Will it work the innovation policy of the Russian Federation

Will it work the innovation policy of the Russian Federation

Preprint the magazine “Russian space”, 2007, №1 and №2
An interesting difference in the training of students of Economics in Russia and Germany found my sons Alexander and Victor. The first – for years training in St. Petersburg “FINEK” so and not learned would nothing about venture investments, if would not descended with me on exhibition-conference venture technologies. To the second-at the first introductory lecture of Frankfurt University proved that without such technologies the German economy will lose to other countries. The task of economists, Victor was told, is to look for ways to develop innovation, not to accumulate funds.

As can be seen from this, we have different views and different policy priorities in Europe.

There, in 2005, investments in science and technology ~ $8 billion year, and we have two orders of magnitude less ~ $ 62 million <Minister A. L. Kudrin for the words “food security” took a fine of 5,000 rubles.> and this is a long-planned and soon the accession of our country to the WTO, which will strengthen the requirements for the level of domestic products and technologies.

In 2006, the government of the Russian Federation began to form the foundations of a new innovation policy. The Ministry of economic development is debugging the mechanism of the newly created Russian venture company. Even foreigners may be able to select projects for investment. Has enough been done and will this policy work? Why not only young, but also quite Mature scientists, experts do not associate their careers with their native country and emigrate? Without an answer to these questions, it is pointless to talk about another pressing problem-the quality of University education.  Today and in the future.

It is known that our oligarchs and large entrepreneurs have not yet “patronized” breakthrough production technologies. In conversations of the author with the domestic owners of plants, who came from the ranks of high-tech design bureaus and research institutes, and not caricatured “new Russians”, the figure of 4% (of profit) often sounded. Only such small funds our entrepreneurs considered it possible to spend on troublesome R & d for them. However, a much larger percentage, they, under the conditions of our economy, are forced to use on ” interaction with officials.” (Indeed, according to the recent statement of the Deputy chief Prosecutor of the Russian Federation, the amount of corruption payments in our country is close to the level of the Federal budget).

There is a problem, a problem of systemic, not just state regulation of science. After all, the same entrepreneurs agree to Finance the same developments if they are conducted in Western countries. There, spending priorities are differently distributed, and there is competition with Western investors.

Having passed the school of long negotiations on financing high-tech developments in our country, I was surprised by the results of Victor’s six-month work (still a third-year student) studying venture capital firms in practice. Taking the idea of solar cell technology, approved by me, he created a team and prepared a business plan for the new German firm StarCels. After several presentations of this plan, he received quite sufficient investment offers for it. In the amount of up to $ 450 thousand from experienced Russian Industrialists, who began the release of funds.  And, in addition, the reaction of a well-known American investor: “If I see that the technology belongs to You, if its reality is confirmed and the right to license will be a company that is based in the United States, then I immediately give $20-50 million for development.”

The notorious “local conditions” affect the heads of Western firms, when they work in Russia, sometimes specifically “promote” new technologies. This is now being investigated by European investigators in the Siemens case, where one of the former sales managers said that for contracts worth 28 million euros for the supply in 2000 of medical equipment to the Moscow Institute. N. I. Burdenko, spent on bribes to Russian officials 7 million euros (25% of the order).

Fight against corruption in Russia. The victory of the approach “South»
It is unlikely that the authoritative international organization for the evaluation of corruption Transparency International, which ranked us 126th out of 159 countries, is completely free from biased anti-Russian influence, but the importance of such examinations is obvious.

It is known that corruption was different in the life of individual communities and territories of our country. Traditionally, it was more developed in the southern republics of the USSR. Now, in 2005, these countries are world “Champions”: Turkmenistan-157 place out of 159, Tajikistan-150 place, Uzbekistan -143 place, Kyrgyzstan -135 place, Azerbaijan -137 place, Georgia -134 place.  The corruption perceptions index and country rankings are published by Transparency International based on surveys and research conducted by 12 generally recognized independent organizations. This index is usually evaluated on a 10-point scale.  It is considered that at 10 points corruption is practically absent (in Finland in 2000), and at 0 points it is extremely high. Changes in the level of corruption are slow, so the 2004 index was calculated on the average data for 2002-2004).

