The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) is interested in innovation models and the ways in which they can be used to better harness and absorb innovation from external sources. To this end, the MOD commissioned RAND Europe to conduct a study of innovation models and make recommendations on changes the MOD could make.

The research considered different innovation models and developed a framework that describes innovation systems in general and is applicable to defence in particular. The analysis was built around this framework, with four recommendations being developed for changes the MOD should make internally. These recommendations are based on how the MOD engages with external actors, how it should create and participate in innovation networks and how it could create and use spaces for innovation.

This report has been prepared for the Defence Science and Technology (DST) staff in the MOD and for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). It will be of interest to those working in innovation, science, and technology policy more generally and those with a specific interest in defence research and technology development.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Scene setting: a narrative for the potential future of innovation in the MOD

  • Chapter Two

    Study objectives and methodology

  • Chapter Three

    An analytical framework for understanding innovation

  • Chapter Four

    Recommendations for the MOD: four levels of change

  • Chapter Five

    The feasibility and impact of the proposed changes

  • Chapter Six


  • Annex One

    Harnessing innovation from academia

  • Appendix A

    Literature review methodology

  • Appendix B

    List of stakeholder interviews

  • Appendix C

    Interview protocol for stakeholder engagement

  • Appendix D

    First expert workshop

  • Appendix E

    Options for action derived from the framework

  • Appendix F

    Second expert workshop

  • Appendix G

    Measuring innovation in the MOD

Research conducted by

This report has been prepared for the Defence Science and Technology (DST) staff in the MOD and for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and was conducted by RAND Europe.

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