costs and supply minimum capital required to create a limited liability company.

– Obtaining a building permit:-procedures, time and costs related to execution of all required formalities and controls of quality and security in the system of obtaining a building permit.

– Connection to electricity: procedures, time and costs of connection to the electric network, electricity supply reliability and transparency of prices.

– Transfer of property: procedures, delays and costs of ownership transfer, and quality of the land administration system.

– Getting credit: laws on the pledging of movable property and credit information system.

– Protection of minority investors: rights of minority shareholders in transactions between related parties and corporate governance.

– Taxes and payments: payments, delays and total pay for a business applying all tax legislation as well as procedures subsequent to its declaration.

– Cross-border trade: delays and costs associated with the export of a product with a comparative advantage.

– Performance of contracts: delays and costs of settlement of a trade dispute and quality of court proceedings.

– Insolvency regulation: delays, costs, results and recovery rates in insolvency cases and solidity of the legislation in this area.

– Regulation of the labour market: labour regulation flexibility and aspect of the quality of employment.

 

The three main conclusions of this report are:

  • Europe and Central Asia have improved significantly more commercial regulatory over time than any other region.
  • It is in the area of entrepreneurship that economies have improved their regulatory processes the most.
  • The economies in which it is easy to create a business tend to have lower levels of inequality in income on average.

 

Doing Business 2017 in its 14th Edition gives the following classification:

The first ten are :

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

New Zealand with a note of

Singapore

Denmark

Hong Kong

South Korea

Norway

UK

USA

Sweden

Mecedoine

87.01

85.05

84.07

84.21

84.07

8282

82.45

82.13

81.74

80.87

 

Classification of the major countries. 

17.

22.

25.

28.

29.

32.

34.

40.

42.

50.

Germany

Canada

Portugal

Netherlands

France

Spain

Japan

Russian Federation

Belgium

Italy

79.87

78.57

77.40

76.38

76.27

75.73

75.53

73.00

73.19

72.25

 

Ranking of middle  of the pack countries

63

66

68

69

74

77

78

83

94

102

116

120

122

123

130

Bahrain

Oman

Morocco

Turkey

South Africa

Tunisia

China

Qatar

Saudi Arabia

Kuwait

Argentina

Iran

Egypt

Brazil

India

68.44

67.73

67.50

67.19

65.50

64.89

64.28

63.66

61.11

59.55

57.45

57.45

56.64

56.53

55.27

Ranking of countries at lower grades than 50 requiring deep reforms

149

150

155

156

159

160

164

165

169

173

Bolivia

Niger

Bénin

Algéria

Ethiopia

Mauritania

Gabon

Iraq

Nigeria

Syria

49.85

49.57

48.52

47.76

47.25

47.26

45.88

45.61

44.63

41.43

 

Ranking of countries with less than 40 points

180

184

186

187

188

189

190

Tchad

Républic of Congo

South Sudan

Venezuela

Libya

Erythrea

Somalia (last)

39.07

39.28

33.48

33.37

33.19

28.05

20.29

 

In summary, the deplorable ranking at the 159th of Algeria that belies the euphoric statements of the former Minister of Industry having induced on the line the country’s authorities, and which I had been cautioning against on several occasions the Government, does not reflect the country’s significant potential.  There is no more a justifying speech that in anyway no-one believes in, therefore the only way is to go towards the necessary reforms to improve the business climate that primarily depend on Algerians themselves.

This ranking together for that matter many others would explain the collapse of the productive fabric and the importance of all hard currency services outflow and legal capital transfer that annually amounted between 2010 and 2016 to $14 / $15 billion to which the value of imports of goods need to be added for the calculation of currency.  These were $60 billion in 2013 and were brought back to $45 / $47 billion in 2016 and are currently extrapolated to be around $45 / $46 for 2017 giving approximately a total of $60 billion still less than what could paralyze the entire economic machine whose integration rate does not anyway exceed 15%.

