Experts found top innovation spots in Russia

22nd May 2015

Innovative development can become a privilege only for “advanced” regions – Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tatarstan and the Kaluga region. They turned out to be in the top rankings of innovative development of the Higher School of Economics.

Ranking of regions’ innovative development is a massive research, which has been conducted since 2008 and ranks Russian regions on the basis of 37 indicators characterizing the four thematic blocks: socio-economic conditions, research and technological potential, quality of innovation policy and innovation activity.

This year, as well as last year Moscow is the leader of ranking, despite sagging in terms of expenditures for innovation. According to this indicator Moscow occupies only 16th place, – says the First Vice-Rector of the Higher School of Economics Leonid Gokhberg.

The group of regions-leaders, apart from Moscow, includes Tatarstan, Kaluga region and St. Petersburg. Experts emphasize that against the backdrop of a weak tendency to align the level of regions’ innovative development there has been a clear separation of the leaders. Other regions are far behind.

There is no surprise that Moscow and St. Petersburg are in the top ranking, but there is also no surprise that Tatarstan occupies top positions, – says S&P expert Karen Vartapetov: “In Tatarstan for more than 10 years there are free economic zones, SME support programs, and the region is characterized by the high quality of innovation policy”.

“Novosibirsk and Tomsk regions were also expected to be in the top as regions with major universities and branches of the Academy of Sciences”, – says Karen Vartapetov. In the overall ranking they occupy the eighth and ninth places respectively. Kaluga region is lucky as it looks attractive for investment in the production with high added value, particularly in the automotive industry, but its potential for innovation is not obvious, the experts say.

This year’s group of leaders is small compared to the last year’s ranking, which included 12 regions. The list of outsiders, which includes Chechnya and Ingushetia, also shrinked from 21 to 15 Leaders of technological innovations are usually regions where companies show initiative in independent development of innovations. The best results on this indicator were shown by Chuvashia and Mordovia. In the area of non-technological innovations Chuvashia and Tatarstan are the leaders.

Tatarstan, Kaluga region, Moscow and Novosibirsk region occupy high position in the index of innovation policy quality. The reasons are the following: better regulation, increase in budget expenditures, including the ability of regional authorities to get subsidies from the federal budget. According to Leonid Gokhberg these factors are interconnected. Creating incentives through financing innovation and enhancing regulation spurs activity of enterprises. Investments are crucially important, but they are not possible without favourable institutional environment.

According to the experts, many regions use the accumulated baggage: good macroeconomic conditions and scientific potential developed over decades. “But these factors can not compensate for a lack of innovative activity or poor quality of innovation policy. If the regions do not work in these areas, they will lose their positions” – warns Leonid Gokhberg.

Source: RBC

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