Board of Invention and Research

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Britain's Board of Invention and Research was responsible for evaluating purely scientific ideas for weapons and systems for possible further development and adoption in the Royal Navy.[1]

Balfour wrote to Jellicoe that the Admiralty was focussing on constructing proving new designs, because, "They can be built therefore with comparative speed, and no experimental work has to be done with them."

At the same time I feel that we ought not to rely simply upon repeating accepted models, but that both as regards anti-submarine devices and aircraft we ought to originate as well as copy. I have therefore got the Government to consent to the appointment of a small Inventions Commission under the First Lord of the Admiralty, but otherwise separate from the Department, housed elsewhere, and with no executive authority. It will in the main be largely composed of men of science, and I have asked Lord Fisher to be Chairman. I hope for some really good results. Even if nothing better happens, the Department will by this arrangement be relieved of the labour and responsibility of forming a judgement on the countless inventions which daily pour into it.[2]


  1. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 1, Part 7. p. 5.
  2. Letter of 4 July, 1915. British Library. Jellicoe Papers. Add. MSS. 48990. f 202.


  • MacLeod, Roy M.; Andrews, E. Kay (1971). "Scientific Advice in the War at Sea, 1915–1917: The Board of Invention and Research". Journal of Contemporary History 6 (2): pp. 3–40.