Erlangen Initiative: Fostering Collaboration Between Academia and Government Regulators for UNSCR 1540 Implementation

December 22nd, 2023

From 8 to 9 November, the Government of Germany in partnership with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), hosted the inaugural Erlangen Conference in Nuremberg, Germany. The event brought together over 80 representatives from regulatory authorities, export regimes, and academia to explore ways to strengthen the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004). Adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council in April 2004, UNSCR 1540 places obligations on States to prevent non-state actors from attempting to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery.

Participants pose for a photo following the opening session on the first day

Building on the success of the Wiesbaden Process for industry outreach, the Erlangen Initiative focuses on raising awareness and fostering dialogue between government regulators and academia. The goal of the initiative is to establish a shared understanding of existing threats, export controls, and regulations as they relate to UNSCR1540.

Over two days, participants underlined the importance of outreach and raising awareness in an academic setting regarding the application of export controls and countering the potential misuse of scientific outcomes and academic collaborations.The proposed initiatives included strategies ranging from strengthening export compliance programs in universities to conducting regular outreach visits. Recommendations emerging from the meeting included the dissemination of user-friendly guides; the publication of guidelines on Intangible Technology Transfers (ITT); the distribution of compliance officer handbooks; and offering trainings on classification processes.

Panellists present on various compliance approaches in their respective countries.

Meeting participants shared insights into the unique needs and challenges faced by academic operators in the field of export controls. In this context, participants shared international modes of approach, offering a comprehensive overview of diverse strategies and practices across regions and academic institutions, and enriching participant perspectives on effective implementation.  Beyond these discussions, the conference provided a valuable platform for stakeholders to build networks and share effective practices among academic colleagues concerning their role in export controls.

The Conference was made possible by contributions from Germany to the United Nations Trust Fund for Regional and Global Disarmament Activities. 

For more information, please contact UNODA 1540 Support Unit at