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The Monitoring Survey of Innovative Behavior of the Population: social demand for new and emerging technologies

2016
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

Aim of the research

The aim of the project is to study the social demand for new technologies. Achievement of the aim assumes description of existing models in the application of innovation among Russian population, classification of innovative behavior for different socio-demographic groups.

Objectives of the research include:

  • analysis of the existing concepts of innovative behavior of the population;
  • analysis of innovative behavior of the Russian population and its involvement in S&T;
  • studying social demand for new and emerging technologies;
  • definition of the factors supporting people’s engagement in innovation processes.

Methodology

The method of collecting information is a representative survey of the Russian population, conducted by NGO "Levada Center" commissioned by the ISSEK HSE. Data analysis included such methods as descriptive statistics, cross-tables analysis, correlation analysis, correspondence analysis, and other methods of data grouping.

Empirical base of the research

The empirical base of the project is a representative survey of the population of the Russian "Social demand for new and emerging technologies." The survey was conducted 13-24 November 2015. A representative sample of the Russian population covers 1671 people aged 16 years and older in 137 settlements of 45 regions of Russia. Additionally data from surveys conducted in the period from 2009 to 2014 were used to study the dynamics of public opinion about science, technology and engineering. International comparisons involves OECD data, the US National Science Foundation surveys, the European Commission researches (Eurobarometer project).

Key results

The results of data analysis showed that Russians see in science more positive consequences than negative ones. However, public opinion on the impact of science differs for the various aspects of life. Thus, the respondents evaluates in the most positive way the impact of science on the standard of living, while the impact of science on the environment in perceived by the Russians in a very controversial way. A significant proportion of the population guess the potential risks of scientific and technological development are high enough to apply some restrictive measures to scientific researches. Therefore, the analysis showed that the public opinion on science in Russia could hardly be considered as unequivocally positive.

However, the analysis focused on the social demand for some of the new and emerging technologies. The analysis showed that the technologies could be ranked by the level of public interest. The most attractive technologies for respondents were well-known and clearly useful ones. Among these technologies were, for example, electric car and solar batteries for households. Biotechnological innovations appeared to be the most unclaimed ones. Among them were synthesized meat products, the cookies made from crickets crushed into the flour, and clothes from recycled waste. The reason for the low interest - anxiety caused by these technological innovations.

The monitoring results were presented in a number of scientific articles and at the various scientific conferences. The list of the conferences is the following: 1st International Conference on the social impact of science (25.07.016 - 07.29.2016 Spain, Barcelona), 21th International Conference on science and technology indicators (14.09 2016 -. 09.16.2016 Spain, Valencia), 14th annual Open innovation Conference and Member (08.01.2016 - 08.03.2016 USA, Boston), 9th Conference on models based on innovation and the development of data (16.06. 2016 - 06.17.2016 Russia, Moscow). The findings were published in a data book "Science. Innovation. Information Society: 2016 "(in Russian and English), prepared for printing in the relevant section of the book “Science Indicators: 2017». In addition, the monitoring results are regularly published in the analytical reports of international organizations (e.g. the OECD), and used in various monographs devoted to the problems of innovative development of Russia.

Level of implementation, recommendations on implementation or outcomes of the implementation of the results

The results of the research can be used by public authorities responsible for the implementation of science policy in the Russian Federation. The poll showed that Russians' attitude to science is generally positive but it has a significant admixture of alertness. The majority of respondents are willing to admit that the science has a positive impact on society, at the same time remains a significant proportion of those respondents who consider it’s necessary to introduce some restrictive measures to scientific researches. This suggests the need to conduct a thoughtful politics to raise the level of public confidence in the institution of science.

In addition, the mass survey results may be useful for organizations working in the sphere of science, technologies and innovations. Analysis of the collected data showed that public interest in technological innovations is not very high. Now only a very small number of technologies can be described as demanded by the most Russians. The findings allow conduct a preliminary work to identify the real social demand for innovation, the identification of specific customers for different innovative products and further segmentation of their audience.

Publications:


Fursov K., Nefedova A., Thurner T. What user-innovators do that others don't: A study of daily practices // Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 2017. Vol. 118. P. 153-160. doi
Fursov K., Thurner T. God Helps Those Who Help Themselves! A Study of User-Innovation in Russia / NRU HSE. Series SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION "SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION". 2016. No. 59. doi
Fursov K., Thurner T. Make it work! – A study of user-innovation in Russia. // Science and Public Policy. 2017. Vol. 44. No. 3. P. 392-402. doi