The State Department's Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance (AVC) is in the final stages of its Innovation in Arms Control Challenge, and we hope to announce the results soon. In the meantime, we aren't slowing down. AVC has a new competition ready to go, and this time we will be engaging American and Russian citizens through the 2012-13 International Arms Control Essay Contest. We are looking for ideas from citizens of the United States and Russia to offer innovative ideas on how to reduce the risks posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The nature of WMD risks has changed in the 21st century, but so has the nature of diplomacy and technology. From President Obama to Secretary Clinton and throughout the Administration, there has been a directive to find ways to leverage new tools and technologies to our advantage. We are working on creating new ways to verify and monitor WMD treaties and agreements, but we can always use new ideas. That is why we are looking for essays on the application of open source information and communication technologies to arms control verification, compliance, and monitoring. AVC is excited to be partnering with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) and the Center for Policy Studies (PIR) in Russia on this effort. Together, we will reach out to the widest possible audience of innovators in the United States and Russia. We hope to get some really cutting-edge ideas on how we tackle arms control verification in the information age. For all the details on the rules and submission guidelines, please click here for the CNS website or here for the PIR website. The contest runs until January 31, 2013, and is open to all citizens of the United States and Russia. One winner from the United States will have their essay posted on the PIR Center website and one winner from Russia will have their essay posted on the CNS website. The bonus: both winners will also receive an iPad. So think big, think innovative, and then get typing and send us some great ideas!