U.S. Department of State Launches the "Innovation in Arms Control Challenge"

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 28, 2012

In the spirit of harnessing the ingenuity of the American people, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance launched today the “Innovation in Arms Control Challenge” where we ask the public, “How Can the Crowd Support Arms Control Transparency Efforts?” Click here for official rules and guidelines.

Over the past three years, the U.S. Department of State has been reshaping our diplomatic agenda to meet old challenges by deploying one of America’s great assets – innovation. Diplomacy today is very different than it was at the dawn of the nuclear age; more often diplomacy is happening in the open, and at quicker speeds. The astonishing advancements in information technologies include new tools and capabilities that could help support arms control transparency and compliance. We will collect new ideas about how these advancements can affect the implementation of arms control, verification, and nonproliferation policy. Can innovation bring about better ways to prevent “loose nukes” from falling into the hands of terrorists? Can smart phone and tablet applications be created for the purpose of aiding on-site inspectors in verifying and monitoring armaments and sensitive materials? How can we use what’s already out there in new and creative ways to address this important global objective?

This challenge seeks creative ideas from the general public to use commonly available technologies to support arms control policy efforts. By creating this platform for public participation, collaboration, and openness, we aim to deepen our understanding and bring to bear the networks, technologies, and human potential of our increasingly inter-dependent and interconnected world.

The contest runs until October 26, 2012 and is open to all U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Cash awards may vary with a guaranteed payout totaling up to $10,000.

Media Contact: Jamie Mannina, ManninaJF@state.gov.

PRN: 2012/1352