Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee has for decades been a hotbed of US nuclear experimentation. It’s also a target for countries seeking to steal American secrets. More than 1,700 technologies developed in the lab are in China’s crosshairs, according to three-year-old startup Strider Technologies Inc. The list includes ion beams, nuclear power equipment and energy storage materials.
Using custom software to scour widely available sources of information on China’s internet, Strider executives said they identified two postdoctoral researchers in nanotechnology who, while working at Oak Ridge, were recruited into China’s Youth Thousand Talents Program. The researchers were lured by perks including a grant of 500,000 yuan (about $75,000) apiece and other subsidies worth up to 3 million yuan (about $450,000), the executives said. Both relocated to China and are now employed by university labs with ties to China’s defense industry, they said.