ESRC Digital Good Network


Less damage done? Finding the good in defence tech

Since the Ukraine War and the increase of defence budgets across the Global West, it is increasingly untenable to exclude defence or dual use technologies from investors’ focus. Not only has warfare arrived back in the midst of Europe, the wars that are being fought across the globe increasingly rely on new digital technologies. Venture capital investors are one of the key stakeholders influencing this world. 

In this project, we focus on two questions enabling venture capital investors to safeguard digital defence and dual use technologies. First, defining what is in and out of scope – which digital technologies are key and which absolutely need to be excluded for the sake of working towards a ‘digital better’ in the space. Second, we will work towards a sector-specific environmental, social, and governance investment framework. The goal is to influence defence tech investors to scrutinise their decisions with principles for a ‘digital better’ in mind.


Dr Johannes Lenhard, Researcher, University of Cambridge and Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy

Signe Kossmann, PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge

Professor Fiona Murray, Dean of Innovation, MIT

Hannah Leach, Co-Director, VentureESG

Susan Winterberg, Independent consultant / International Finance Corporation

Read about our other projects