Research Security in Today's Geo-Political Era


Federation Hall, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario


February 27, 2023



Research Security has become a growing concern for academic institutions, the Canadian government, researchers, and the wider public. Research security broadly refers to the means to protect expertise, data, technology, and know-how that could help hostile states, criminal organizations, or commercial competitors to advance their geopolitical, economic, and security interests at the expense of Canada’s national interest. This can include stealing, cyber-attacks, interfering, and transferring researchers’ proprietary knowledge and IP from Canada without their consent or knowledge.

From raising awareness and understanding among faculty on the appropriate application of potential policies and procedures regarding legal protection of IP, export control of dual use technologies, and the growing requirements of tri-council research grant agencies, the issue of safeguarding of academic research from potential foreign threat actors has increased in importance. The geopolitical environment necessitates this increased threat awareness. This two-day workshop at the University of Waterloo serves to share some of the concerns of stakeholders on all things related to research security. The workshop will feature panels of academics with expertise on the threat to research from foreign actors, leaders of various funding agencies, senior government officials working on national security, public safety, and national defence.

This workshop will help build broad awareness among the academic community regarding the importance of research security, the type of known risks to research, provide direction and guidance on how to protect their research and assess risks in partnerships, and provide attendees an opportunity to ask questions of experts and various government representatives.