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University of Manchester tech deal blocked by government


The University of Manchester has been prevented from licensing vision-sensing technology to a Chinese company.

The agreement has been blocked by the government on national security grounds, because there is “potential” for it to be used for military purposes.It falls under the new National Security and Investment Act 2021.

The University of Manchester had originally entered into a licence agreement with Beijing Infinite Vision Technology Company Ltd, to use intellectual property related to “SCAMP-5 and SCAMP- 7 vision sensing technology to develop, test and verify, manufacture, use, and sell licenced products.”

In the ruling, the The Secretary of State considers that:

“i. the technology set out in the licence agreement has dual-use applications;

“ii. there is potential that the technology could be used to build defence or technological capabilities which may present national security risk to the United Kingdom; and

“iii. those risks would arise on the transfer of the intellectual property to the Acquirer.”

The University said it would “abide by the decision” and it had undertaken “thorough internal processes.” It had voluntarily referred the agreement to the UK government.

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