Presentation of results of Russian regions’ innovative activities at Gaidar Forum
The expert discussion, Rating Results of the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia: Innovative Business in the Regions of Russia and Rating of Innovation Development of the Regions of Russia took place on January 12, the first day of the Gaidar Forum.
The discussion was moderated by Ivan Bortnik, Advisor to the General Director of the Foundation to Promote Innovation. The participants included Minister of Economy of the Republic of Tatarstan Artyom Zdunov; State Secretary – Deputy Minister of Economic Development Oleg Fomichov; speaker of the Tomsk Region legislature Oksana Kozlovskaya; Project Manager of the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia Roza Semyonova, Head of the RANEPA Laboratory of Corporate Strategy Research and Behavior of Firms Vera Barinova and RANEPA senior researcher Stepan Zemtsov.
The discussion focused on the following questions: what regions of Russia are friendlier to innovative business; which rankings reflect the actual situation with innovation in the country's constituent regions for 2016 more objectively; how we need to supplement and improve the rankings to increase their informative value. The Rating of Innovation Development of the Regions of Russia with the detailed assessment of the regions’ investment grade was presented for the first time.
Following Ivan Bortnik’s opening remarks, Roza Semyonova presented the ranking of innovative regions in 2016. She spoke about the methods of selecting the main indicators that determine the position of the regions. The top five leaders in innovation include Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tatarstan, Tomsk and Novosibirsk Regions. The latter two regions have risen significantly in the rankings compared with the previous year. Ms. Semyonova noted that the rankings are not based on expert evaluations, but on quantitative indicators, which makes them more objective and identifies the leaders on each criterion, shows the strengths and weaknesses of each region. However, as Mr. Bortnik pointed out that the fourth, experimental section, still contains minor errors, including those concerning grants, their source and value. These errors need to be eliminated, he said.
According to Oksana Kozlovskaya, improvement of the legislation in accordance with the opinion of innovative businesses needs to be made a priority. She said that in 2016, the ranking mainly emphasized import substitution. She also pointed out issues to be addressed to improve the ranking system, such as the divergence of actual data and Rosstat figures, sometimes as big as 40%, or the fact that the activity of the regional institutions that affect innovation is often overlooked.
State Secretary – Deputy Minister of Economic Development Oleg Fomichov said that the ranking creates an element of competition for the regions; a region’s position shows how well the region has worked during a given period. Without a ranking, it is difficult to understand the policy the regions pursue in the field of innovation, he said; the fourth, pilot section, needs to be considered with less impact on the bottom line. The official recommended adding information on startups and expanded information on the financial, venture capital and related sectors to the evaluation process. However, Artyom Zdunov, Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan, expressed a somewhat different view of the fourth section of the rating, noting that its results demonstrate the authorities' willingness to invest.
RANEPA employees Vera Barinova and Stepan Zemtsov presented the Innovative Business in the Regions of Russia ranking. The speakers focused on how widely the high-tech and knowledge-based industries are represented in the region; the main purpose is not to rank the regions, they said, but to identify conditions and results of the development of high-tech business entities and eventually identify the potential points of non-commodity economic growth. Stepan Zemtsov explained how business results are correlated with the available resources in the region. Among the examples he highlighted Moscow and St. Petersburg, which in 2016 accounted for 40% of the country's resources, mostly financial ones. Ms. Barinova said that the main advantage of the regional rankings is the possibility to identify each region’s strengths. A survey among business representatives was conducted with the support of the Russian CCI.
At the end of the discussion, Mr. Zdunov suggested revising the sectoral component in the formation of the rankings, especially in the defense industry. Mr. Bortnik agreed with him, concluding the discussion. He advised to pay more attention to the high-tech industry and to correlate the scope of innovation and high-tech for maximum objectivity of the future rankings’ results.
Organizers of the Gaidar Forum: “The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration” (RANEPA), The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute) and the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).
General partner: Gazprom. Financial partner: Otkritie Bank. Strategic partners: Gazprombank, Unilever, ACIG Group of Companies, Johnson&Johnson, Novartis Group in Russia, Masterсard, Yegor Gaidar Foundation, MSD. Official partners: Microsoft, RVC. Partners: EY, Cotton Way, The Russian Brewers' Union, Tomsk region. Insurance partner: Rosgosstrakh.
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