An International Research Handbook
Edited by Ruud E. Smits, Stefan Kuhlmann and Phillip Shapira
Chapter 11: Innovation, Defence and Security
Jordi Molas-Gallart INTRODUCTION There has long been a relationship between civil and military innovation. Many technologies used in warfare have non-military applications, and often skills and capabilities developed elsewhere have been adapted for military use. Over the years, however, this relationship has changed and has also been perceived in different ways. The observer of military innovation during the second half of the twentieth century would have identified a dearly bounded military innovation system, where technology variation and selection dynamics were defined by procurement and research policies, which had in turn developed out of a perception that technology was a key factor in providing military security and superiority. Yet, the separation between military and civilian innovation systems has not always been so dear-cut. This chapter explores this evolving relationship, focusing on the experience of the US and some Western European countries since the Second World War and the systemic shift that is occurring as we enter the twenty-first century. I will argue that the sharp distinction between military and civilian innovation systems that characterised most of the twentieth century is starting to fall apart. Mutually interdependent changes in technology, the political and security context, and innovation and procurement policies are leading to a new, more complex and integrated, innovation system. 'Ihe integration of military and civilian innovation within a single innovation system is not new. Historically, inventors, artisans and scientists have worked to improve military technologies while, at the same time, being engaged in other pursuits. Innovations in weaponry were often...
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