On December 23, 2022, President Biden signed the Fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2023). While research security is not the primary focus of the NDAA 2023, it still makes an appearance and continues to build on the efforts laid out in the CHIPS & Act and NDAA 2022.
A Closer Look into NDAA 2023
While there may not be much on research security in the NDAA 2023, if you look closely, one section of note was added:
Section 1335—Modification to Initiative to Support Protection of National Security Academic Researchers from Undue Influence and Other Security Threats Modification to Initiative to Support Protection of National Security Academic Researchers from Undue Influence and Other Security Threats This section would modify the initiative to support protection of national security academic researchers from undue influence and other security threats, and would prohibit funds from being awarded to entities that maintain a contract with certain Chinese or Russian institutions.
What Does this Mean?
While it does not specifically define what these entities are, however, the CHIPS & Science Act references them and a previous NDAA tasked DoD with developing a list. That is what they will apply.
Of course, the common thread is they’re including specific organizations within China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Furthermore, the NDAA 2023 has a large emphasis on countering influence in the Caribbean, Africa and South America and efforts to disrupt our strategic partnerships around the world.
Here’s What’s Next
We are already seeing other legislation in bills that are not easily identified as being related to research security. For example, vetting requirements, like the Small Business Act, affect funding agencies with SBIR/STTR vetting and review report requirements. In addition, we anticipate more from Congress after January 2023 as the House Oversight committee begins to hold hearings regarding COVID origins and possible foreign influence in academia hearings.
2023 is shaping up to be an interesting year for research security. Subscribe so you don’t miss what’s new.