Exemptions for the Academic Community

If your activity is subject to export controls and applies to dual-use Software and Technology only (so not physical goods) then you may be exempt under one of the 3 categories below. Please note, if there are end-use concerns or embargoes/sanctions an exemption cannot be used:

 1. In the Public Domain

This is Software or Technology available without restrictions on its further dissemination. It excludes the normal copyright restrictions that may apply.

It is unlikely that undergraduate level courses need to consider export controls. Most of the information and technical data used in teaching such degrees is in the public domain. Therefore, the exemption would generally apply.

In the case of individual projects, it is unlikely that export controls apply. This is because the work generated would generally not meet the full definition of sensitive Technology. The same is generally true of most types of taught master’s degrees.

For Technology to be in the public domain it has to be freely available with no restriction other than copyright placed on its further dissemination, such as in a book, on a website, at an exhibition. The intention to publish a paper containing controlled Technology does not in itself place that information in the public domain. Any collaboration or sharing of controlled Technology overseas, such as through a peer review prior to publication of a technical paper or the results of research and development, would require a licence.

2. Basic Scientific Research

Export controls do not apply to research in the pursuit of basic scientific knowledge. This is experimental or theoretical work. It is undertaken to solely obtain new knowledge of the fundamental principles of phenomena or observable facts. It is not directed towards a specific practical aim or goal. Further protection of academic freedom is set out in section 8 of the Export Control Act 2002.

Research with a low Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of around 1 to 3, is more likely to fall within the area of ‘basic scientific research’.

Applied research and collaborations with commercial entities are usually not covered by this exemption. 

Please note: This exemption only applies to dual-use technologies. This does not apply where there are end-use or end-user concerns. Military listed Technology is not basic scientific research.

3.Minimum Information Necessary for a Patent Application 

In the case of non-nuclear dual-use Technology, the controls do not apply to the minimum technical information required to support a patent application.

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