DERA boss sees potential in use of military products

DERA boss sees potential in use of military products
Richard Ball The boss of Britain’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency believes there is huge potential for military electronics to be profitably transferred into the civilian sector. DERA chief executive John Chisholm told the House of Commons select committee on science and technology that the government’s proposed Defence Diversification Agency offers huge crossover potential for the technologies developed by his organisation. Under questioning from Norwich North Labour MP Ian Gibson, he said that the current culture of military secrecy in the defence industry had prevented dozens of potentially valuable inventions being developed for civilian use. The sophisticated electronic and computer technology regularly used by the armed force constituted the bulk of these products, he said. Chisholm said a prime example of how such a product could transfer was the liquid crystal display developed first for military use and now a key part of hundreds of products. A recent example was heat resistant boards which have been enthusiastically taken up by civilian industry. Gibson said: “I was very encouraged by his enthusiasm for the Defence Diversification Agency. He clearly saw it as a great opportunity for DERA and a potential source of income for the MoD. He said there were dozens of potential products locked up by military secrecy – many involving electronics.”


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