EU Science Hub

TIM Dual-Use: A tool to track possible dual-use relevance of research and innovation results

Main nuclear organisations per publications and patents in 1996-2020, and their connections  – source: JRC with TIM DU
Figure 1: Main nuclear organisations per publications and patents in 1996-2020, and their connections – source: JRC with TIM DU
Feb 09 2021

A new tool developed by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) lets you navigate through millions of scientific papers and find how research organisations may have produced results with potential dual-use applications.

Dual-use goods and export controls

Because they can also be used to produce or spread nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, so-called dual-use goods cannot be freely exchanged: in the European Union, they are subject to export controls under the EC Dual use regulation 428/2009. Specific materials, electronic components, mechanical systems, sensors, or telecommunication equipment, for example, are listed under the EU dual-use export control list.

Export controls, however, do not apply only to goods but also to knowledge and data contained in research results.

Tools for Innovation Monitoring, TIM Dual-Use is the tool developed at the JRC to navigate research results and identify those that can potentially represent a threat for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

TIM

JRC Text Mining experts have developed TIM Technology as a web-based platform to interrogate a regularly updated database of over 70 million documents, made of scientific abstracts, patents from all over the world and EU-funded projects. The user can visualise the results of the queries in detailed lists and graphics, including powerful visualisations of knowledge maps and cooperation networks.

TIM Technology has been developed to support the design, implementation and monitoring of European research and innovation policies.

TIM Dual-Use

With the cooperation of JRC Nuclear Security experts and Liège University, TIM has been customised for dual-use related queries associated with each of the 10 categories of items listed under EU dual-use export controls, as well as emerging technologies of possible concern. Many features allow the user to navigate through the data to extract knowledge. As examples, TIM Dual-Use can produce maps of the main nuclear organisations per publications and patents and their collaboration network (fig. 1) or the evolution of nuclear related patents per country in the years 1996-2019 (fig. 2).

Main nuclear organisations per publications and patents in 1996-2020, and their connections  – source: JRC with TIM DU
Figure 1: Main nuclear organisations per publications and patents in 1996-2020, and their connections – source: JRC with TIM DU

©EU, 2021

Evolution of nuclear-related patents per country (1996-2019)- source: JRC with TIM DU
Figure 2: Evolution of nuclear-related patents per country (1996-2019)- source: JRC with TIM DU

©EU, 2021

Initially developed for the Directorate General for Development and Cooperation and the Directorate General for Trade, TIM Dual-Use can be exploited in a wider variety of applications, such as contributing to identify collaboration networks around research of dual-use concern, or targeting awareness-raising activities to improve internal compliance and secure technology transfers.

TIM Dual-Use is web-based and accessible to all.

What’s next?

JRC has actively cooperated with the Directorate General for Trade to draft the EU compliance guidance for research involving dual-use items.

The guidelines will be finalised soon as EU Recommendation and will contribute to raising awareness in the research and academic world on the potential risks of involuntarily contributing to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. TIM Dual-Use is suggested as a supporting tool, helping researchers to map their past scientific production and, if necessary, improve their compliance.

Stay tuned!