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Wanted: A real-life 'Q' to help British agents

So you like gadgets and the crime-fighting life? Her Majesty's Government Communications Centre has the perfect job for you.

The government agency in the United Kingdom that provides high-tech help for spies needs a new chief.

Her Majesty's Government Communications Centre, or HMGCC, is looking for a new chief executive--the real-life version of James Bond's gadget-obsessed "Q."

The agency provides "special operational and technical services" in support of national security, according to a posting for the job.

"Its work is demanding, often at the cutting edge of technology, and of critical national importance," the posting says.

The organization has a staff of 425 and a budget of $51.72 million (27 million pounds), and is seeking a new chief executive to "ensure the delivery of technical capabilities critical to national security," the posting says.

The agency's areas of expertise, according to its Web site, include radio frequency engineering, signal processing, embedded systems, the study of power sources and the design and development of small precision mechanisms--all of which are used to assist operatives in the field.

The listing says that an advantage for a job candidate would be experience in any field that involves "exploiting high technology to deliver operational outcomes," along with knowledge of project management.

But any wannabe Qs should get moving quickly. The closing date for applications is Tuesday.

Steve Ranger of reported from London.