What is the Fundamental Research Exclusion?

The Fundamental research exclusion is a broad-based general legal exclusion to protect technical information (but not tangible items) involved in research from being controlled by export controls. In other words, research qualifying as “fundamental research” is not subject to export controls.

  • The EAR definition of Fundamental Research means research in science, engineering, or mathematics, the results of which ordinarily are published and shared broadly within the research community, and for which the researchers have not accepted restrictions for proprietary or national security reasons.
  • The ITAR defines Fundamental Research as basic and applied research in science and engineering conducted at accredited U.S. institutions of higher education where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community. Such research can be distinguished from proprietary research and from industrial development, design, production, and product utilization, the results of which ordinarily are restricted for proprietary reasons or specific national security reasons.
  • University research will not qualify as fundamental research if the university or researcher accepts any restrictions on the publication of the information resulting from the research, other than limited prepublication reviews by research sponsors to prevent inadvertent divulging of proprietary information provided to the researcher by sponsor or to ensure that publication will not compromise patent rights of the sponsor.

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