Defence Evaluation and Research Agency

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TypeGovernment Agency
FocusEngineering, science & technology
  • HQ in Farnborough, Hampshire, UK
Area served
United Kingdom
ProductDefence evaluation and research
Key people
Sir John Chisholm(Chief Executive)

The Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (normally known as DERA) was a part of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) between 1995 and 2 July 2001. At the time it was the United Kingdom's largest science and technology organisation.

Formation and Operation[edit]

DERA was formed in April 1995 as an amalgamation of the following organisations:

The chief executive throughout DERA's existence was John Chisholm. DERA's staffing level was around 9000 scientists, technologists and support staff.


DERA was split into two organisations, based on short-lived transition bodies known as PDERA ("privatised" DERA) - becoming a commercial firm, QinetiQ - and "RDERA" ( "retained" in Government DERA) - becoming the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

At the split, QinetiQ was formed from the majority (about 3/4 of the staff and most of the facilities) of DERA, with Dstl assuming responsibility for those aspects which were best done in government. A few examples of the work undertaken by Dstl include nuclear, chemical, and biological research. In the time since the split both organisations have undergone significant change programmes. QinetiQ has increased its focus on overseas research with a number of US and other foreign acquisitions, whereas Dstl has a major rationalisation programme.

External links[edit]