Let us remember that the reserves of $114 billion as per the official data of both the IMF and the Bank of Algeria as at December 31, 2016. The Governor before the National Assembly on April 12, 2017 gave the amount of $109 billion as at end of March 2017 and as recorded by the official press agency APS.

With the deficit of the balance of payment as shown, during the first five months of 2017 customs statistics and those of the Office of National Statistics, reflecting an outflow of currency between April, May and June 25, 2017, the amount should be less than $109 billion on July 1, 2017.

According to this report, which gives a central place to the analysis of the informal sphere, an effective regulation would facilitate access of companies to the market, creation of jobs, productivity and the improvement of the levels of economic development in general; each new reform of the regulation is associated with a substantial increase in economic growth and thus improvement of the standard of life of the citizens. This report points out to what Haidar & Hoshi (2015) made 31 recommendations to achieve this goal for reform, classified into six different categories, depending on whether the reform is administrative or legal, and according to the level of potential resistance at the political level. 

By Dr Abdulrahmane Mebtoul, Mobile +213 0661552928- fax +213 041415837- +213 041446148

Knowledge and Technology Transfer

Algeria was ranked 108th out of 127 in June 2017 in the Global Innovation Index, a global ranking of countries according to their abilities and results of economic innovation as published annually by Cornell University, the INSEAD and the UN’s World Intellectual Organization Property (WIPO). The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4FIR) is on us; this will be based on the generalised Knowledge and Technology Transfer throughout all endeavours. We should therefore not forget that the world is not waiting for Algeria to get on the band wagon.  This country is not isolated and its assessment from either the above GII 2017 as from official data shows the limits of the administratively bureaucratic approach that lead to that ranking.
This brief analysis is a synthesis, of Volume VI of the multidisciplinary audit, submitted to the Government in January 03, 2013.

Sound Foundation for Development

Algeria was ranked 108th out of 127 in June 2017 in the Global Innovation Index, a global ranking of countries according to their abilities and results of economic innovation as published annually by Cornell University, the INSEAD and the UN’s World Intellectual Organization Property (WIPO). The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4FIR) is on us; this will be based on the generalised Knowledge and Technology Transfer throughout all endeavours. We should therefore not forget that the world is not waiting for Algeria to get on the band wagon.  This country is not isolated and its assessment from either the above GII 2017 as from official data shows the limits of the administratively bureaucratic approach that lead to that ranking.

This brief analysis is a synthesis, of Volume VI of the multidisciplinary audit, submitted to the Government in January 03, 2013 (1).

Technology Transfer

According to the WIPO, technology transfer is the process of designating the formal transfer to industry of discoveries resulting from University research and the commercialization of these discoveries in the form of new products and services.

As far as academic research is concerned, technology transfer is an operation that is to transfer a specific piece of knowledge from research, formalized or not in the form of patent(s) or deposited property rights, to another center of research, public or private, with the intended purpose to pursue for industrial development or to turn research into industrial innovation, by assigning any discoveries to an industrial enterprise.

If we limit ourselves to industry, technology transfer is the sale by contract of all rights of use of a technique, a process, a product (commodity) that it owns, as well as the know-how for its industrial production.

The technology owner remains the owner and the buyer is contractually limited to a market (for example geographical limits, customer type, volumes) and constraints of broadcast (the purchaser cannot transfer technology).

As one should not confuse technology transfer with an assignment of license, the transfer of technology including the disclosure of know-how adapted to the context of the purchaser whether in public or private law.

What are the different forms of technology transfer?

We can classify this in different forms also often complementary. First, the dissemination of knowledge, sometimes named dissemination and transfer of knowledge, which is a discipline practiced by research centres for the purpose of information of public bodies et enterprises.

This broadcast is practiced in conventions, through publications constituting one of the information sources of technological intelligence that monitors the evolution of knowledge, know-how and the feasibility of inventions in a certain field and its development environments.

