National Research Development Corporation

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The National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) was a non-departmental government body established by the British Government to transfer technology from the public sector to the private sector.

History[edit]

The NRDC was established by Attlee's Labour government in 1948 to meet a perceived need at the time to exploit the many products that had been developed during World War II by the Defence Research Establishments.[1] The first managing director was Lord Giffard.

The NRDC was established in India in 1953 to help develop and promote technologies developed at various national R&D institutions.[2]

The first commercial size hovercraft, the SR-N1, was built under a contract let by the NRDC to Saunders-Roe in 1958.[3]

In 1981, the NRDC was combined with the National Enterprise Board ('NEB') to form the British Technology Group ('BTG').

Operations[edit]

Typically the NRDC would patent the product for commercial exploitation and earn royalties as private sector companies generated sales from those products.

Examples of such products include carbon fibre, asbestos-plastic composites and developments in semi-conductor technology.[1]

The development of the hovercraft would also not have taken place without the involvement of the NRDC.[4]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Lavington, Simon. "NRDC and the Market." Moving Targets, History of Computing (2011): 147-191.
  • John Crawley (1993) NRDC’s role in the early British computer industry. Resurrection, the Bulletin of the Computer Conservation Society, issue number 8, winter 1993, pp 25–32
  • Crawley HJ (1957) The National Research Development Corporation Computer Project. NRDC Computer Sub-Committee, paper 132, Feb 1957.

Source documents[edit]

  • National Archive for the History of Computing, University of Manchester