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15 March 2005. CBI Director General, Sir Digby Jones, gave the keynote speech today at the official launch of the e2v centre for electronic imaging (CEI), commending the centre for addressing critical science skills shortages in the UK. The CEI is a new research collaboration between Brunel University and e2v technologies. Based at the University’s Uxbridge campus, it will concentrate on transforming R&D activity into new electronic imaging technology and identifying new applications for existing e2v imaging technology, as well as developing products for new markets. The centre builds on e2v’s success as a leader in the design and supply of CCD (Charge Coupled Device) image sensors for space, astronomy, scientific, medical, defence and industrial applications. It reinforces the well-established relationship between e2v and Brunel University. The CEI will form part of Brunel’s School of Engineering and Design (now one of the UK’s largest engineering faculties). Lecturers, research associates and PhD students will work on technologies and projects that support technology roadmaps for both e2v and the Research Councils, seeking to fulfill the following objectives:
* To create a stream of well qualified imaging engineers and scientists to fill a critical skills gap
* To create a new team of researchers able to conduct first class research and training within a supportive collaborative framework
* To further raise the international profile of e2v as a leading imaging business
* To provide mutual access to Brunel’s / e2v’s specialised testing and design capabilities
* To improve the flow of innovation through to commercial success via stronger links between an academic R&D team and an experienced commercial image sensor manufacturer

The CEI has been conceived and initiated with the blessing of PPARC (Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council). It meets the ambitions of the Research Councils to encourage formal collaborations between like-minded higher education institutions and industry, in order to improve knowledge transfer between the two. Having worked in collaboration for a number of years, e2v and Brunel University formalised their long-term partnership in 2004, with e2v’s financial commitment to support positions, including a Chair, at the CEI.

14 Mar 05. Decommissioning: Changed Dates. The Defence Procurement Minister said that the current planned decommissioning dates for the Trafalgar Class SSN were: HMS TRAFALGAR – 2008; HMS TURBULENT – 2011; HMS TIRELESS – 2013; HMS TORBAY – 2015; HMS TRENCHANT – 2017; HMS TALENT – 2019 and HMS TRIUMPH – 2011.
The Armed Forces’ Minister said (14 Mar 05) that the current planned decommissioning dates for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) tankers were: RFA Grey Rover – 2006; RFA Gold Rover, Brambleleaf & Orangeleaf – 2009; RFA Black Rover, Oakleaf & Bayleaf – 2010; RFA Fort Victoria & Fort George – 2019 and RFA Wave Knight & Wave Ruler – 2028.Comment: The planned decommissioning dates for the Trafalgar Class SSN have undergone considerable change. On 21 Jul 04, the Defence Secretary announced that the number of SSN was to reduce from 10 to eight. On present published dates the number of SSN will fall to nine in 2006 and then to seven in 2008. Without further orders the number will stay at seven or eight SSN until 2014. For the RFA tankers, Oakleaf’s decommissioning has been brought forward by five years and Grey Rover’s by one year. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 05/12, 21 Mar 05)

18 Mar 05. RAF St Mawgan: ‘Care-and-Maintenance’. RAF News confirmed that the airfield at RAF St Mawgan was to be placed into care-and-maintenance by April 2007. The search-and-rescue headquarters, 203(R) Squadron, and its associated support is to relocate to RAF Valley in late 2006/early 2007. 1 Squadron, RAF Regiment is also to be re-located. Comment: RAF St Mawgan remains under consideration, along with four other Stations, to be one of two bases for the Joint Combat Aircraft in

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