Safeguarding Research (NCSB)

CACN – Security – Canada-China Relations

Date: February 22, 2021

Classification: Unclassified

Branch/Agency: NCSB/NSPD

Research Security

Proposed Response:


Research security can be characterized as the Government of Canada's attempt to defend, protect, and promote the security of all aspects of our research enterprise in the academic, public, and private sectors. This is an intersectional issue that touches on measures to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD's) and dual-use technology, to reinforce our economic security, and to prevent and deter foreign interference.

Awareness-raising is a key component part of Public Safety's outreach efforts to Canadian researchers through the Safeguarding Science initiative, along with resilience and capacity-building. Despite a lack of dedicated resources, Safeguarding Science has helped to raise awareness in Canada's research institutions of the risks of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear proliferation; counter-proliferation in Canada; dual-use technology; cybersecurity; and how to mitigate these risks. To date, Safeguarding Science workshops have been delivered to 34 universities and 19 federal labs across Canada; in 2020 alone, and in spite of limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, over 200 researchers and scientists received a Safeguarding Science workshop. Efforts are currently underway to increase delivery to the private, provincial, and federal sectors as well.

In September 2020, the Government of Canada also launched the "Safeguarding Your Research" online portal to provide publicly-available information, tools and guidance on the risk of research theft and espionage, which can serve as a place for developing further guidance in the future. The Government also released a policy statement on research security, co-signed by the Minister of Public Safety, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Minister of Health.

Canada is not alone in these concerns: several of our Five Eyes allies have grappled with the same issues, along with international partners including France, Germany, Demark, Japan, and the Czech Republic.


Prepared by: Maya Stewart, Senior Policy Analyst, 613-290-8007

Approved by: Dominic Rochon, Senior ADM, 613-990-4976

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