Strictly speaking, technology watch is not a transfer of technology but facilitates the transfer. Then there is the technological slurping, i.e. digging up sleepy projects in research laboratories and universities that did not find industrial opportunities and promote them for purposes of enterprise creation.

Another method of transfer often used in industry to facilitate knowledge management is the recruitment of executives and specialists in a given technology. It is one of the activities of head-hunters, recruitment firms or sometimes this leads to industrial espionage if the beneficiaries of the information know how to exploit them.

There is no real training phase, unless the data transmission includes didactic elements. Also included as transfer facility in a first phase is reverse engineering as applied in technical education, the counterfeiting or piracy (often prohibited under the terms of the WTO)

Finally there is the partial transfer of technology through the granting of a  license to the purchaser production but excluding certain technologies (protection of know-how). Good management requires knowledge and skills.

Knowledge fundamentals to technology transfer

Facing up to the pressure of competition with innovation, development of tailor-made products and increasingly complex technologies geared for the production of more and more personalized services, the required work of employees has no immediacy. Increasingly, directions of companies request of employees to lay down knowledge of their own work thus the importance of continuous training.

This production of knowledge is based on commitment and involvement that make initiative, intuition, judgment (famous Japanese Toolbox source of innovation) play a central role but also on the abilities of the individuals and the wider “social knowledge” that is strategic for every company that wants to continue to succeed.

Knowledge management relies on the levers of success such as knowledge embedded in products and services; knowledge and skills within a company (human capital); knowledge contained in the process (internal structure); corporate memory; transactional memory and finally knowledge as intangible property (intellectual capital).

This openness reflects the necessary break with the forms of governance that are centralized, disciplinary and mutilating as inherited from the Ford era.  Capital also goes social in different techno-organisational devices influencing the rapport of individuals at work.

Surveys clearly show that this extension of social knowledge is accompanied by new forms of segmentation (qualified / not qualified; mobile / immobile; young / old; man / woman) and a sharing of activities and services that become more and more merchants (outsourcing computing to India electronics to Japan, South Korea, etc.)

This sociocultural approach that reflects the complexity of our societies with technology transfer being the apparent appearance owes much to the important work in terms of the approach to the economic anthropology of the Indian economist Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen whereby according to him, there cannot be any sustainable development without the introduction of the competitive market economy and of a real democracy that only allows both tolerance and confrontation of ideas and growth of renewable energy taking into account the cultural anthropologies of societies.

There is generally a dialectical link between technology transfer and culture

National culture being not static, but evolving as strongly characterised by the opening of a society onto environmental values, myths, rites and signs shared by the majority of the social body is an essential constituent of the culture of enterprise and technology transfer.

The successful experiences of Japan, emerging countries such as China and India show that we can assimilate technology without renouncing one’s culture. Moreover, the transfer is favoured where there is a better understanding of convergent and divergent values between two groups whereas trying to impose one’s own values could lead to a relationship of domination that in turn limits the transfer.

Corporate culture is also a by-product of a national culture and thus a set of values, myths, rites, taboos, and signs shared by the majority of employees and an essential element to explain the strategic choices by strengthening common values: example, regulations behaviour codes, job descriptions, as well as by the rewards and sanctions system so that employees are mobilised for the purpose of identification with their company and take over its history.

All this facilitates the transfer of technology that should not be limited to its technical, but to all managerial, organizational and commercial etc. aspects.  The index of human development or HDI developed in 1990 by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and Indian Economist, Nobel Prize in economics Amartya Sen reflects the importance of the development of human capital including education and health.

Change of legal framework blocking investment and technology transfer

It is useful to recall that from the political independence to the present day, the Algerian economy has experienced different forms of organization of public enterprises.

