University news

Clarification: The University of Manchester has no involvement with the Israeli defence sector

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Recent demonstrations on campus and social media comments have made claims that need correcting.

We want to make it clear that The University of Manchester (including its graphene activities) has no involvement with the Israeli defence sector.

For clarification, in 2014 an early graphene manufacturing spinout called 2-D Tech was sold to a British company called Versarien.

In 2018, four years after the sale to Versarien, its then CEO, who has now left the company, announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

The University of Manchester had no involvement in the MoU. We understand that Versarien may have delivered some samples of Nanene for evaluation which were produced by Versarien on the basis of intellectual property originated at another university, but that Versarien then had no further engagement with IAI.

Graphene can be easily sourced on commercial terms from several parts of the world.

Versarien is a Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) partner, currently at our second level (Tier 2) along with many other graphene companies. Key projects that they have undertaken in the GEIC have addressed consumer products and/or been with existing UK partners of the University from industry and government.

We have clear policies on intellectual property and export control, along with robust due diligence processes, which all our researchers, overseas and domestic, must adhere to as part of their professional contracts. These systems are consistently reviewed, and we take all necessary measures to assure ourselves that our research is not used beyond its agreed application.

The University gives careful consideration to its research collaborations and follows all government legislation and guidance alongside our own robust partnership process.