§ Mr. Soames
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in exploiting military research and development for civilian purposes.
§ Mr. Neubert
Where technology developed for defence purposes also has civil applications, the Government are committed to maximising the benefit to the wider economy through spin-off to, and collaboration with, the civil sector. Some 70 technological transfer agreements with industry, mainly in the form of licences, have now been signed by Defence Technology Enterprises for the exploitation of innovative technology, and more are under negotiation. The civil industrial access scheme (CIAS), launched in February 1988, is designed to give commercial firms improved access to the facilities and expertise of the defence research establishments. They also undertake work funded by civil Departments, mainly in the fields of aerospace and electronics and participate in a range of collaborative initiatives with commercial firms.671W