Scientific research sometimes might also present potential risks of misuse. Making available sensitive (dual-use) technology, such as technical data or know-how, could contribute to the development, production or use of biological, chemical, nuclear weapons or their means of delivery (e.g. missiles or drones), as well as human rights violations.
Academic proliferation has become one the main concerns related to strategic trade control since the adoption of the EU Regulation 428/2009, and its recast highlighted the importance to raise awareness among the academic and research community (see recital 8).
The EU Commission, with the support of the Member States, has developed a targeted “EU compliance guidance for research involving dual-use items” which will be soon published, after having been open to public consultation.
In this context, the European Commission Joint Research Centre, in collaboration with Liege University (European Studies Unit), has developed a data-mining tool which can provide support to universities and research centres (but not only) for awareness raising and mapping of scientific collaborations: TIM Dual-Use.
Retrieving relevant documents from SCOPUS (over 50 million scientific abstracts), PATSTAT (over 25 million international-patents from 90 countries) and EU CORDIS (EU-funded research projects) databases, on the basis of multiple queries built on keywords related to dual-use items, TIM Dual-Use is able to, inter alia:
- Map potential dual-use scientific publications and collaboration networks of a country or even specific companies, universities, and research institutes;
- Identify areas for targeted awareness-raising activities to reinforce internal compliance;
- Monitor emerging technology (technological development and trends, as appearing from chronological and geographical developments);
The TIM Dual-Use public platform can be consulted at the following European Commission Joint Research Centre’s website: