What’s next for national security and research?

Think tank: HEPI

Author(s): Alexis Brown

February 17, 2022

This report from UK think tank HEPI looks at what measures are in place to protect UK research from foreign interference.

This report reviews what measures are in place to protect UK research from foreign interference, including the new National Security and Investment Act (2021) that came into force on 4 January 2022. It argues that, while universities can do more to raise awareness of security issues with their researchers, any new legislative measures must also be carefully designed to avoid increasing administrative burdens in counterproductive ways. This report begins by mapping recent developments in the national security and research space, while the first chapter then looks specifically at how the National Security and Investment Act may affect universities, and what gaps remain when it comes to clarity, resources and informal collaborations that lie beyond its scope. It further explores how to improve intelligence and advice links between the sector and the Government, particularly through the new Research Collaboration Advice Team (RCAT). It finally examines how universities can raise researchers’ awareness of security issues online, including through their institutional websites and export control training to be launched in 2022.