The connection between export compliance and research is not obvious—unless one understands that export controls are by no means restricted to the shipment of goods from one country to another.
Export control laws and regulations apply not only to goods, and not only to their physical export, they apply equally to technologies, the definition of which includes direct or indirect transfer of knowledge.
For this reason, research often invokes the "deemed export" rule: activities that are deemed to be exports, and therefore subject to the export regulatory requirements of various government departments.
The deemed export designation triggers regulatory requirements and places the responsibility for compliance on the affected institution or organization—and its researchers—as exporters. Protecting both from the risk of violating export controls requires more than careful reading of grants and other opportunities for Fundamental Research exclusions.
As part of an export compliance program, universities and research facilities need sophisticated tools that are easy to use and Internet-enabled for access wherever researchers are located, workflows that both educate and capture the necessary content, and centralized full-featured automated oversight and audit functions and processes. With these, Universities and research institutions can: