Friday, 12 June 2015 00:00

3D Printing & Biotechnology: Possible Security Implications for NATO, Its Partners, and Beyond

Developments in 3D Printing and Biotechnology may appear to be quite unrelated; in fact they share commonalities. Both have the potential to greatly benefit the societies we live in - from developing new industrial processes through to enabling treatments for diseases and improvements in healthcare unimaginable just a few years ago.

Indeed, developments in 3D Printing mean new techniques can be used positively in Biotechnology, prosthetics, and medical devices. A 3D 'bioprinter' can even be used to produce 'bioprinted' human organs. At the same time, 3D ‘bioprinting’ could also be used by those who wish to inflict great harm on our societies. Both 3D printing and biotech are apt to simultaneously empower many - who would not otherwise have the means - to acquire dual-use technology and their means of production. Such capabilities are likely to be used by states, terrorists and criminal actors, creating new security challenges.