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This excellent report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. Historically, policymakers have had difficulty addressing issues raised by emerging technologies. Whether it is inadequate legislation due to a general lack of awareness, or overregulation from a perceived threat, emerging technologies seem to repeatedly confuse those responsible for ensuring their safe incorporation into society. Despite decades of experience with similar issues, this trend continues to this day. What lessons can be drawn from different approaches to policy development for other emerging technologies to help policymakers avoid these failures for additive manufacturing technologies?

A structured focus comparison of three emerging technologies, unmanned aerial systems, autonomous vehicles, and additive manufacturing, revealed characteristics of emerging technologies—such as a low price point for market entry and rapid evolution— that tend to surprise policymakers.

This study recommends organizations make a concerted effort to engage early and often in the policy development process, and that they carefully consider each stakeholder's level of involvement. It is also recommended that the Department of Homeland Security leverage existing mechanisms, such as the Centers of Excellence partnerships and the Strategic Foresight Initiative, to engage nontraditional partners in addressing issues raised by additive manufacturing technologies.

To appropriately address the question, this research used a structured, focused comparison to examine select elements of unmanned aerial systems (UASs), autonomous vehicles, and additive manufacturing systems. These technologies were selected based on availability of academic research as well as pertinence in the field of homeland security. To strengthen the approach to this qualitative study, the methodology focused on reducing the number of variables considered in each selected technology, and choosing emerging technologies that possessed similar conditions.

This research revealed that the unique, individual characteristics of each emerging technology are the most significant factors that can lead to uninformed or reactionary public policy approaches. The most significant characteristics revealed by this study were:

timeframe for evolution of technology; price point for entry into the market; range of impacted stakeholders.

This research showed that quickly evolving technologies with low price points for entry into the market and wide ranges of interested or impacted stakeholders are the most likely to surprise legislators. UASs and additive manufacturing technologies fit this description and, to date, have not been adequately addressed by policymakers.

From these findings, the researcher developed recommendations at two levels: strategic and tactical. The strategic-level recommendations focus on general lessons learned from historical policy development examples focused on emerging technologies. These are high level, generalizable, and suitable for any organization interested in working with emerging technologies. The tactical-level recommendations are focused on existing mechanisms within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that can be leveraged to specifically address potential policy questions raised by the recent advancements in additive manufacturing processes. These recommendations aim to be realistic and executable, with consideration given to the continued strain on resources available for new initiatives.

20 Dezembro
Progressive Management
Smashwords, Inc.

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