Migration of aerospace technologies to adjacent markets
Author(s)Wang, Jennifer Y
System Design and Management Program.
James M. Utterback.
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Shrinking government budgets due to economic woes has aerospace and defense contractors scrambling to sustain their business and minimize the effects of budget sequestration. Given the global economic climate and the level of federal debt, government budget spending is unlikely to recover in the near future to previous levels, where aerospace and defense contractors had enjoyed an abundance of million and billion dollar cost-reimbursable contracts. In current business conditions, company leadership has put a new focus on finding and developing business in adjacent markets, where core competencies can be utilized to generate alternative streams of revenue. In order to provide insight into potential adjacent markets for aerospace technologies and entry strategies that increase chances of success, this thesis analyzes cases of technologies originally developed for an aerospace application that were eventually adopted for use in another (non-aerospace) industry. Analysis of metrics and 35 cases compiled from NASA's Spinoff and Technology Databases reinforce several observations that have been generalized in other literature: 1) a wide variety of industries could be considered adjacent markets, 2) entering established industries may offer the highest technology adoption rate, 3) partnership with an existing firm or organization with knowledge of the adjacent market has played a key role in the successful adoption of the technology in the adjacent market, and 4) building-block technologies at the subsystem, component and base material level most often traversed market boundaries. However, a handful of cases prove that systems can traverse market boundaries in whole under certain conditions. Most importantly, the role of the aerospace industry as advanced analog lead users is a unique advantage that aerospace firms should leverage.
Thesis: S.M. in Engineering and Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, 2014.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 51-56).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.; System Design and Management Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering Systems Division., System Design and Management Program.