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News / Canadian government unveils new research security policy

News / Canadian government unveils new research security policy

The federal government has announced researchers who work in sensitive areas and partner with 103 Chinese, Iranian and Russian research institutions on a “named organizations” list will be barred from federal funding.

The Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern (STRAC) policy requires researchers applying for federal grants in “sensitive” research areas to sign an attestation that they do not have ties with the listed institutions.

The identified sensitive research areas include advanced weapons, artificial intelligence and big data, aerospace, space and satellite technology, and medical and healthcare technology.

CAUT has voiced concerns about how the new research security restrictions could affect academic freedom.

“It is important that any restrictions be specific and not broadly defined, be based on fact and not conjecture, and do not target specific communities,” said David Robinson, CAUT executive director.

CAUT has also warned that the new rules threaten to limit international scientific collaboration and could unfairly target Canadian academics of Chinese descent or origin.

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