Prior to 1965, self-management was preferred; from 1965 to 1980, we had large national companies and from 1980 to 1988, we witnessed a first restructuring carving up the large national corporations. As a result of the crisis of 1986 that saw the oil price collapse, timid reforms have begun in 1988: the State creating 8 Fund that were responsible for managing the various State portfolios.

As a result of cessation of payments in 1994 (with the consequent rescheduling), in 1996, the State created 11 holdings in addition to the 5 regional ones with a national Council of privatization; in 2000, we are witnessing their merger in 5 mega holdings and the removal of the national Council of privatization; in 2001, a further reorganization created 28 companies of participative management (GSP) in addition to large companies considered as strategic and in 2004, these GSPs are grouped into 11 and 4 regional ones.

At the various Governments Councils held throughout year 2007, a new organization is proposed by the Department of the Promotion of Investment, (both large companies oil SONATRACH and SONELGAZ, governed by specific laws being not concerned), articulated around four major segments: from the economic development corporations that fall under the exclusive State Management; companies of promotion and development by promoting partnership with the private sector, national and international; called State companies to be eventually privatized ; and finally, a company responsible for the liquidation of structurally loss-making enterprises.

In February 2008, this organisation proposal that did not have unanimity within the various spheres of authorities is abandoned. A commission was instead created to define the typical organization of the public economic sector between 2011/2016 with differing industry groups.

Not forgetting this ambiguous 49 / 51% of company share ownership that was introduced in 2009 to all enterprises including banks in 2010, regardless of strategic and non-strategic sectors drove away foreign capital, Algeria supporting all additional costs.

These periodically recurring changes of organization discouraged managers in the public economic sector, as well as the local and foreign investors clearly showed the dominance of the administrative and bureaucratic approach at the expense of the economic operational approach resulting in a waste of financial resources, a strengthening of the rentier dynamics and blocking of any transfer of technology.

Because of the essential blocking of local and foreign investment being a bureaucratic machine that feeds on the lack of visibility and coherence in the overall reform this situation would require an approach with a comprehensive reform whereas lack of political consensus and neutralization of the balance of power has never addressed a clear way of the future role of the State in the face of both internal and international changes.

Indeed, the future stakes are essentially economic and as in all countries in transition the Algerian society is naturally facing two trends, with in the a majority “the swamp” in the middle not understanding the issues that are anticipated between 2017 and 2030 in essentially economic, between adverse actors and stakeholders favouring reforms where the importance of records eminently political as that of hydrocarbons, the production place of the rent, of the financial system, place of distribution of the rent, and that of the partnership-privatisation, coupled with that of a socio-educational system, rather than the production of added-value that skills will create new social forces either backward if we are moving towards a new private monopoly or carriers of progress if we set a total transparency for a truly competitive market economy.

Hence the rentier tendency to managing the reforms according to a vision bureaucratic as of administrative injunctions based on administrative relays – the office, necessary in any society, but in contrast to developed countries analyzed by Max Weber, a factor blocking that attends the blocking of useful investment for more than 60%.

What conclusion for the action of the Government?

Reconciling economic efficiency and a deep social justice in the context of an open economy, control of the time being the main challenge for Governments in the 21st century would at the end of the day constitute the real challenge of Algeria between 2017, 2020 and 2030.

It is clear that at the time when big businesses and SMIs/SMEs are organized into networks corresponding to a historic phase where the enterprise tends to focus on its core business by outsourcing a good number of secondary activities, and the manufacturing industry experiencing a crisis rarely matched globally, it is necessary to avoid theoretical experiments with huge costs for the country which can only lead to an impasse for lack of strategic vision.

It is the result of the new configuration of the international labour division, product of the evolution of the development of capitalism, an unfinished globalization historical process with the new technological ecological challenge.  Knowledge within the stability of the political environment, economic and social determinants according to international reports, would be a decisive factor in the development of Nations in the 21st century with good governance.

