Defence Diversification Agency
81. The Defence Diversification Agency (DDA) was
established in 1999 to facilitate defence technology transfer
into the civil sector and to broker civil technology insertion
back into defence.
During our inquiry into the MoD Annual Report and Accounts 2005-06,
the MoD told us that the "strategic landscape for technology
transfer" had changed significantly since the DDA was established,
with new organisations such as QinetiQ emerging and subsequently
"spinning out their technology and intellectual property
directly into the civil market". The MoD also told us that
Ministers are minded to support the 2004 recommendation
to disband the Defence Diversification Agency
. We are exploring
whether industry or the relevant Trade Associations have an interest
in acquiring the intellectual property and expertise at present
sitting within the Agency. A final decision will not be taken
until the consultation process has concluded later this year.
Parliament will be informed of any decision to change the status
of the Agency.
82. We asked how the role of the DDA differed from
Ploughshare. Dr Saunders said that the DDA's remit was rather
different: it was not there to license Dstl technology to companies
nor to manage joint ventures or start-ups. The DDA's main remit
had been to work with Small and Medium-size Enterprises and "to
look at spinning in technology into MoD".
When Ploughshare was set up, a review was undertaken to examine
any overlap between the DDA and Ploughshare. This review concluded
that the two organisations were "doing very separate tasks".
Dr Saunders told us that Dstl had not been reliant on the DDA
to bring in any particular technologies which it was looking for,
nor had the DDA exploited any of Dstl's IP.
83. Mr Woolley, MoD's Finance Director, told us that
there was not a clear requirement from customers within the MoD
for the services that the DDA provided nor an evident requirement
in the defence industrial community. He said that "we had
to ask the question whether this is the best way of spending defence
CSA considered it sensible to review the "track record"
of organisations such as the DDA, particularly when a "government
department is under a lot of stress financially".
84. We asked about the status of the DDA. Mr Woolley
said that it had never been a formal defence agency.
The DDA was part of the MoD and comprised some 55 staff. It had
its own headquarters and budget.
85. The MoD
has told us that the Defence Diversification Agency (DDA) has
a different role from Dstl, but we are unclear about what exactly
it does or whyif the MoD thinks there is no clear requirement
for the service the DDA offersit still exists. We look
to the MoD to make a swift decision on the future of the DDA.