The National Research Development Corporation is a public Corporation set up by the Board of Trade under the Development of Inventions Act, 1948. This Act has now been amended by the Development of Inventions Act, 1954, which has somewhat broadened the Corporation's functions. The Acts are permissive; the Corporation is free to operate as it thinks fit in order to carry out its functions, subject in certain circumstances to directions from the Board of Trade, and in some cases to approval of the Board of Trade and the Lord President of the Council. It has no compulsory powers of any kind. Its function is essentially to develop and exploit, in the public interest, inventions resulting from public research; that is to say, research carried out by Government Departments and other public bodies, or any other research in respect of which financial assistance has been provided out of public funds. The Corporation may also consider inventions submitted to it from other sources, for example, private inventors, but, in general, the Corporation is likely to concern itself with private inventions only in cases where the invention is of primary importance to the public interest. The finance required for its operation is provided by the Treasury in the form of loans, the outstanding amount of which must not exceed £5 million at any one time.
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