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Follow-up Report on the RDM Network Meeting in October 2023

October 20th, 2023 | by
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On October 11, 2023, our open meeting of the RDM network for data stewards, RDM responsible persons and RDM interested persons of RWTH Aachen University took place again. The topic of the meeting was “Export Control and RDM”, presented by Mr. Nicolas Lunz as Export Control Officer of RWTH Aachen University.



RDM Speed Dating to Get To Know Each Other

Prior to the presentation started, RDM Network attendees were divided into different breakout rooms to get to know each other, share ideas and discuss the following questions:

  1. Does data sharing work within your project? If not, why?
  2. Do you share your data in national and/or international groups? What are the challenges here?

The participants of the network meeting learned in the lecture why it is important to deal with the sharing of data in advance, e.g. in third-party funded projects, and to check the correct handling of clouds.


Why Export Controls Are Important for Universities

Since 2017, RWTH Aachen University has been addressing the issue of export controls at universities. For this purpose, positions were created to embed this topic in the overall complex of the university strategy and to ensure greater visibility within the projects and initiatives at RWTH. This is because universities are increasingly working with international partners, and both global collaborations and the number of international students are growing. As a result, the issue of export controls is coming more and more to the forefront and universities are required to develop an export control strategy. Failure to do so can result in penalties and fines, even against individual employees.

The goal is to “protect the knowledge and technologies of RWTH Aachen University from misuse,” explains speaker Nicolas Lunz at the RDM network meeting. The focus is on so-called “critical technologies” that are considered particularly worthy of protection. These must not be shared with the whole world in an uncontrolled way.


What Should Be Paid Attention to in the RDM now?

In general, the aim is to raise awareness of the fact that digital data traffic can also be affected by export controls. For certain international collaborations involving critical software and technologies, it is therefore important to identify the risks in advance and to seek advice. Data stewards can play an important up-front role in raising awareness of export control regulations among researchers in their fields. In addition, even greater care should be taken in selecting the platforms on which important data is shared. For example, when using clouds, make sure the servers are located in Germany – the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) recommends “sealed clouds”.


The next network meeting – Research Data Day

Our next open meeting of the RDM network will be held on-site in Aachen, Germany as part of the Research Data Day:

Date: November 14, 2023
Time: 1pm to 6pm
Location: SuperC, RWTH Aachen University

Please register for the on-site event via the RWTH Aachen event database.


Learn More

If you have any questions regarding export control and the provision of information, please contact Department 7.3 – Central Purchasing at RWTH Aachen University. (*)

Are you interested in the RDM network and would like to be kept up to date? Then subscribe to the mailing list “DataStewards@RWTH”.

If you have any questions about the RDM network or RDM in general, just write a message to the IT-ServiceDesk. The RDM team is looking forward to your message.

Responsible for the content of this article is Lina-Louise Kaulbach.


The paragraph was updated on May 16, 2024.

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