Five North-Western Universities Partner with BAE to Develop Drones

June 4, 2013

The GAMMA programme is a three-year programme to develop and improve “autonomous systems”. According to the University of Liverpool, (one of the universities involved in the programme)

autonomous systems are technology based solutions that replace humans in tasks that are mundane, dangerous and dirty, or detailed and precise, across sectors, including aerospace, nuclear, automotive and petrochemicals.

This definition includes military drones. The program is backed by £4.42 million of taxpayers’ money, through the regional growth fund, whose panel includes a senior arms dealer, the finance director of Rolls Royce. The remaining £4.6 million comes from the programme’s partners which include BAE Systems. The universities involved are Manchester, Liverpool, Lancaster, Salford and UCLAN. Specific information about the programme is hard to find, the level of transparency symbolized by the fact that their privacy policy is written in Latin.  Students have criticized the scheme and are preparing to campaign against it. Moh Elbakri, a third-year engineering student at Liverpool, said

“it is shameful that such contracts still exist in educational institutions. It is an important issue for students to act upon, the technology developed by the GAMMA programme prevent any advancement in peaceful negotiations and this is proved by history over and over again. It is our responsibility, as educated students, to prevent and not tolerate such acts on our behalf. With guided help from CAAT, Liverpool Friends of Palestine society will initiate a campaign to cleanse our university of any arms trade.”

2 responses to “Five North-Western Universities Partner with BAE to Develop Drones”

  1. Moh Elbakri, will have to remember that name because if I come across it while marking you will be getting a well deserved low mark.
    We are well on the way to developing autonomous aerial vehicles and already have started to acquire the hardware to start developing our first UAS. Must remember to run over some more kittens and children so that we are at the right level of evil.
    Idiots. You think universities are just for education? The undergrads are only there for a few weeks a year, you really think we care what undergrads have to say? You must be deluded.

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