Whoever says big companies necessarily says big budgets dedicated to innovation… or at least, that’s what one might think at first glance. Study of CAC40 companies conducted for Maddyness by Well doca scientific recruitment and innovation consulting firm, and Charpak Foundation, shows that this link is ultimately far from clear. Especially when it comes to placing their scientific responsibility at the heart of the organization’s work. corporate scientific responsibilityRSCE) is an indicator that makes it possible to evaluate the effectiveness of organizations in terms of scientific research.
“In France, progress and science are not just words, they are fundamental struggles for our future. By classifying our companies according to their efforts in terms of innovation, we try to provide reading keys to the ecosystem and offer our appreciation to those who dare to move forward,” says Louis Carle, Co-founder of Maddyness and member of the scientific committee. A committee. . So, which CAC40 companies have made the most effort to invest in R&D and collaborate with researchers?
To answer this question, OK Doc calculated the score for each company taking into account five main criteria:
- Research effectiveness;
- recruitment of researchers;
- Contributing knowledge to the scientific community;
- Promote science in the value chain and contribute to scientific culture in society
- Commitment to the environment.
Several indicators have been included to evaluate each of these criteria independently, such as the number of patents filed, investments in R&D or the number of doctoral students employed. The collected data was presented to a scientific committee composed of scientists, journalists and experts.
“If we can believe that all these topics have central importance in large collections, we realize that this is far from the case everywhere,” as Jan-Miel Larher, founder of Okay Doc, recently pointed out.
Why are so many CAC40 companies lagging behind?
Conducting this study, Jan-Mille Larher observed that CAC40 companies have completely given up on scientific innovation – on average, their scores are around 40/100. He adds: “It does not depend on their size or their sector of activity.” “It is an issue related to the company’s culture. Some people were surprised to ask questions about this topic, because in their opinion it does not concern them at all. Others explained to us that they simply do not have a department dedicated to innovation.
According to him, there are several reasons that explain this delay. The first is the often distorted concept of scientific innovation. “In France, when we talk about innovation, we immediately think of mathematics, physics or chemistry,” continues Yann-Maille Larher. “While also the humanities, psychology, sociology…” are very important areas to understand their users, customers or employees. “Our institutions need a dose of the spirit of science at the heart of governance, on par with the ‘other skills,’” adds Yves Charbac, president and co-founder of the Charbac Foundation, Spirit of Science..
Added to this is the fact that many companies look at innovation in an “exploratory” way. They do not integrate it into their strategy, they do not make precise plans, and they do not seek to measure results. “Among those who appear at the bottom of our rankings,” the Okay Doc founder estimates, “there are some who are innovating, but they were unable to provide us with specific data: their ranking does not necessarily reflect their actions.”
Scientific innovation, a French taboo?
The last major obstacle: the fact of not wanting to communicate about their innovations, which would be a failure… too French! “The groups think they are acting strategically by not disclosing anything about their research, but they are punishing themselves,” believes Jan Mael Larher. “They are isolating themselves from investors, opportunities, partnerships, support and leverage that might be beneficial to them.” He adds that while startups tend to communicate a lot about scientific innovation, sometimes even before a product is developed, the topic remains taboo among larger companies.
“Today, a discussion about energy, climate, health, pollution, agricultural production, food, transport, communications, digital technology, lifestyles and education… cannot be conducted without reference to scientific knowledge, even at a stage before technological innovation,” says Yves Charpak. “How can we Imagine that business leaders couldn’t point it out?
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