TARA has been transforming the landscape of rural India by creating new opportunities to build rural economies, for over 25 years. TARA is a social enterprise, which pioneers business approaches; thereby, helping local entrepreneurs to improve rural lives. The risks are few, but rewards are many.
Recognising the need for development solutions in Asia and Africa, TARA has been pioneering clean and green technologies in the areas of building materials, renewable energy, waste utilisation, and water and natural resource management. TARA acts as an “incubator” and nurtures micro-enterprise based green business solutions, for environment and development challenges faced by the poor in Asia and Africa.
The main aim of technology transfer initiatives is to initiate the means of sustainable economic development and growth. Large scale replication of a technology creates job, generates income, reduce poverty, and thereby, fulfils a major part of the Millennium Development Goals globally.
The international technology and knowledge transfer initiatives focus on scalable solutions especially, in the resource efficiency and low carbon emission sectors. The services that are promoted may not always bring in pre-determined solutions. It recognises and investigates existing knowledge and skills, and builds close cooperation with the small medium enterprise sector. It also promotes participation of the local enterprises and communities. There is often, a need to adapt the transferred technology to suit the local conditions of a developing country. TARA assists transfer and adaptation of technologies in different countries and regions, and minimises dependence on external inputs.
The building material sector, especially the brick manufacturing sector, remains an area of intense research and pioneering intervention for TARA. Many technologies have been developed and successfully commercialised in other countries. Those technologies are based on the principle of maximising waste material utilisation, reducing the use of natural resource, improving energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gases and most importantly, provide decent jobs and investment opportunities.
TARA technologies such as EcoKiln, Fly ash, micro-concrete roofing tiles, compressed earth block, low carbon cement, waste paper recycling, water testing kits and purification have been promoted in countries such as Nepal, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka in Asia and, South Africa and Malawi in Africa. Initiatives have also been taken up to disseminate these in South American countries, such as Cuba and Brazil. In most of these countries, it is being done through South-South collaboration between local implementing partners. Knowledge gathered through practical experience of technology transfer in various countries indicates that effective technology transfer cannot be achieved in a short time through projects. It requires being a long term program, which fulfils all the elements of sustainability.