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News | July 10, 2020

Innovation and Its Discontents: National Models of Military Innovation and the Dual-Use Conundrum

By Amy J. Nelson The Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)

This study explores variations in national models of innovation in the hope of beginning to shed light on the pathways or levers those models afford in controlling innovation’s end product. It considers the “lifecycle” of dual-use innovation and resulting technologies in the United States and Germany by evaluating how these countries are adapting (or not) their national approaches to investment, development, and integration of dual-use innovation. It uses case studies of both U.S. and German investment in artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing to highlight national approaches to innovation consistent with each country’s foreign policy and domestic goals. It also assesses each country’s approach to regulating sensitive and dual-use technologies once they have been developed. Finally, drawing on a companion report by Dr. Alexander Montgomery, it examines proliferation concerns and national capacities for countering the proliferation of next-generation warfighting technologies that result from innovation.

This approach allows us to consider how national goals, strategies, and values affect each country’s approach to technology development. While the study examines U.S. and German national capacity in the development of additive manufacturing and artificial intelligence, it takes a “macro” view rather than focusing on detailed accounts of these technologies, their trajectories, and the threats they present. As such, the study distills shared values and opportunities for policy alignment along the trajectory of innovation’s lifespan as a potential pathway or lever to generate increased cooperation and improved transatlantic coordination, as well as for increased security through improved technological capacity. READ MORE>>>