The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has recently launched the following report: “Assessing the innovation capability of EU companies in developing dual use technologies” by Federico Caviggioli, Antonio De Marco and Giuseppe Scellato.
This study proposes a framework to identify and analyse the European defence innovation ecosystem and to investigate the relevance of dual use inventions, extending previous empirical approaches. 63,714 defence inventions in the decade 2002-2012 were analysed by taking several dimensions into consideration: time, geography, technology, type of innovator.
The main findings indicate an increasing trend of patented inventions covering a wide range of technological fields not only in the traditional defence areas, but also in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and in instruments for measurement and control. The innovations seem to be quite concentrated: the twenty largest patent holders (firms and government agencies) account for 40% of total defence inventions. The largest geographical source of innovations is the USA, but South Korea has increased significantly in recent years. Dual use innovations, i.e. military patents subsequently cited by a civilian invention, are identified using a novel method employing patent citations. The proportion of dual use inventions in the whole dataset is 41%, but the value has been decreasing in recent years and shows heterogeneity across technological sectors and geographical areas (the USA reports the highest share, 63.9%). Analysis of knowledge flows suggests significant heterogeneity in the share of intra-border innovations: the European defence innovations are largely cited by US inventions, especially when considering dual use cases.
Read the full paper here.