Any operational analysis would have to connect the process of technology transfer to both the new changes at the global level, in front of a profound change in geopolitical, socio-economic, managerial and technological at horizon 2017/2020/2030 as a future policy of the Government tossed between two social forces: the rentier logic supported by proponents of import, the unfortunately dominant informal sphere and the entrepreneurial logic.

In fact technology transfer should not be limited to the technical aspects only but to the organization of society in general on a par with both internal and global changes.  The passage of the status of ‘support against the pension’ to the rule of law “based on work and intelligence” is a major political gamble since it simply involves a new social contract and a new political contract between the Nation and the State.  ademmebtoul@gmail.com


(1) Three audits under the direction of Dr Abderrahmane Mebtoul for the Government including the observation and operational resolutions were conducted comprising:
Study carried out and assisted by officials from the Department of Energy, senior executives of SONATRACH and Ernst Young titled “For a policy of fuels including a policy of subsidies targeted in a competitive market.”

Qatar will not Negotiate with Arab States during Blockade

Qatar will not Negotiate with Arab States during Blockade unless they reverse their measures,” Qatar Foreign Affairs minister was reported as saying by the Saudi owned and Dubai based TV channel Al Arabiya on June 19, 2017.  This was presumably in response to the non-equivocal statement of the UAE’s minister of FA who confirmed that his country together with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt are standing firm on their decision of 2 weeks ago to isolate Qatar from the rest of the GCC countries and that this isolation could last years.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times’ Gideon Rachman warned its readership that the Qatar crisis could . . . .

Qatar will not Negotiate with Arab States during Blockade unless they reverse their measures,” Qatar Foreign Affairs minister was reported as saying by the Saudi owned and Dubai based TV channel Al Arabiya on June 19, 2017.  This was presumably in response to the non-equivocal statement of the UAE’s minister of FA who confirmed that his country together with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt are standing firm on their decision of 2 weeks ago to isolate Qatar from the rest of the GCC countries and that this isolation could last years.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times‘ Gideon Rachman warned its readership that the Qatar crisis could have global implications before adding that the Gulf States have been untouched by Middle Eastern turmoil but that is changing.  Elaborating further, the author sustains that for the past six years, there have been two Arab worlds.  “The world of violence and tragedy; and the world of glitz and globalisation.  Syria, Iraq, Libya and, to a lesser extent, Egypt — have been engulfed by conflict.  But Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have prospered as global hubs for travel, leisure, business and finance.”  And that “The booming Gulf metropolises seemed untouched by the violence in the rest of the Middle East.  They even profited indirectly, as safe havens in a region in turmoil.”

All that is fine or at least up until the author wonders whether the glitzy world of the Gulf could collapse in the same way it rapidly climbed to the shining lights of the world of fame and fortune.

In the meantime, there seems to be a wall as advanced by Gideon Rachman that is rammed down by this sudden irruption of the Qatar crisis of a blockade by its neighbours.

To well understand the underlying culture, it is worth remembering that since time immemorial, there has always been some sort of divide between the nomads and sedentarized populations of the Arab World.  It is no surprise that all Arab countries of today having recently gone through historical phases of Ottoman domination and rule, European domination and rule followed by independence through a well-publicized panarbism and self-rule via differing forms of governance.  Hence countries belonging to one or the other group have settled into on one hand monarchies, sultanates, emirates and on the other republics.  These latter are as well known to all in a very derelict situations but the other up until this Qatar crisis have with the advent of oil shone in their multi-faceted exploits of surging into the international limelight.  The latest exploit of individual countries are countless but most importantly is the Gulf wide exploit of the rail project development that should span traffic from Kuwait to Oman, along the western shore of the Arab-Persian Gulf.  This project as well as many others all in and / or around Qatar such as the Expo 2020 in Dubai as well as the Qatar 2022 World Cup will no doubt bear some consequences of this crisis.  Referring to the map of the Gulf above, could the proposed Alternative extension linking Qatar to the rest of the GCC pay the price of such regional skirmish.

