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Scientific culture, perception and attitudes towards science and innovation in the Spanish business sector

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Goal: In recent years, the business sector is playing an increasing role in the scene of both national and European public policies and plans in science and technology. However, this fact contrasts with a scenario where different experts and studies detected the so-called 'research-market gap' and 'European paradox', which define a reduced participation of the business sector in funding and carrying out R&D&i, particularly in the collaboration with the public sector, and a lack of strategies for the appropriation by companies of the knowledge produced by universities and public research centers.
A large variety of sources support this scenario with quantitative data. In particular, data resulting from economic approaches, aimed to measure the amount of money companies invest in R&D&i, the number of contacts with universities or the number of registered patents, for instance. This project proposes the need to supplement these data with an analysis of the perception of the business sector which will contribute to shed light on the social dimensions of this public-private link that this type of approaches fails to cover. 
The starting hypothesis is that companies’ perception of science and innovation, and their scientific culture in general, may have a determinant influence on the company key behaviours related to their innovative activities. The objective of this project is to examine all those subjective, cultural variables, related with the perception of the business sector, that influence its final decisions in R&D&i and its innovation behaviour. We intend thus to study the perception of science, technology and innovation by the business sector and the attitudes and motivations of the Spanish companies towards the funding and execution of R&D&i (both intramural and in collaboration with the public sector) as well as the main obstacles for the appropriation of scientific knowledge.
On the other hand, an online tool for the collection, storage and first data coding of data will be built, through which electronic questionnaires will be sent to the sample of Spanish businessmen. Due to the novelty of the subject and the lack of empirical measures about the perception of the business sector, this tool is also seen as one of the products generated by this project. The tool will registered in a platform under a "copy left" intellectual property license, so that it can be used and improved through its use in other national or regional contexts.
The project also includes the implementation of an Indicators Laboratory composed by members of the research team and invited experts, aimed at contributing to the generation of new formulas to incorporate the cultural and subjective dimensions of the business sector to the main socio-economic indicators. 
Finally, we expect that data provided by the survey to Spanish companies and the socio-economic indicators derived from the it will have as ultimate goal the provision of innovative and relevant information to R&D managers responsible of the regulation of relationships between science and business and, ultimately, of promoting processes leading "from the idea to the market".


Entidad Financiadora: 
Ministerio Economía, Industria y competitividad
Periodo de Vigencia: