Defense R&D and national R&D systems: A European outlook

Sylvain Daffix, Yves Jacquin


The aim of this article is to study the role of defense-related R&D in national systems of innovation, with a special focus on France. We first highlight the role of defense in the national system of R&D for European countries and then detail the case for the French Ministry of Defense. The article presents information provided by the OECD science and technology database and the French statistical survey on R&D based on the OECD methodology. In terms of funding as well as in terms of performance, the organization of research efforts is quite different from one European country to another. The detailed analysis of the French case shows an approximate stability in terms of funding after the gap of the late 1990s, but also a switch from R&D that is performed in-house to contracts with the industrial sector. This comparative exercise about Europe provides insights on the specificities of national systems of innovation and their evolution.


Defense innovation; national R&D systems

Full Text:



Bellais, R. 2009. “Defense innovation at any (out of control) cost? The stalemate of today’s R&D policy and an alternative model.” The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Vol. 4, No. 2.

Bellais, R. and S. Daffix. 2005. “Evolutions de l’effort public et privé de recherche-développement et capacités d’innovation des firmes,” pp. 87-110 in R. Bellais, ed., Economie et Défense. Paris: Editions Descartes.

Daffix, S. and Y. Jacquin. 2007. “Quelques repères statistiques sur la R&D de Défense en France.” Ecodef. No. 48, (October) pp.1-4.

[EDA] European Defense Agency. 2006. National Defense Expenditure in 2005. [accessed 15 December 2007].

Foray, D. 2001. “On the French system of innovation: between institutional inertia and rapid changes.” Working paper 01/03. Paris: IMRI, Dauphine University.

Fromion, Y. 2005. “Rapport d'information n̊2150 sur la recherche de défense et de sécurité.” Paris: Assemblée nationale.

Guichard, R. 2004. “Eléments pour un repositionnement de la R&D de Défense au sein du système d'innovation français.” Revue d'économie industrielle, No. 108, 4ième trimestre, pp.7-20.

James, A. 2006. “The Transatlantic Defense R&D Gap: Causes, Consequences and Controversies.” Defense and Peace Economics, Vol. 17, No. 3 (June), pp. 223-238.

[MESR] Ministry of Research. Various annual editions. La recherche et développement en France. Paris: MESR.

Ministère Français de la Défense. 2006. Annuaire statistique de la Défense. Paris: Ministry of Defense.

Molas-Gallart, J. 1999. “Measuring Defense R&D: A Note on Problems and Shortcomings.” Scientometrics, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 3-16.

Mowery, D. 1998. “The changing structure of the U.S. national innovation system: implications for international conflict and cooperation in R&D policy.” Research Policy, Vol. 27, pp. 639-654.

Mustar, P. And P. Laredo. 2002. “Innovation and research policy in France (1980-2000) or the disappearance of the Colbertist state.” Research Policy, Vol. 31, pp. 55-72.

[OECD] Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation. Various years. Main Science and Technology Indicators. Paris: OECD.

[OECD] Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation. 2002. The Frascati Manual. Paris: OECD.

[OECD] Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation. 2007. Main Science and Technology Indicators. Paris: OECD.

Ruttan, V. 2006. Is War Necessary for Economic Growth? Military Procurement and Technology Development. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sachwald, F. 1999. “Banalisation et restructuration des industries de défense.” Les notes de l'Ifri, No.15. Paris: IFRI.

Serfati, C. 1998. Les industries européennes d'armement, de la coopération à l'intégration? Paris: La documentation française.

Sharif, N. 2006. “Emergence and development of the National Innovation Systems concept.” Research Policy, Vol. 35, pp. 745-766.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.