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Canada Halts Funding for Security-Threatening Foreign-affiliated Research

Canada has announced its decision to discontinue funding for research affiliated with foreign entities that poses a threat to national security

Canada unveiled its strategy to safeguard domestic research against national security risks. The government plans to cease funding research in sensitive technology areas that involve institutions linked to foreign military, national defense, or state security entities posing potential threats to Canada’s security.

As part of the protection plan, the Canadian government published a list of Sensitive Technology Research Areas encompassing advanced technologies susceptible to misappropriation. These areas include digital infrastructure, energy, sensing and surveillance, weapons, artificial intelligence, big data, quantum science, and materials and manufacturing technologies.

Addressing concerns about racial profiling, the Canadian government reiterated that the list is evidence-based on national security risks and not intended to target specific groups or countries. Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service David Vigneault cautioned about potential labeling effects during the Five Eyes Alliance conference in October 2023.

Since February 2023, Canada has mandated research councils to reject grant applications involving sensitive research linked to foreign state-connected entities, citing national security. Canadian universities and the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities were also required to adopt similar guidelines for their research partnerships.