Sale of defence agency will cost HE millions

June 23, 2000

University research income worth Pounds 25 million a year could be lost if government sells off parts of the United Kingdom's defence research sector.

Part-privatisation of the Defence Evaluation Research Agency could jeopardise significant chunks of universities' income earned through sub-contracted work, according to critics.

At present, government rules mean that the Dera must put a fifth of its research work out to tender, much of which is won by universities. A spokesman for the Dera said they envisaged that sub-contracting would continue after part-privatisation.

A report published this week by the defence select committee says that the risks of proceeding with the public-private partnership continue to outweigh the benefits.

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