back to article UK blocks China from licensing Manchester Uni's robot vision tech

The Government of the United Kingdom has used a national security law to block the licensing of locally-developed technology to a foreign entity, preventing a deal that would have provided a Chinese company with robot vision tech. The intellectual property, known as SCAMP-5 and SCAMP-7, was developed by the University of …

  1. iowe_iowe

    Nice to see

    At last, an example of a dysfunctional government doing its job

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Nice to see

      I read this and thought, "Bloody hell, check again, no, they are blocking something".

      That this should have happened on more critical sales like Cobham is rather shutting the door after the horse has bolted.

      Cobham are currently being broken up by the US VC parasites that somehow now own then so all the valuable IP & assets can be stripped leaving a failed shell behind.

      So selling to the US has really enabled them to develop, expand and become market leaders.......

    2. VoiceOfTruth

      Re: Nice to see

      China is not much of a competitor to the UK in the defence field. We should be blocking the USA from buying or acquiring this technology.

    3. HildyJ Silver badge

      Re: Nice to see

      What would be nice to see is if this act was used to block any acquisition of a UK company or its IP by the US companies.

      Until then this is just the UK following US orders.

  2. PhilipN Silver badge

    How much?

    Surely not giving it away so I wonder how much Man U (no, the other one) are losing out on. Cannot (so far) find it online.

  3. Kevin Johnston

    So I presume if they cannot license it they will just use it without a license.

    Cynical? Moi?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      So I presume if they cannot license it they will just use it without a license.

      Or develop their own similar solution and in the future license it to UK companies in some form.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How come it wasn't open source?

    I thought everything universities do is supposed to be open source and/or published in scientific journals, isn't it?

    1. Paratrooping Parrot
      Boffin

      Re: How come it wasn't open source?

      I remember that some research in universities can be financed by external forces. In these cases, they can have patents and so results from the research from those can be delayed. Those done by the students or initiated by lecturers are often put into open source or published.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How come it wasn't open source?

      You don't know academics or academia very well...

      Research is funded with the intention of generating revenue. At the moment in cancer research there is a stronger focus on treatment development, and interest and activity in understanding and curing it is waining. Some of that is driven by results - there have been improvements in treatment and no one has really made much progress really understanding it for a cure, but the fact that treatment is a more profitable approach has biased that.

      The charities too are leaning that way: there's an indefinite source of donations whilst it remains incurable, whereas if they actually found a cure then it's game over for the the cancer charity industry.

      The status quo suits a lot of people very nicely... Of course, no one will ever say that's what is happening, but if one looks at what is getting funded and published, there is a swing taking place.

      Bill Gates has previously complained about the difficulties in getting researchers to work on dull but important topics.

      Overall academia has been pretty naive in its approach to China, having for a long time chosen to ignore the human rights abuses and follow the money.

  5. Lordrobot

    Kwasi has bloody shown em"

    Kwasi Kwarteng should change his name to the bloke that struck Nancy Kerrigan on the knee with a lead pipe. The UK is now emulating the US Nancy Kerrigan Kneecapping strategy of competition. Does it matter if you win... Heavens no, all that matters is you disable another competitor. This is the essence of the US and Brit plan to slow China down at any cost. Does it help the US or UK? Not really, in fact not at all.

    When the gov sanctions British tech then the firm can't sell its products. If you can't sell your products you go out of business unless the Gov aka taxpayers foot the bill like it does welfare with roughly the same results. Somehow welfare checks never result in increased innovation or productivity but the professional welfare recipients are excellent at requesting more and larger entitlements.

    So Let's roll out the tired old excuse NATIONAL SECURITY... as if an industrial silicon vision system will win any war. I suppose the UK has forgotten when Iran took members of the British Navy captive and gave them those nice shiny new custom-tailored bespoke suits suitable for High Street. If only they had that silicone eye system the day they were taken captive. That would have shown them Iranians!

    Instead of just doing the Trump Biden bidding and blocking technology, The British firms should license the technology to China and if the US wanted it blocked then let the US pay for the Chinese Licenses as well as a license of their own. Why go broke doing the US bidding. The US is Rich, they make British Debt look like chump change. So Make the US pay for your license losses and then some.

    Kwasi Kwarteng is only harming UK technology. He just put that optics company from Manchester on the ventilator. Besides what good is UK automation systems if you can't sell any of your products to anyone but the US who buys next to no UK products? When is this British Slurping of the Colonies going to end?

    Do you really think Kwasi Kwarteng is Joan Wayne enough to stop China?

  6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Holmes

    Manchester University reportedly said it would abide by the government's decision,

    See icon. Since the ruling is based on an Act of Parliament, not abiding by the decision would mean breaking the law. And since said law involves "national security" breaking that law could arguably be treason. They have no choice but to abide by the decision, although they could, at best, try to challenge it in court.

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