Exploring the Effects of International Traffic in Arms Regulations Restrictions on Innovation in the U.S. Space Industrial Base
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH DEPT OF SYSTEMS AND ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT
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The International Traffic in Arms Regulations ITAR are used to protect United States U.S. military technologies. However, changes to ITAR export controls regarding space technologies have had a major impact to the U.S. space industry. The literature mentions a concern for the health of lower-tier firms because they are a major source of innovation, but there is no additional information considering the effects of ITAR on space innovation at those lower tiers. The purpose of this thesis was to explore the implications of continuing the current ITAR restrictions with regard to innovation in the space industry. This research used a three-part approach Part I used personal interviews to explore perceptions from the space enterprise. Part II was a secondary analysis of previously collected data. Part III compared the results of Parts I and II to assess the relationship between ITAR and innovation in the space industry. The analysis shows there is no significant evidence that ITAR has a direct effect on space innovation. However, the industry may see some secondary negative effects on innovation. This thesis reveals a need to examine other second or third order effects of ITAR in economic and political environments to advise current ITAR reform efforts.