of UK industry have been announced by defence secretary George
A blueprint for a new Defence Diversification Agency is set out in
defence technology.' It builds on proposals put forward in a Green
Paper, published in March.
A director-designate, Joe Carr, has been appointed to get the new
Agency into operation by the beginning of next year.
George Robertson said:
'I am determined to derive maximum benefit from our substantial
investment in advanced technology for defence use - by getting that
technology working for the wider economy. We want to use our
world-beating defence skills to strengthen the UK's industrial base
and help improve our economic performance.
'I am very grateful for the comments we received from organisations
and individuals following the publication of the Green Paper earlier
this year. There were over 80 responses, covering a broad
cross-section of opinion, and the White Paper draws on the ideas put
'The original concept of a Defence Diversification Agency lodged
within the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency remains. Its job
will be to work closely with existing business support organisations
to provide assistance and advice to companies in exploiting defence
technology for civil use. We have, however, decided to build on this
concept by creating an overseeing body made up of representatives
from industry, the trades unions, and central and local government.
This body, to be known as the Defence Diversification Council, will
be well placed to offer strategic guidance to the Agency, and advice
'Joe Carr has been appointed director-designate of the Defence
Diversification Agency. He is currently working at DERA on secondment
from TI Group plc and has a solid background in industry and
experience of working in government at various levels. His task will
be to get the new Agency up and running by the beginning of next
THE WHITE PAPER - KEY POINTS
The Defence Diversification Agency will have an operational budget of
some£2m a year, found from within the defence budget.
It will provide a point of entry for those organisations that have
little experience of working with DERA so that they can receive
advice and gain information on available technology, thereby
facilitating access to DERA laboratories, stimulating transfer of
MOD's Intellectual Property Rights and encouraging partnerships for
The agency is one of the key elements of a series of complementary
initiatives at DERA designed to create greater benefit from the
nation's investment in research and development. These include
establishing six dual use technology centres and encouraging the
development of science parks at a number of sites. DERA has already
made significant contributions to the success of a number of
non-defence companies in a wide range of areas from pharmaceuticals
to racing car design.
The Defence Diversification Agency will link its efforts with other
existing Government and European initiatives. Small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs) already have access to a number of sources of
business support and the DDA is keen to avoid wasteful duplication or
unnecessary confusion by establishing yet another independent
business support agency. The DDA will build on the experience that
DERA has gained by working closely with the emerging regional
development agencies, government offices, Business Links and other
business support organisations to ensure that its activities are
complementary to those which are already well established.
- see LGCnet 09/11/98 `COUNCILS WELCOME ESTABLISHMENT OF A DEFENCE
- LGCnet subscribers can request a copy of the White Paper on 0171 833 7324/5.
DEFENCE DIVERSIFICATION AGENCY TO BENEFIT SCOTLAND
The creation of a new Defence Diversification Agency will strengthen
Scottish companies by allowing them to exploit defence technology for civil use, Scottish business & industry minister Lord Macdonald said.
Commenting on the launch of the Defence Diversification White Paper Lord Macdonald said:
'The establishment of the Defence Diversification Agency will be good for business in Scotland and allow companies to exploit defence technology for civil use. I am also pleased that the sgency plans to open an office at the Rosyth Europarc and that its staff will work closely with local business support agencies to ensure that its activities are complementary to those which are already well established.
'In Scotland we have many world class companies working at the leading edge of the defence business. They operate in a very competitive global market and are important contributors to the knowledge economy.
'The new agency will enable such companies to find new ways to apply their technologies so that they can find new markets for different applications. It is already happening - I know that Marconi Electronic Systems in Fife, having built up expertise in simulators for the armed
forces, is now beginning to successfully apply that technology to simulators for power stations and trains.
'The new agency will also help companies who want to find out more about defence technologies and give them support in applying these technologies to their operations. It is right that the money spent on defence research and development should, where possible, find its way back into the commercial sphere so that as many people as possible may benefit from the investment.
'I look forward to seeing this initiative flourishing here in Scotland with firms tapping into technology in a new and exciting way.'