The Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management (CPTM) was established in 1995, but it has older roots. To appreciate the unique position of CPTM, it is important to understand how it began, the way it has evolved over time, and the remarkable people who have made CPTM into what it is today.
The roots of CPTM are to be found in a network of far-sighted Commonwealth leaders, senior advisers and civil servants in key Commonwealth states, as well as in the Commonwealth Secretariat, during the 1980s and 1990s. They grasped the need for a fierce focus on leveraging science and technology for the development of emerging economies. They saw that cooperation between the Commonwealth countries with their shared systems and values offered a unique opportunity to accelerate progress and development globally.
The methods favoured and embraced by this informal network were the free sharing of ideas and resources, the use of open dialogue to address issues of common concern and the idea that creating public-private partnerships was the best approach to mutually beneficial socio-economic transformation.
CPTM has evolved over time. Technology management evolved from the transfer of technology and best practices to the use of technology as an agent for change. The concern for the environment evolved into a commitment to sustainable development. In line with these evolving needs and insights CPTM has developed a unique set of tools targeted at the development of emerging economies. The CPTM approach is based on exchange of knowledge and ideas, open dialogue with all stakeholders and creating partnerships and win-win situations.
Some of the initial networking initiatives took place in the Caribbean with the great benefit of the rapid roll-out and learning between the islands. Malaysia played a leading role in the development of the Smart Partnership approach for realising National Visions, based on win-win outcomes for all participant communities, and engaged other Commonwealth countries, in particular African countries and other island states, in applying this approach.
CPTM is now a well-established brand name in the global development effort, and active in over twenty Commonwealth countries. The Smart Partnership Dialogues, uniquely driven by leaders of the emerging economies in the Commonwealth and beyond, have shaped a distinctive and progressive movement for socio-economic transformation. CPTM remains in the first place a movement and always remembers its networking roots, its faith in a special blend of tradition and modernity. Next year in 2024 it will proudly celebrate forty years of “The Smart Partnership Network”.