University of Cambridge and BGI Genomics

John Lubbock made this Freedom of Information request to University of Cambridge Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was successful.

Dear University of Cambridge,

I am conducting a survey of UK higher educational institutions to find out which have had business dealings with the Chinese genomic sequencing company BGI Genomics.

I would like to ask whether your university has ever had any contracts or business relationships with BGI Genomics or its UK subsidiary MGI Tech UK. If there has been any work undertaken by BGI Genomics with your university, please can you provide a list of these contracts with dates from and to, and a short description of what the contract was for.

Yours faithfully,

John Lubbock

FOI, University of Cambridge

This is to acknowledge receipt of your request for information. Your reference number is given in the subject line of this email. We will respond on or before 25 May 2023.

Regards,

Information Compliance Office
University of Cambridge
Governance and Compliance Division, The Old Schools Trinity Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1TN
E: [University of Cambridge request email]

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FOI, University of Cambridge

1 Attachment

Further to your request for information, please find attached the University’s response.

Regards,

Information Compliance Office
University of Cambridge
Governance and Compliance Division, The Old Schools
Trinity Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1TN
E: [University of Cambridge request email]

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Dear FOI,

As I have only received some of the information requested, I am following up to request the additional information.

In your reply, you stated 'The only relationships within scope, with regard to the listed companies, are two research collaboration agreements (both in medical/biosciences) with start dates of March and April 2023 respectively.'

Since my original request specified that I was asking for 'a list of these contracts with dates from and to, and a short description of what the contract was for', I am now asking for the rest of this information. Please can you specify a description of these contracts, ideally with the titles of the research undertaken?

Yours sincerely,

John Lubbock

FOI, University of Cambridge

This is to acknowledge receipt of your request for a review of our handling of request number FOI-2023-332. We will respond on or before 26 June 2023.

Regards,

Information Compliance Office
University of Cambridge
Governance and Compliance Division, The Old Schools
Trinity Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1TN
E: [University of Cambridge request email]

show quoted sections

FOI, University of Cambridge

1 Attachment

Further to your request for a review, please find attached the University’s response.

Regards,

Information Compliance Office
University of Cambridge
Governance and Compliance Division, The Old Schools
Trinity Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1TN
E: [University of Cambridge request email]

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Dear FOI,

Hello, since you have now said that the two contracts which had been signed with BGI Genomics in March and April 2023 have not been undertaken, I would like to further ask if you could summarise the reason why these contracts did not go ahead?

As you may be aware, BGI Genomics has been accused of having a close relationship with the Chinese government, and that they tried to hack NHS data from Genomics England. Can you confirm whether these contracts have been cancelled due to ethical concerns about the company? If this was not the reason, please can you summarise the reasoning behind these contracts not being undertaken?

Yours sincerely,

John Lubbock

FOI, University of Cambridge

Dear Mr Lubbock,

We can confirm that the agreements remain under review from an ethics perspective.

Regards,

Information Compliance Office
University of Cambridge
Governance and Compliance Division, The Old Schools
Trinity Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1TN
E: [University of Cambridge request email]

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