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Smart borders

Increasing security without sacrificing mobility


In 2015, global commerce is projected to be worth over $300 billion. The interlinked and international nature of this economy makes exponential growth quite lucrative, yet this economy also becomes increasingly susceptible to a range of risks from organized crime and terrorist groups to emerging technology. Take 3D printing—the technology has been around for decades but now that it is commercially viable and readily available, it presents a myriad of unprecedented threats. With anyone able to print any physical object for which a blueprint exists, this technology has the potential to fundamentally change the economies of scale for small, innovative enterprises and may revolutionize the entire manufacturing industry. Dynamic disruptions, such as these, will force governments and industry to re-imagine policies and business practices related to the movement of goods and people to remain competitive in this new global order. Governments, in particular, will have the opportunity to envision and realize Smart Borders—a border security and management paradigm that can create safer, more standard and cost effective demarcations.

This report describes how governments can apply the following principles to transform the way they secure and manage their borders:

  • Make a safer border by employing risk based decision-making
  • Improve standardization by normalizing data requirements and partnering across borders
  • Increase cost savings by consolidating government functions at the border
  • Innovate at the border by enabling the ecosystem to bring commercial and community solutions


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