Knowledge areas at increased risk

Effective risk reduction first requires the accurate identification of sensitive knowledge areas. For these areas, risks to national security are associated with the undesirable transfer of knowledge.

Examples include knowledge that has been developed specifically for military applications or dual-use technologies. Although the list of dual-use technologies provides useful suggestions, it is not exhaustive. Knowledge areas that fall outside the scope of export control can also be sensitive. Examples include the domains (or sub-domains) of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and quantum technology. Here, an increased risk of unethical application of research results may exist, for instance related to mass surveillance programmes.

These risks are even greater for domains in which the Netherlands occupies a unique knowledge position or for technologies that affect the continuity of vital processes in the Netherlands, such as transport, the internet and gas production. Or on which the Netherlands is dependent, due to a lack of viable alternatives. Within this context, reference is often made to ‘crown jewels’: the knowledge areas that pose risks associated with knowledge transfer. Domains within which your institution has built a reputation and within which research is conducted that is internationally recognised as excellent.