The peculiarity of the former republics is that their own public and private R & d (Gross domestic expenditure on research & development (R&D) – GERD) in the Asian part of the CIS are the worst funded in the world. On one researcher there is spent 8,9 thousand dollars. In the European Union $177 thousand and $114 thousand in the African countries of the Sahara desert region. The costs of the former southern republics on science and design development relative to GDP are small-less than a percent. To maintain the power, competitiveness and defense of the southern CIS countries, their leaders buy foreign technologies, innovations and military equipment.

The indicators of developed countries, especially Scandinavian countries, are different. In these countries, significantly higher domestic costs for research and development, the leadership of the “Northern mentality” has achieved the best success in the world in the fight against corruption.

Looking at the diagram (Fig.1), it can be stated that modern Russia is a state in which the approach to corruption of the mentality of the “South” has so far won.


Rice. 1.  Science expenditure as % of GDP and corruption rates in different countries

Supranational organizations, exploring science
In the world there are several supranational organizations that research the scientific field: the Institute for Statistics of United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UIS), the European statistical Agency (Eurostat), the Organization for economic cooperation and development (OECD or OECD), the UN Statistical Commission. As a rule, these organizations receive data on the state of the scientific sphere from the national services responsible for statistics of the scientific sphere in the country. If it is impossible to obtain such data, calculations are made on the basis of the results for previous years or in other ways.

The first and immediate priority in UNESCO’s methodology of science and technology statistics is the “incoming” indicators: human resources, financial and institutional resources of the scientific industry. In the long term, “outbound” indicators, including publications and patents, are important.

It is obvious that the incoming indicators represent the resources of the scientific sphere, that is, what science has.  Outgoing indicators are what science outputs, i.e. results.  It is the outgoing results that present the greatest difficulty.  The citation index, the number of patents or patent applications, is not a complete reflection of the results of scientific work, but there is no other.

Indicators of financial resources of science are the most important reflection of the state policy in this area. Funding is an accurate measure of countries ‘ efforts in the science industry. At the same time, funding indicators are a necessary complement to human resources data. These, together with data on infrastructure and scientific organizations, represent the quality of the environment in which researchers conduct their work.  Human resources indicators, such as international migration of scientists, are closely linked to the availability of financial resources.

Trends in R & d spending
Hopes of these last years (at the expressed surplus of the budget) for the best financing of researches and development still weren’t justified. Private and public resources allocated to science as a percentage of GDP have steadily decreased since 2002, according to the annual collections “Science of Russia in numbers”. And you have to believe them, they are published by the only state institution in Russia that deals with statistics of science. (in the abstract it is written: “The proposed collection … is addressed to a wide range of readers, but it can be purchased only in Moscow, and the circulation in 2004 – only 1000 copies, and in 2005-500 copies).

Rice. 2. The level of spending on science in the USSR and the Russian Federation in % of GDP in 1990-2004 and planned (1, 83 %) under a favorable scenario by 2012 in comparison with the level of spending on science in Austria and Japan

Over the past 15 years, our R & d spending has never exceeded 1.25% of GDP. In the words of academician Vladimir Fortov, a member of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences: “in the 90s we lost the information war to the anti-scientists.” Therefore, probably, funds were allocated, so to speak, only for “maintenance of public tranquillity”. Recently published scenarios of the Russian government: pessimistic and optimistic on spending on science. In the most favorable scenario, in six years will be 1, 83 %. from GDP. (Rice. 2). Unfortunately, even then the level of the former Soviet Union or the level of Japan suffering from a lack of hydrocarbon deposits will not be reached, we will be in the range of expenses (not sea, not space, almost not producing military products) of Austria “sample” of 1997.

Andrei Filippenko

Leave your message

Skip to toolbar