Edinburgh Research Office

National Security and Investment Act 2021

The National Security and Investment Act 2021 (“NSIA”) comes into force on 4th January 2022. NSIA gives government the power to scrutinise certain dealings in shares and intellectual property (IP) and to intervene in those dealings where there is a national security concern.

Scrutiny of dealings in shares and IP is exercised using a system of mandatory notifications and government call-ins.  Activities deemed a threat to national security could be blocked or curtailed.

Where University research or commercialisation activities involve dealings in shares, intellectual property rights, or the creation/ transfer of investor rights, NSIA could be relevant.

When does Mandatory Notification apply?

Certain acquisitions of shares in, or influence over, entities carrying on activities in sensitive areas of the economy require national security clearance before completion of the transaction. This requirement is likely to apply to aspects of the University’s commercialisation activities, including dealings in shares in spin-out companies.

How does the government call-in power apply?

Licenses to, and assignations of, rights in IP: NSIA gives the government power to call in certain dealings in intellectual property for assessment where there is a perceived risk of harm to national security.

Asking for help

Who can help me make sure my project complies with NSIA?

University of Edinburgh NSIA Register

Tell us how you responded to the legislation.

Guidance and Further Information

Links to guidance on the NSIA and further information

Government Guidance

National Security and Investment Act: guidance for the higher education and research-intensive sectors - GOV.UK

Sectoral Guidance

Russell Group export control practitioners group note on complying with the National Security and Investment Act (University login required)

The National Security and Investment Act Guidance for universities - Universities UK