“The dynamics of innovation in Aerospace and Defence (A&D) industries”, by Pierre Barbaroux*
Historically, Aerospace and Defence (A&D) industries played a pioneering role in innovation and diffusion of new technologies. However, they are today facing internal and external pressures of all kinds, affecting their business models and justifying an adjustment of their invention and commercialisation capabilities. The digital and ecological revolutions, the intensification of international competition, the variety of knowledge and sources of legitimacy permanently upset their processes of design, use and value creation. All the components of A&D systems’ architecture are affected by these transformations: vectors, sensors, communication systems, individual and collective skills as well as regulatory frameworks are changing, therefore reshaping the technological landscape in which the actors of the A&D industries operate.
The thematic issue untitled “Dynamics of innovation in the Aerospace and Defence industries” of Technology & Innovation (Vol. 3, 2018) responds to the need to analyze these transformations. Building on a multiple-scale analytical grid, the nine articles which make up this issue illustrate how the dynamics of change operate across A&D industries, firm, operators and designers. The aim is to understand how automation, digitization and the functional integration of technologies, shape A&D innovation processes and modify both users’ and designers’ practices, skills and knowledge bases. These dynamics of change open up opportunities for companies and users. At the same time, they threaten their competitive positions and Research & Development (R & D) models, and even their industrial culture. The arrival of new actors and the dissemination of new practices and behaviours, especially those stemming from the digital economy, justify on the part of established actors (i.e, Nation-states, companies, scientific communities and users) an effort of adaptation. To address these challenges, we should encourage the dialogue between disciplines. In this way, the thematic issue participates in the decompartmentalization of systems engineering, science and use-based paradigms that today govern the relationships between Technology and Innovation in the A&D industries.
*Centre de recherche de l’armée de l’air, Ecole de l’air, Salon de Provence, France, email@example.com