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Emerging Technologies for Defense

Emerging Technologies for Defense

Emerging Technologies for defense are those that have the capability to make existing systems obsolete or disrupt the balance of power between players on the international stage. Most technologies that will impact the future of defense arise from non-defense sources such as commercial R&D activity, scientific and technological innovation from non-military sectors such as research labs, universities, and small organizations globally.

In the area of innovation, defense companies will have to develop the capacity to recognize key technological innovations outside the defense space, and find ways to exploit these opportunities through advantageous partnerships. This report outlines the emerging technologies most likely to disrupt the defense sector , and include artificial intelligence, small data, metamaterials, nanocoatings, biosensors, wearable devices, robotic exoskeletons, visible light communications, fuel cells and microgrids.


  • Executive summary
    • Research Scope
    • Key Findings
  • Metamaterials
    • R&D Focus on Advanced Communication Networks With US Dominant in Research Activities
    • Increasing Government Funding Globally Drives Research and Developmental Efforts
    • Academia is Very Active in Developmental Efforts with Rising Presence of Start-Ups and Other Companies
    • Current Focus is on Product Development and Cost Reduction: Most Disruptive Devices to be Commercialized in the Long Term
  • Nanocoatings
    • Anti-Corrosion and Protective Nanocoatings Have the Highest Adoption Potential
    • The US and EU Lead in Patent Filing, while US and China Lead in Government Funding Initiatives
    • Most of the Companies Focusing on Technologies with High Market Impact such as Anti-corrosion or Superhydrophobic Nanocoatings
    • Future Trends is Focused on Development and Adoption of Disruptive Technologies and Products Such as Smart Body Armors
  • Artificial Intelligence
    • How Will Artificial Intelligence Impact the Defense Sector?
    • Applications in the Defense and Security Sector
    • Vendors in the Defense Industry
    • China Will be the New Preferred Destination for Investments in AI for Defense Applications
    • Military Industry Collaboration in AI Through Legislative Framework will be Instrumental in Building National Defense Capabilities
  • Small Data
    • How Will Small Data Impact the Defense sector?
    • Applications in the Defense Industry
    • Vendors in the Defense Industry
    • Information Sharing across Borders is a Key Driver for Small Data Adoption around the World
    • Actionable Insights from Small Data Will be Crucial to Fight Future Wars
  • Biosensors
    • Growing Interest In Sectors Such As Healthcare, Defense Attracts Interest
    • Advancements in Wearables and Nanotechnology Encourage Development of Biosensors
    • Potential Applications in Warfare and Critical Missions
    • Potential Applications in Explosive Detection and Disease Diagnosis
    • Patent Themes include Applications, Manufacturing, and Technology
    • Key Funding Initiatives Focussing on Performance Enhancement and New Applications
    • Biosensor Industry Initiatives in Military and Defense Sectors
    • Adoption Roadmap – Growth Opportunity Forecast
    • Companies and their Key Innovations
  • Robotic Exoskeleton
    • Capabilities of Robotic Exoskeletons
    • Trends Driving Growth of the Robotic Exoskeleton Market
    • Technology Benefits
    • Key Trending Applications
    • Increased Focus in Developing Light Weight Materials
    • Growth in Investment Geared towards Expanding Applications
    • Implementation Case
    • The Future of Robotic Exoskeletons
    • Companies to Watch
  • Wearables
    • Disruptive Potential
    • IoT, Connected Soldiers, and Soldier-worn Systems Drive Advancements in Wearables
    • Technology Benefits
    • Key Trending Applications
    • US Leads Patent Publication by 61%; Encouraging Development of Prototypes is Prime Focus of Research and Funding
    • Funding Focuses in Propelling Technology Adoption
    • Industry Initiatives Encouraging Development of Wearables in Military and Defense
    • Future of Wearables in Military and Defense
    • Companies Expected to Impact the Wearables Market in the Near Term
  • Visible Light Communication
    • Technology Capability
    • Trends Driving Advancements In VLC
    • High Data Speed, Data Security, and Reduced Power Consumption Drive Advancements in VLC
    • Key Trending Applications
    • US Leads Patent Publication by 51%
    • Encouraging Prototyping is the Key Focus of Research and Funding
    • Future Prospects and Growth Opportunities
    • Companies Expected to Impact the VLC Market in the Near Term
  • Fuel Cells
    • Next-generation Soldiers Require Safe, Yet High-capacity Portable Power
    • Infantry Soldiers and Autonomous System Impacted the Most by Fuel Cells
    • The United States is the Major Adopter of Fuel Cells
    • Funding of Fuel Cells is Dominated by Governments
    • Advancements of Fuel Cells are in Cost, Fuel, and Size
    • Key Questions for Strategy Planning
  • Microgrids
    • Economic Impact of Power Outages is a Major Driver for Microgrid Adoption
    • Residential buildings in Defense Bases can be Powered by Microgrids
    • The US is Expected to Play a Significant Role in Developing Solutions
    • Government Projects and Funding are Supported by Private Stakeholder Solutions and Participation
    • Advancements in Microgrid Solutions and Technologies Adopted Funding
    • Key Questions for Strategy Planning

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