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New SIPRI papers on the proliferation challenges associated with transfers of software and technology and 3D printing

New SIPRI papers on the proliferation challenges associated with transfers of software and technology and 3D printing
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SIPRI is pleased to announce the publication of two new papers, entitled ‘The challenge of software and technology transfers to non-proliferation efforts: Implementing and complying with export controls’ and ‘The challenge of emerging technologies to non-proliferation efforts: Controlling additive manufacturing and intangible transfers of technology’.

The effective regulation of transfers of software and technology presents a set of challenges for dual-use and arms export controls that are set to grow in the near future. Developments in cloud computing, for example, are increasing the volume of data that can be transferred electronically, raising questions about if and when controls on transfers of software and technology should apply. In addition, additive manufacturing (AM)—also known as 3D printing—is likely to increase the range and complexity of controlled goods that can be produced using transferred software and technology, raising concerns about new proliferation pathways.

The two SIPRI publications address the closely related issues of controlling transfers of software and technology and applying exports controls to AM. Taken together, the papers examine some of the most challenging issues that governments, companies and research institutes in the European Union (EU) and the wider world are facing when they seek to effectively implement dual-use and arms export controls. They also address a range of topics that are under active discussion within the multilateral export control regimes and in connection with the recast of the EU Dual-use Regulation.

Concretely, the conclusions highlight steps that different stakeholders can take to improve the consistency and effectiveness of software and technology controls as well as summarizing potential options and considerations when expanding controls on AM.


About the publications

Draft versions of these two SIPRI papers were presented and discussed at a two-day workshop in Stockholm hosted by SIPRI in February 2018. The workshop was attended by representatives of companies, licensing and enforcement authorities, and technical experts. The papers were further revised on the basis of the feedback provided by participants. Funding for both the workshop and the production of the two papers was provided by the US Department of State’s Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program.

For more details on SIPRI work on dual-use and arms export controls, please visit here.