Protecting national security should be done in a targeted, risk-based way

17 February 2022

A new report  - What's next for national security and research? - has been published today (17 February) by HEPI. The 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. 

The report includes a list of recommendations for Government and the sector on how protect national security without increasing administrative burdens in counterproductive ways.

Commenting on the report, Ben Moore, Policy Manager, said: 

“We all understand the need for a Government to be able to monitor and, when necessary, intervene if investments from overseas organisations could pose a threat to national security.

“We worked with Government to help shape the National Security and Investments Act but now it has come into force, we must get implementation right to ensure it properly balances national security and the UK’s ability to build new international partnerships.

“The best regulatory regimes are targeted, risk-based, and impose the minimum burden required to deliver critical policy goals. By contrast, a less targeted approach that treats a partnership between a UK university and a German or US company as equivalent to one with, for example, a firm under state control in a country under sanctions could result in the new system being overwhelmed with referrals and ultimately result in more risky transactions being missed.”


A blog by Ben Moore, on the issues highlighted in the report on the report can also be read here

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