On 1-2 February, SIPRI, together with the US Department of State, hosted a workshop on ‘Controlling Intangible Transfers of Technology (ITT): Mapping Key Challenges and Good Practices and Identifying Areas of Improvement’.
ITT refers to the transfer of non-physical ‘intangible’ goods, particularly certain types of knowledge, technical assistance, technology and software. Controlling ITT is widely viewed as an essential component of states’ export control systems. However, controls on ITT pose a particular set of problems, both for states when seeking to detect illicit transfers and for companies and research institutes when seeking to comply with regulations.
The workshop brought together 28 experts from 15 European countries and the United States. This included representatives of various industry sectors, research centres, foreign ministries, national licensing and enforcement agencies and the European Commission. The aim of the workshop was to discuss key issues related to the application of export controls to ITT, as well as to explore how their implementation could be improved by national authorities, by the European Union, and through the use of available guidance materials.
A series of dedicated sessions addressed specific topics, including the historical development of ITT controls, emerging challenges to controls on technical data posed by cloud computing and 3D printing, and the application of ITT controls in research and academia and the defence and aerospace sector. The workshop closed with a discussion on the future of ITT controls and practical steps forward.
About the project
This workshop is one component of a project aimed at mapping key challenges and good practices associated with controls on ITT. The project is a follow-up to a previous SIPRI study on sector and actor specific challenges and good practices regarding internal compliance with strategic trade controls. The project is funded by the US State Department’s Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program. As part of the project, SIPRI will be publishing two policy papers on implementing and complying with controls on ITT and controlling 3D Printing and ITT.