NSI Act comes into force requiring mandatory notification from advanced materials sector
The new UK National Security & Investment (NSI) Act 2021 has come into force today (4 January 2022).
The Act gives the government the powers to scrutinise and intervene in acquisitions, mergers and other deals that may pose a risk to the UK’s national security. All sectors are within scope of being assessed under the Act and 17 key sectors, including advanced materials, defence, transport and energy will be required to notify and receive approval from the government before completing their acquisition.
The NSI online notification service is now live and guidance is available at gov.uk to help businesses and investors to:
assess whether an acquisition must be notified to the government because it falls within one of the 17 mandatory areas of the economy
IOM3 members contributed to the final definitions for sectors subject to mandatory notification, in particular for advanced materials, through participating in a dedicated roundtable workshop with BEIS and formally submitting a response to the consultation (see below). Changes from the draft proposals that were influenced by IOM3 members include the separation of engineering and technical ceramics and polymers to two separate categories – clarification of the definition of polymers through the inclusion of responsive and thermoactive polymers; and the explicit inclusion of adhesives, the use of graphene for energetic materials (such as propellants or explosives) and recycling and reuse as an activity. The full IOM3 response can be viewed using the link below.
The 17 defined sensitive areas of the economy are:
- Advanced materials
- Advanced robotics
- Artificial intelligence
- Civil nuclear
- Computing hardware
- Critical suppliers to government
- Cryptographic authentication
- Data infrastructure
- Military and dual-use
- Quantum technologies
- Satellite and space technologies
- Suppliers to the emergency services
- Synthetic biology
IOM3 response to the consultation on mandatory notification in specific sectors under the National Security and Investment Bill can be found below.