National

Japan drafting guidelines to stop technology leaks from universities working with foreign firms

Kyodo

The government will set guidelines by the end of March next year for preventing technology leaks from universities that conduct research with foreign firms, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.

The move comes as the United States and China grow cautious about advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence being converted for military use.

While Japan already regulates the disclosure of sensitive technologies and products by the nation’s state organizations and companies to overseas firms under a foreign exchange and foreign trade law, university laboratories have been managing infrequent arrangements on their own, leading some experts to voice concerns about the risk of information leaks.

The envisioned guidelines would require universities and other research institutions to set regulations on joint projects involving foreign entities.

They will be based on the comprehensive innovation strategy adopted by the Cabinet in 2018 aimed at promoting university research on AI, biotechnology and other leading technologies. The Cabinet hopes to triple the value of private investments in universities and research bodies from fiscal 2014 levels by fiscal 2025.

As cross-border collaboration is expected to increase through the strategy, the government has deemed it necessary to craft the guidelines for working with foreign entities.