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MoD trumpets 'Innovation Strategy' for buying kit

5 pillars, 6 towers, 4 centres and 'ginger groups'

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And you really have to worry about throwaway statements like "...improved quality and reliability will lead to better competitiveness in the UK defence industry and improved export performance ..."

How on Earth do we get a battle-winning edge by encouraging the arms biz to sell off all our expensively-developed new tech secrets around the world?

Anyway. Let's just suppose that the UK actually needs a bigger arms sector. Let's say that the spin-off benefits would be worth the certain costs in lost lives, missing kit, delays, duplication of effort etc. Let's postulate that it might lead to a generally higher level of engineering and tech skills, and wean us gradually off our economic dependence on a small class of panicky money-and-bits-of-paper operators in the City.

How, given the terrible financial pile-up ongoing at the MoD, does the government hope to create this splendid new world of dependence on weapons technology?

The strategy ... expresses actions to address these challenges in terms of five distinct pillars ... partnering with industry and universities in our 6 Towers of Excellence to share benefits and costs and increase the pull through of technology ... [the four new] Defence Technology Centres foster collaboration with industry ...

Ah, that's how: pillars, towers and centres. The MoD also has twelve Research Directors and seven Output Owners. And if all that doesn't work, the MoD says it will "investigate the role of ... ginger groups".

As a final kiss of death, Baroness Taylor tells us that "the Innovation Strategy should not be viewed in isolation from other major reforms the Government has set in train in defence acquisition."

This presumably means that the Strategy will be another runaway success like Smart Procurement (introduced in 1997, since renamed "Smart Acquisition") which over the past decade has had such an impact that defence purchasing in the UK is nowadays routinely described as a "disaster area" or "woeful".

Strange how the same old things keep happening.®

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