The international character of the academic world offers many benefits. Science as a whole thrives on co-operation across borders. But internationalization also brings with it the possibility of certain risks and some prudence is advised. Apart from leading to many valuable co-operations there is also a risk for involuntary interference such as the unlawful obtaining of information, the unwanted influencing of research, cyberattacks and the violation of human rights.

Information security is high on the political agenda due to certain changes in the geopolitical landscape. The European Commission published a staff working document on Tackling R&I foreign interference and the Department of Economie, Science & Innovation of the Flemish Government is, in co-operation with external partners, currently working on a framework concerning information security. (link will follow)

The Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR) has published a vision paper on information security (currently only available in Dutch) in co-operation with the five Flemish Universities. The vision paper outlines a framework of values and focusses on self-regulation and co-creation with the government. In September 2022, VLIR will also publish the renewed brochure on dual use (dual use research is research on or with materials/techniques/substances etc. that can be used for both civilian and military purposes. For more information you can take a look at the webpage of the Ethics Committee on Science and Technology) in which the topic of information security will also be featured. (link will follow)

Within the University of Antwerp we are working on a practical framework on information security and raising university wide awareness. More information will follow soon. In the meantime you can always turn to the contact point information security within Research, Innovation & Valorisation Antwerp (RIVA) for questions or advise.