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Export Controls

Export Controls Overview

Villanova recognizes the importance of complying with all U.S. export control regulations and is committed to full compliance with these regulations. In practice, these rules (which have been in existence for over 50 years) have a direct impact on what research instruments, materials, software and technology that we, as a U.S. University, can export (i.e. transfer) out of the country by any means; and in rare cases, what sensitive items and technology we can share with foreign national individuals (visa holders) working in and/or visiting our research facilities. These regulations also potentially inform what research, academic, and business partners we engage with, to the extent we avoid partnership with U.S. government-restricted entities (entities of concern from an export control or economic embargoed country perspective).   

Export controls inform all of our research and academic programs (science, humanities and business) to the extent there is any international activity involved in our programs, as well as in the scientific context, research utilizing specialized instruments or materials. They also inform all of our operational and business functions units including Sponsored Research, Human Resources, Procurement, Inventory Control, IT, Facilities Management, Technology Commercialization, Environmental Health/Safety, Finance, and International Students/Scholar programs and related visa services.

U.S. Government export authorities strictly enforce export control through substantial civil and criminal penalties and sanctions, federal debarment and revocation of export privileges. In addition, because of the national security implications related to export control, liability for violations can be enforced against an individual University employee to whom an intentional violation is attributable, separate from institutional liability. Hence, Villanova remains fully committed to export compliance and making all our employees and research staff aware of our compliance processes and requirements. 

Fundamental Research Exemption

Many projects and research activities at universities are exempt from export control licensing requirements. That is because the activities are deemed “fundamental research.” Fundamental Research is defined by the National Security Decision Directive 189 (NSDD189) “as basic and applied research in science and engineering, the results of which ordinarily are published and shared broadly within the scientific community, as distinguished from proprietary research and from industrial development, design, production, and product utilization, the results of which ordinarily are restricted for proprietary or national security reasons." The availability of the Fundamental Research exemption under the export control laws has significant implications for universities and how they operate. Most importantly, the Fundamental Research Exemption enables universities to maintain open environments that encourage the free exchange of ideas.

Where the Fundamental Research Exemption is not available, universities are required to determine the export classification of the technology involved or resulting from their research activities and to comply with all applicable export-licensing requirements.

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