Saudi Arabia is banning Egyptian Agriculture

According to a report of Reuters dated Sunday June 18, 2017, Saudi Arabia is banning Egyptian Agriculture. It is in the midst of what is called the Gulf crisis in which Egypt sided with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain in blockading Qatar.  Egypt is well known since ancient times to produce along the Nile and its delta a wide range of traditionally grown cereals. More recently these include rice that became one of the major field crops and the second most important export crop after cotton.  The country’s exports include all other vegetables and fruits like for instance the object of this article Strawberries.

According to a report of Reuters dated Sunday June 18, 2017, Saudi Arabia is banning Egyptian Agriculture. It is in the midst of what is called the Gulf crisis in which Egypt sided with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain in blockading Qatar.  Egypt is well known since ancient times to produce along the Nile and its delta a wide range of traditionally grown cereals. More recently these include rice that became one of the major field crops and the second most important export crop after cotton.  The country’s exports include all other vegetables and fruits like for instance the object of this article Strawberries.
On the other hand Saudi Arabia despite its harsh climate and predominantly desert lands produces cereals, vegetables and fruits including of course date-palm.
Once again, it is to be noted that dialogue appears to be a no way of resolving matters of diversion and / or is completely absent between the parties.  Banning seems to be the ready made tool to brandish everytime a problem arises.

Saudi Arabia bans imports of Egyptian strawberries

CAIRO (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia is banning imports of Egyptian strawberries due to pesticide residues, said Abdel Hamid al-Demerdash, the head of Egypt’s Agriculture Export Council, the latest such ban to hit Egypt as it struggles to revive its economy.

The temporary ban comes into effect on July 11, Demerdash told Reuters on Sunday, adding that the memo received from Saudi Arabia did not specify the levels of residues detected or name the companies that have committed violations.

“Egypt will not face large losses due to the ban as the exporting season for strawberries ended on April 10,” Demerdash said. He added that strawberries represent 5-10 percent of the country’s total agricultural exports.

Since a currency float in November, which roughly cut the pound’s value in half, Egyptian exports have been welcomed in new markets due to their increased competitiveness.

Exports of Egyptian vegetables, fruits and legumes amounted to $2.2 billion last year. The main fruit exports include oranges and strawberries.

A series of bans of Egyptian exports however has hurt the image of an import-dependent country seeking to step up exports and curb imports in an effort to narrow its trade deficit.

Exports could also help bring in desperately needed foreign currency that has been low in supply as a result of the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that drove away tourists and investors.

Sudan banned imports of agricultural and animal products from Egypt last month.

The United Arab Emirates also banned imports of peppers from Egypt a month earlier

“I expect the crisis of Egyptian agricultural exports to Arab countries to be resolved before the beginning of the new export season which begins mid-November,” Demerdash said.

Egypt exports about 1.2 million tonnes of agricultural produce to Arab countries annually, he added.

Russia temporarily banned imports of Egyptian fruit and vegetables at the end of last year shortly after a Hepatitis A scare in North America was linked to frozen Egyptian strawberries.

Russia’s temporary ban came shortly after Egypt rejected wheat shipments containing traces of the common grain fungus ergot. Russia denied the two issues were related.

(Reporting by Ehab Farouk; writing by Arwa Gaballa; editing by Louise Heavens)

© Thomson Reuters 2017 All rights reserved

 

Human Brilliance, Ingenuity and Skills will always be needed

A brilliantly educational article of Brad Keywell with our compliments shed some light of what awaiting us in the near future.  This is positively a world where Human Brilliance, Ingenuity and Skills will always be needed.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about empowering people, not the rise of the machines

14 Jun 2017

The world is changing. There’s no way around this fact.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is now. And, whether you know it or not, it will affect you.

Billions of people and countless machines are connected to each other. Through ground-breaking technology, unprecedented processing power and speed, and massive storage capacity, data is being collected and harnessed like never before.

