29 October, 2015
The draft of the National Report on innovations in Russia was presented at the “Open Innovations” Forum
The draft of the National Report “On innovations in Russia” was presented on October 29, at the “Open Innovations” Forum. The report provides a qualitative assessment of the current state of Russian innovation ecosystem and effectiveness of reforms performed in recent years, and also defines the key directions of federal innovation policy adjustments.
The national report was developed by order of the presidium of the Council on economic modernization and innovative development of Russia by the Ministry of Economic Development involving the Expert Council under the Government of the Russian Federation, RVC and international consulting company The Boston Consulting Group.
According to the report, innovations are the main effective tool for securing of economic growth in the long term - against the background of reduction of the number of able-bodied population, outflow of capital and other external and internal challenges faced by Russia in recent years. In the framework of implementation of the Strategy of Innovative Development adopted by the Russian Federation Government in 2011, the basic elements of the innovation ecosystem were formed in the country: one of Europe's largest venture markets was created, development institutes started to work in the country, territorial innovation clusters appeared. In recent years, Russia has substantially strengthened its positions in key ratings which assess the level of innovations development.
However, despite the results achieved, there still remains a small share of innovative goods in the total volume of products produced in Russia - a stable 8-9% over the past three years against 15% in leading countries; low labor efficiency is noted - 2 times lower in comparison with the most competitive economies in the world.
The authors of the report define five main barriers impeding the further improvement of effectiveness of the innovation ecosystem of Russia.
First, the development is carried out within the open innovative system which leads to the fact that specialists and innovations “drain away” from Russia. Business projects, grown by the local venture market, do not find opportunities in Russia and leave the country. It turns out that the state's investment in human capital is working for competitiveness of foreign economies. With an acceptable number of start-ups - at the level of Western European countries - the specific quantity of innovative companies in the Russian Federation is three or more times lower than in leading countries. And these companies are demonstrating low susceptibility to technology (investment in intangible assets in the Russian Federation is 3-10 times lower than those of the leaders); the existing demand is met mostly with import of technology. Thus, Russia has weakened positions at the stages of innovation “funnel” (value chain), the success at which is a must.
Second, the weakening of the innovation system is affected by the undeveloped institutional environment: low level of competition, unpopularity of professions of scientist and entrepreneur, insufficient protection of rights of innovative companies’ owners.
Third, there is no common and up-to-date vision of technological priorities, and coordinated technology policy. Priorities in most cases are determined by individual sectorial strategic documents, which are directed “bottom-up” without harmonization and clear coordination with the market needs.
Fourth, both innovation and technology policies are formed situationally, management of development and implementation for each of them is atactic, both at the level of documents and at the level of subjects of control system (government authorities, development institutes).
The fifth barrier is the absence of a unified system of monitoring of the innovation ecosystem and methodologies for evaluation of volume, quality and effectiveness of costs for innovations.
To solve the said problems, it is proposed, in the first place, to optimize the system of innovation management: to raise the level of coordination between the innovation process participants, to appoint a single administrator of the pursued innovation policy at the level of federal bodies of executive power, to adjust the effective mandates of development institutes - in order to eliminate duplicate functions and support uncovered objects of the innovation ecosystem, as well as to involve the business community into the innovation process.
The next step is to develop common, agreed priorities of the innovation policy, as well as to establish common standards for monitoring and evaluation of its implementation. This will require detailing and updating of the Strategy of Innovative Development, as well as its integration with the Strategy of Socio-Economic Development being designed, and other documents of general and sectorial planning. Within the Strategy of Innovative Development, it becomes critical to form a unified set of sectorial and market priorities, taking into account the prospective evaluation of economic sectors and markets of the future. The implementation of the National Technology Initiative, which will allow translating the requests and needs of the market to the state technological agenda, can become one of the instruments for formation of the technology policy.
In order to eliminate the causes of “openness” of the innovation ecosystem, the authors of the report recommend to develop and implement tools designed to raise payoffs from research-and-development expenditures, to stimulate growth of competitiveness of ideas and inventions by means of attracting and re-exporting of talents, to accelerate the cycle of transition from fundamental to applied research, to reallocate state aid in favor of the priority technologies. In addition, it is necessary to create mechanisms for support of the growth of existing innovative companies – which includes stimulating of the demand for their products from major corporations, and export support.
For further development of the innovation ecosystem, the authors consider it necessary to develop a set of measures aimed at attracting of private capital, removal of administrative barriers, ensuring of system protection of rights of owners and investors of innovative companies. Besides that, it is necessary to conduct a large-scale federal campaign, aimed at popularization and stimulating of research and entrepreneurial activity.
The next stage will be organizing of a discussion of the draft of the National Report on innovations in Russia by expert community, whereafter it will be entered into the Government of the Russian Federation.