Dual Purpose Technology

Dual Use Technology may have a military and commercial value. The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) is a federal advisory committee chartered to "provide advice, guidance, and leadership regarding biosecurity oversight of dual use research to all Federal departments and agencies with an interest in life sciences research. The NSABB advises on and recommends specific strategies for the efficient and effective oversight of federally conducted or supported dual use biological research, taking into consideration national security concerns and the needs of the research community."

The NSABB offers the following information on dual use research and dual use research of concern:

"Life sciences research is vital to improving public health, agriculture, and the environment, and to strengthening our national security and economy. Yet the very research designed to find ways to better the health, welfare and safety of mankind can also yield information or technologies that could potentially be misused for harmful purposes. For instance, information from certain life sciences research can be misapplied to create dangerous pathogens for employment as weapons, bypass or diminish the effectiveness of medical countermeasures, or threaten in other ways the health and safety of humans, animals, plants, and the environment. Research yielding new technologies or information with the potential for both benevolent and malevolent applications is referred to as "dual use research."

Some degree of dual use potential may be inherent in a significant portion of life sciences research. However, the small subset of life sciences research with the highest potential for yielding knowledge, products, or technology that could be misapplied to threaten public health or national security is referred to as "dual use research of concern."

The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) has defined dual use research of concern as research that, based on current understanding, can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, products, or technologies that could be directly misapplied by others to pose a threat to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment or material."