(Washington, DC) – House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Research & Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Collins (R-GA) sent a letter to the National Science Foundation (NSF) regarding the University of California, Berkeley’s (UC Berkeley) failure to disclose $240 million in funds from China.
“In exchange for monetary contributions, UC Berkeley officials offered exclusive tours of cutting-edge semiconductor research facilities to Chinese delegations,” Lucas and Collins wrote. “These delegations included Chinese researchers as well as multiple senior Chinese government officials. This is especially troubling given that there are no divisions between China’s government and its business and academic community, and the CCP has publicly disclosed that its plan to surpass the U.S. in science and technology involves stealing the results of our research, whether through foreign talent programs, forced acquisition, or other illicit means.”
“Allowing adversarial nations to access research facilities at the leading edge of semiconductor design is unacceptable, especially when that access is given by a U.S. research institution that receives over $700 million annually in funds from the Federal government,” they continued.
In addition to receiving support from the Chinese government, UC Berkeley explored additional funding opportunities with dozens of Chinese companies, including Huawei, ZTE and DJI, all of which were later sanctioned by the U.S. government.
Lucas and Collins emphasized the need for NSF to quickly implement new, stronger research security provisions included in the CHIPS and Science Act, which require universities to report any foreign financial support of $50,000 or more to NSF.
The lawmakers requested information about the status of NSF’s work to implement new research security protocols. “It is imperative that academic institutions conducting research funded by the federal government adhere to these policies to safeguard those investments and protect our research from being stolen and used by adversaries,” they wrote.
The full letter is available here.