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Managing Technology Transfer in Universities & Research Institutes

ITT and Universities 1920 px

This project focuses on identifying ways in which both tangible and intangible technology transfers out of research settings, such as universities and research institutes, can occur towards countries of proliferation concern.

Not only tangible goods but also intangible information and knowledge can be transmitted across borders, which is a growing problem when technological advances make for an increasingly seamless world.

There is a need to advance the implementation of export controls regimes, international sanctions regimes and vetting in research organisations to avert such transfers with a view to preventing proliferation.


Managing Technology Transfers from Universities and Research Institutes aims to understand ways in which proliferators target research environments, as well as ways in which researchers can unwittingly aid states’ Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferation programmes.

  • Through awareness raising and by training university and research personnel on the importance of, and on how to implement technology and trade controls, this project seeks to prevent universities, research institutes and researchers themselves from falling foul of international and national regulations.



Through outreach and awareness raising events, this project brings together government actors engaged in seeking to fulfil their international obligations to prevent proliferation, and university and research institutes, which are home to a wide array of dual-use technologies.

It enables an exchange of views between governments and universities and promotes understanding of the boundaries and challenges each party must work within. It engages inter-governmental actors such as the EU as well as national governments, and universities in North America, Europe and beyond.


Through policy briefs with recommendations, this project aids government understanding of the compliance space in academic settings, so that governments can issue relevant and useful guidance for academia with a view to aiding universities comply with relevant regulations. These also aid governments understanding of today’s proliferation threat environment with a view to enabling them to control for and minimise proliferation risks, which threat actors seek to exploit.

Academic understanding

This project contributes to academic understanding on the scale and types of threats academia faces in today’s proliferation threat environment, as well as on the neglected and key role academia can play in countering WMD proliferation. Data driven research provide testable hypotheses for peer-reviewed academic output with a view to informing further research in this area.

Project status: Ongoing