Scientists’ engagement in knowledge transfer and exchange: individual factors, variety of mechanisms and users

Oscar Llopis, Mabel Sánchez-Barrioluengo, Julia Olmos-Peñuela, Elena Castro-Martínez
Science and Public Policy

This article aims to provide a deeper understanding of the individual factors behind scientists’ involvement in a wide variety of knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) activities. By doing so, the article addresses three major shortcomings in the literature. First, this article considers scientists’ involvement in both formal and informal KTE activities. Secondly, the study focuses not only on KTE activities with the private sector, but also with other types of agents. Thirdly, the article adopts an individual approach to distinguish between three types of KTE predictors: individual capacities, training and career trajectories, and motivations. Overall, the results of the regression model applied to a sample of 1,295 researchers active in the largest public research organization in Spain (CSIC) suggest that, while some individual features are connected to some KTE activities, other individual predictors (e.g. multitasking and interdisciplinarity) are more evenly associated to a variety of KTE mechanisms and users. Based on those findings, the article offers policy recommendations to craft more accurate policies to encourage scientists’ KTE engagement.