Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/25/mod_pork_incubator/

MoD opens pork incubator in UK 'Golden Triangle'

Incubate, unlock, harness, gorge - your taxes at work

By Lewis Page

Posted in Government, 25th March 2008 11:33 GMT

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) intends to scramble aboard the new Brown gov concept of "Innovation" as soon as it can, through the medium of a new "pilot centre for defence enterprise". The Centre will be situated at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, and will hand out taxpayer pork to fund only the most innovative* research.

"We have worked hard to remove barriers to innovative concepts and change ideas," said Baroness Taylor, the MoD kit-purchasing minister.

"Industry, big and small, academia, inventors, entrepreneurs, engineers and investors all have something to offer in developing the next generation of military technology. The Centre for Defence Enterprise will provide a vehicle for exposing these opportunities."

Apparently the Baroness also said:

"I am confident that building on interest in Competition of Ideas and Grand Challenge the Centre will be used to full effect."

This argues that the dumbing down of old Blighty has now spread well beyond the scientific and engineering disciplines - perhaps not to the Baroness herself, but certainly to the civil-service types who write her quotes.

Competition of Ideas and Grand Challenge are previous MoD ploys, nominally all about better kit for British troops, but in fact rather more to do with boosting the British tech base. They are seen as big successes by the MoD, in that pork was successfully handed out.

We have previously learned about the new Brownite innovation push from the other gov departments of biz and boffinry, who say that Blighty will become an "innovation nation" by first "unlocking" talent and then "harnessing" it.

The MoD, not to be outdone, say that they will "incubate" innovation, and the new excellence-centre will be modelled on existing commercial incubators. In a few years, no doubt, we'll all be saying that the incubator door should have been locked before all the unharnessed pork-laden talent pigs flew away.

The siting of the innovation incubator near Oxford is also seen as cunning by the MoD as it will thus be handy for the apparently well-known Oxford-London-Cambridge "Golden Triangle for private investors".

We'll let you run with that one. ®

*The new government doesn't really like the word "science", and it doesn't want to get tied down in nasty old high-tech manufacturing and engineering, either. It likes the word "innovation", which "applies to a wider range of products, services, business processes, models, marketing and enabling technologies".