Update and guidance on engaging with foreign sponsors
In light of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) new policy on engagements between the national laboratories and foreign sponsors, Argonne’s Legal Department would like to provide an update for Argonne staff to ensure that expectations are appropriately calibrated and such interactions run as smoothly as possible.
DOE is committed to making the national laboratories available to non-DOE entities, including foreign sponsors, as long as the work is consistent with or complementary to the missions of DOE and the laboratory to which the work is to be assigned and does not impede the laboratory’s ability to successfully accomplish its DOE missions.
For foreign engagements, additional review and procedures are required to ensure the proposed engagements meet three criteria. The proposed engagements must:
- Align consistently with the strategic interests and foreign policies of the United States
- Be legally sound and compliant with U.S. laws and regulations
- Address any counterintelligence considerations
In addition, review of all such engagements must take into account certain issues, including, as appropriate: access to the laboratory and technology by sensitive countries, potential access to sensitive information, intellectual property rights, and U.S competitiveness requirements.
Given that proposed foreign sponsorships require more scrutiny and vetting by DOE than engagements with U.S. entities, the review and approval process will take longer for foreign engagements.
It is important that you keep your Argonne managers and DOE Program Managers aware of engagements with possible foreign sponsors, because as these proposals are vetted, DOE will be checking with individual DOE Program Managers and will be coming back to the Argonne Site Office with questions, and those questions will be passed down the Argonne management chain. It is advisable to avoid having your DOE Program Manager or your Argonne manager be caught by surprise when asked about a potential foreign engagement you are proposing.
If you have questions or would like additional guidance on potential or existing engagements with foreign sponsors, please contact Legal’s Mark Langguth at ext. 2-5951.