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The Board of Invention and Research (BIR) was a British expert-level committee, initiated by the Admiralty of the Royal Navy. Established in 1915, the board was responsible for soliciting expert scientific assistance to solve tactical and technical problems.It was a sister organisation to the Munitions Inventions Department which had been set up in April 1915 and the Air Inventions Committee (AIC), once it became become fully operational in the summer of 1917.
The Board first met on 19 July 1915 at the Whitehall Rooms in the Metropole Hotel, and remained based at the Metropole until the board and its scientific facilities were moved to permanent headquarters at Victory House on Cockspur Street.
Chaired by Sir Jackie Fisher, former First Sea Lord, the BIR recruited of a number of scientists working in six science and technology divisions,which assessed and evaluated invention proposals from the public, with a view to applying them to naval technology and tactics. During its operation from 1915 to 1918, the board evaluated over 41,000 submissions.
In 1918, the BIR was superseded by the Scientific Research and Experiment Department,which operated until 1946 and was then re-organised into the Royal Naval Scientific Service.
The Admiralty was the British government department responsible for the command of the Royal Navy until 1964, historically under its titular head, the Lord High Admiral – one of the Great Officers of State. For much of its history, from the early 18th century until its abolition, the role of the Lord High Admiral was almost invariably put "in commission" and exercised by the Lords Commissioner of the Admiralty, who sat on the governing Board of Admiralty, rather than by a single person. The Admiralty was replaced by the Admiralty Board in 1964, as part of the reforms that created the Ministry of Defence and its Navy Department.
The Air Ministry was a department of the Government of the United Kingdom with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force, that existed from 1918 to 1964. It was under the political authority of the Secretary of State for Air.
The post of Controller of the Navy was originally created in 1859 when the Surveyor of the Navy's title changed to Controller of the Navy. In 1869 the controller's office was abolished and its duties were assumed by that of the Third Naval Lord whose title then changed to Third Naval Lord and Controller of the Navy. In 1904 the title was changed again to Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy. In 1965 the office of the Third Sea Lord was abolished. The post-holder is responsible for procurement and matériel in the British Royal Navy.
Sir Henry Thomas Tizard was an English chemist, inventor and Rector of Imperial College, who developed the modern "octane rating" used to classify petrol, helped develop radar in World War II, and led the first serious studies of UFOs.
The Director of Naval Construction (DNC) also known as the Department of the Director of Naval Construction and Directorate of Naval Construction and originally known as the Chief Constructor of the Navy was a senior principal civil officer responsible to the Board of Admiralty for the design and construction of the warships of the Royal Navy. From 1883 onwards he was also head of the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors, the naval architects who staffed his department from 1860 to 1966. The (D.N.C.'s) modern equivalent is Director Ships in the Defence Equipment and Support organisation of the Ministry of Defence.
The Admiralty Mining Establishment originally known as the Mine Design Department was a technical department of the British Royal Navy responsible for both the design of naval mines and the development of suitable countermeasures from 1915 to 1951
Ralph Benjamin was a British scientist and electrical engineer.
Edward Lee was a British scientist, inventor, and civil servant. He was the builder of Britain's first infrared spectrometer, and later served as Director of the Admiralty Research Laboratory.
Albert Beaumont Wood DSc, better known as A B Wood, was a British physicist, known for his pioneering work in the field of underwater acoustics and sonar. Wood is known for his work on developing sonar in the UK from the First World War until after the Second World War.
The Admiralty Compass Observatory, originally known as the Compass Branch (1842–1917) and later known as the Compass Department (1917–1968) and Compass Directorate (1968–1971) was established in 1842 to provide the Royal Navy with services for the design, development, inspection, testing and repair of compasses and certain other instruments. It subsequently undertook requirements for the other services as appropriate. It existed until 1971 when it was absorbed within the Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment.
Charles Frewen Jenkin, CBE, FRS was a British engineer and academic. He held the first chair of engineering at the University of Oxford as Professor of Engineering Science.
The Operations Division was a former Directorate of the Admiralty Naval Staff responsible for the creation and implementation of long-term policy in regards to the composition of all Royal Navy fleets, squadrons and commands and including operational planning and monitoring from 1912 to 1961.
The Anti-Submarine Division its original name, was the former anti-submarine warfare, planning and prevention Directorate of the Admiralty Department from 1912-1963.
The Naval Ordnance Department, also known as the Department of the Director of Naval Ordnance, was a former department of the Admiralty responsible for the procurement of naval ordnance of the Royal Navy. The department was managed by a Director, supported by various assistants and deputies; it existed from 1891 to 1958.
The Gunnery Division was a Directorate of the Admiralty Naval Staff of the Royal Navy responsible for the tactical use of naval weapons and the training of naval personnel in relation to operational requirements. It was established in 1920 when the Gunnery and Torpedo Division was separated into an independent Gunnery Division and Torpedo Division. It existed until 1964 when the Department of Admiralty was abolished and replaced by a new Ministry of Defence.
The Admiralty Experiment Works (AEW) was the British Admiralty research establishment, responsible for improving propeller design, manoeuvrability and seakeeping in Royal Navy vessels. The Experiment Works existed from 1872 to 1977 and for most of its history was based at the Haslar Gunboat Yard in Gosport, South Hampshire. It ceased independent operations in 1977, merging with the Admiralty Marine Technology Establishment and ultimately with the Defence Research Agency in the Ministry of Defence.
The Admiralty Experimental Station was a research department of the British Admiralty set up in 1915. Initially its research centred round submarine detection methods. In 1921 its remit was expanded and it was renamed the Admiralty Research Laboratory.
The Sea Transport Branch of the British Board of Trade, originally established as the Transport Department or Naval Transport Department, was a logistical branch of the Department of Admiralty responsible for the provision of naval transportation services. It underwent numerous name changes throughout its complicated history with responsibility for sea transportation, known as the Department of the Director of Transports from 1890.
The Admiralty Engineering Laboratory was an engineering research department of the British Admiralty from 1917 to 1964 then the Navy Department from 1964 to 1977. Its original work was the design of submarine engines but later to encompass ship engines.
The Munitions Inventions Department (MID) of the British Ministry of Munitions was created during the First World War in 1915. Its administrative structure encompassed university and industrial laboratories, private workshops, and military experimental grounds. The department made us of the experimental facilities of other government agencies, including the National Physical Laboratory at Bushy House and the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR). Two sister organisations were formed: The Board of Invention and Research (BIR) which was established in July 1915 to support the Admiralty, and the Air Inventions Committee (AIC), which supported the Air Board once it became become fully operational in the summer of 1917.