Board of Invention and Research

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Board of Invention and Research
Board of Admiralty Flag 20th Century.png
Agency overview
Superseding department
JurisdictionGovernment of the United Kingdom
HeadquartersAdmiralty Building
Parent agencyDepartment of Admiralty

The Board of Invention and Research (BIR) was a British expert-level committee, initiated by the British Admiralty of the Royal Navy. Established in 1915, the board was responsible for soliciting expert scientific assistance to solve tactical and technical problems.[1] The board was abolished in 1918 and was replaced by the Department of the Director of Experiments and Research.


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.[2]

Chaired by Sir Jackie Fisher, former First Sea Lord, the BIR recruited of a number of scientists working in six science and technology divisions,[1] which assessed and evaluated invention proposals from the public, with a view to applying them to naval technology and tactics.[3] During its operation from 1915 to 1918, the board evaluated over 41,000 submissions.[1]

In 1918, the BIR was superseded by the Department of the Director of Experiments and Research,[4] which operated until 1946 and was then re-organised into the Royal Naval Scientific Service.[3]


  • Board of Admiralty, Board of Invention and Research, 1915-1918
  • Board of Admiralty, Department of the Director of Experiments and Research, 1918-1920
  • Board of Admiralty, Scientific Research and Experiment Department, 1920-1946
  • Board of Admiralty, Royal Naval Scientific Service, 1946-1964
  • Ministry of Defence, Department of the Chief Scientist (Navy), 1964-1984


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Schneider, William (2009). Operations Research Applications for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance: Report of the Defense Science Board Advisory Group on Defense Intelligence. Darby, PA: DIANE Publishing. p. 13. ISBN 1437917208.
  2. Hackmann, Willem (1984). Seek & strike : sonar, anti-submarine warfare, and the Royal Navy, 1914–54 (1. publ. ed.). London: H.M.S.O. ISBN 0112904238.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Research and development in the Royal Navy, The National Archives.
  4. Archives, The National. "Records of Royal Naval Scientific Service". The National Archives, 1912–1995, ADM Division 12. Retrieved 15 September 2019.

External links