Research project commissioned by the French Ministry of Defense (2014)
Dual-use technologies and innovation
New managerial approaches

The project has developed from January to November 2014.
The dissemination of research results will start in February 2015.

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The newPIC chair has been awarded in January 2014 a research contract by the French Ministry of Defense (Directorate for Financial Affairs, Office for Economic research [OED]). The final report has been delivered in November 2014.

The project investigated the practices of French Defense and Aerospace global firms practices in the management of dual-use technologies innovative potential: identifying, taking advantage of, and managing the possible synergies between technologies and products funded on civilian vs. Defense-related budgets has become a key driver for the industry competitiveness. The management of dual-use innovation represents one of the key strategic aspects for the ASD industry.


Dassault Rafale nEUROn Falcon 7x

Industrial partnership



The research project has developed thanks to a tight cooperation with THALES, a world leader in the ASD indsutry.



Main results


Dual-use strategies focus on taking advantage of the exploitation of competences, technologies, products, processes, suited to the twin fulfillment of specifications issued by civilian and Defense-related markets. The important growth of activities on civilian commercial markets on the one hand and the variety of technological trajectories on Defense and Security-related markets on the other hand, explain why dual-use technologies and innovation have become a key issue in strategy making.

The project focuses on the industry working for the French Defense. We investigate several dimensions: strategy, the management of innovation, business models. The report compares “historical” players in the industry, and new entrants. Our approach allows for the investigation of common features, and divergences, in relation with the nature of activities. The report points out how the reference to dual-use technologies and innovation situates in the products/markets diversification and in the specialization process.

New managerial approaches of dual-use technologies and innovation are now present in the industry. The focus on dual-use developments requires new perspectives on the collective and iterative approach to innovation. Taking advantage of dual-use developments requires a perfect understanding of all connections in the ecosystem, and new modes of interactions between the industry and the end-users. Inside the industry, the reference to dual-use technologies implies the introduction of new managerial modes for the innovation process, and of new transverse functions suited to taking maximum advantage of synergies between Defense, Security and civilian markets. This reference also translates into new strategies for ‘open innovation’, making the most out of internal skills and knowledge made available from other sectors (e.g. videogames).

The reference to dual-use technologies and products in business models introduces an interesting perspective when the industry actually elaborates its strategy both on civilian, and Defense and Security markets. We investigate the relationship between costs, profit, revenues, and (core) competences. We point out the specificities of each dimension for projects primarily targeting civilian, or Defense and Security markets.

In this project, the analysis of dual-use strategies elaborates on seven in-depth case studies pointing out constraints and opportunities. For each case study, the report delivered to the French MoD goes into the details of the articulation between the market strategy, the business model, and the managerial modes introduced for the innovation process.

Six case studies have developed with THALES business units:
- cockpits and digital screens for military aircraft;
- secured GNSS receptors or secured GNSS services;
- ground military radars and ATM radars;
- ground command and control networks for civilian and military air traffic management (SWIM vs. SCCOA / ACCS LOC1);
- cyber-security; and
- the A400M ‘Grizzly’ flight management system.

The 7th case study investigated the development of the internal start-up installed by DCNS on renewable marine energies for its strategic diversification.

All seven case studies have allowed to pointing out key success factors for the implementation of strategies focusing on dual-use technologies and innovation.

Research team


  • Valerie MERINDOL
    email: vm (at)
    gsm: +33-0-617 09 06 43




    email: dwv (at)
    gsm: +33-0-609 52 54 56

Background information

  • "Dual use as knowledge oriented policy: France during the 1990-2000ies"
    Valérie MERINDOL and David W. VERSAILLES,
    International Journal of Technology Management, 2009, vol. 50(1), pp. 80-98

  • "Defense RDTE and knowledge management: A new inquiry into public-private coordination"
    Valerie MERINDOL,
    Defense and Security Analysis, vol 21 (2), June 2005

Documents and deliverables in relation with the research project

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  • Final report - EPS2013-42
    Public version disclosed for public dissemination by the French Ministry of Defense [DAF/OED]


  • "La dualité dans la stratégie des entreprises"
    ECODEF / Etudes - Bulletin de l'Observatoire économique de la Défense
    Newsletter of the FR MoD Office for Economic Research,
    numéro 70 (janvier 2015)

  • Restitution seminar with executives interviewed in the industry during the project, organized in cooperation between the newPIC chair and the French MoD [OED]
    The workshop was held on March 27th, 2015 in Paris. The research team presented and discussed the report results with representants from the industry and from the FR MoD interviewed during the execution of the project. The interaction has made it possible to stress the importance of organizational changes required in order to take full advantage of the potential incured by dual-use innovation and technologies. Participants to the workshop discussed the internal aspects to adapt in the industry, and also the various constraints in/impacts on the ecosystem. The workshop has highlighted the importance of managing related markets and related clients ("adjacencies") and of overcoming silo effects in the organizations (both public and private) and in technological programs.
    -- Presentation of research results (ppt), by V. Merindol & D. W. Versailles
    -- List of participants (xls)



  • "La dualité comme moyen de repenser la position stratégique des firmes",
    Revue DEFENSE NATIONALE, numéro 780, Mai 2015, pp. 46-54


  • "Dynamic capabilities in multi-technological firms:
    a global-local perspective of permanent realignment"

    Valérie MERINDOL and David W. VERSAILLES,
    Contribution to track 27 "Dynamic capabilities for strategic change in practice"
    at the EGOS annual conference, Athens, Greece, July 2015


  • "La cohérence technologies-produits
    an sein des firmes multi-technologiques:
    le rôle clé des portefeuilles de business models"

    Valerie MERINDOL and David W. VERSAILLES,
    contribution at the AIMS annual conference, Paris, France, June 2015