Automation, machine learning, mobile computing and artificial intelligence — these are no longer futuristic concepts, they are our reality.

To many people, these changes are scary.

Previous industrial revolutions have shown us that if companies and industries don’t adapt with new technology, they struggle. Worse, they fail.

Mindset shift

But I strongly believe that these innovations will make industry – and the world – stronger and better.

The change brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution is inevitable, not optional.

And the possible rewards are staggering: heightened standards of living; enhanced safety and security; and greatly increased human capacity.

For people, there must be a shift in mindset.

As difficult as it may be, the future of work looks very different from the past. I believe people with grit, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit will embrace this future, rather than cling to the status quo.

People can be better at their jobs with the technology of today—and the technology that is yet to come—rather than fearing that their human skills will be devalued.

Human and machine

I’m reminded of chess.

We have all heard the stories about computers beating even the greatest grandmasters. But the story is more nuanced; humans and computers play differently and each has strengths and weaknesses.

Computers prefer to retreat, but they can store massive amounts of data and are unbiased in their decision-making.

Humans can be more stubborn, but also can read their opponent’s weaknesses, evaluate complex patterns, and make creative and strategic decisions to win.

Even the creators of artificial chess-playing machines acknowledge that the best chess player is actually a team of both human and machine.

The world will always need human brilliance, human ingenuity and human skills.

Software and technology have the potential to empower people to a far greater degree than in the past—unlocking the latent creativity, perception and imagination of human beings at every level of every organization.

Power of data, power of people

This shift will enable workers on the front line, on the road and in the field to make smarter decisions, solve tougher problems and do their jobs better.

This is our mission at Uptake—to combine the power of data and the power of people, across global industries.

Here’s what this looks like:

Railroad locomotives are powered by massive, highly complex electrical engines that cost millions of dollars.

When one breaks down, the railroad loses thousands more for every hour it’s out of service (not to mention, there are a lot of angry travellers or cargo customers to deal with).

After the locomotive is towed in for repairs, technicians normally start by running diagnostic tests. These can take hours, and often require technicians to stand next to roaring engines jotting down numbers based on the diagnostic readings.

That’s the old way – or, at least, it should be.

Machines, rather than something to be feared, are the tools that will help us solve the world’s biggest problems  Image: Unsplash/Sorasak

New solutions

When locomotives operated by our customers roll into the shop for routine services, all diagnostics have already been run.

Our software has forecast when, why and how the machine is likely to break down using predictive analytics — algorithms that analyze massive amounts of data generated by the 250 sensors on each locomotive.

Our systems have examined that data within the context of similar machines, subject- matter experts, industry norms and even weather. If there’s a problem, we detect it, and direct the locomotive to a repair facility.

A mechanic can then simply pick up an iPad, and learn in a few minutes exactly what is about to break down, as well as the machine’s history and the conditions it’s been operating under.

Virtuous loop

That leaves the mechanics to do what they do best: fix it, using their experience, judgement and skill. And the mechanics decisions and actions become data that feeds back into the software, improving the analytics and predictions for the next problem.

So, technology didn’t replace mechanics; it empowered them do their job.

In the same way that chess masters and computers work best together, the mechanic used human skills that a machine can’t replicate: ingenuity, creativity and experience. And the technology detected a problem that was unknown and unseen to human eyes.

In short, when the mechanic and the technology work together, the work gets done faster, with fewer errors and better results.

Multiply this across all industries: aviation, energy, transportation, smart cities, manufacturing, natural resources, and construction.

The productivity we unleash could be reminiscent of what the world saw at the advent of the first industrial revolution. But the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will run much broader, and deeper, than the first.

We’ll have the knowledge, the talent and the tools to solve some of the world’s biggest problems: hunger, climate change, disease.

Machines will supply us with the insight and the perspective we need to reach those solutions. But they won’t supply the judgement or the ingenuity. People will.

 

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