Research and innovation in smart materials in the naval equipment and technologies sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of smart materials related patent applications in the industry stood at 11 in the three months ending April – down from 23 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to smart materials followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 33 in the three months ending April 2021 to 15 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

Smart materials is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Raytheon Technologies Corp was the top smart materials innovator in the naval equipment and technologies sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed seven smart materials related patents in the three months ending April. That was up from two over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the United States based The Boeing Co with one smart materials patent application, the United Kingdom based Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc (1 application), and France based Thales SA (1 application).