Regional Development

Comparative innovation analysis of the regions of the Russian Federation


Vladimir KISELEV 
Centre for Science Research and Statistics at the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation


Current interest to innovation analysis on the part of the regional authorities of the Russian Federation (RF) can be explained by the fact that in many regions innovation strategies and programs are being implemented and benchmarking exercises are regarded as sources of important information. Another powerful factor which explains interest to such analyses is the process globalization and increasing competition at the world markets of goods and services.


On the other hand, comparative analysis and benchmarking of innovation activities at the regional level allow to optimize managerial efforts of regional governments. It should be noted that there are great differences between 80 regions of the Russian Federation. They are very different in their population and territory, in concentration of universities and research institutes, in their economic capacity, etc.


Many regions in the framework of their innovation policies provide considerable support to innovative firms and thus improving innovation climate at their territory. At the same time some regions do not have strong grounds for regional innovation policies and rely mainly on the federal support. On the contrary some Russian regions inherit historically established R&D and higher education institutions that are supported through the federal budget allocations which certainly adds impacts of the federal R&D and higher education policies to regional efforts.  


All these specific features had to be taken into consideration in order to "clean up" results of the comparative regional innovation analysis from the federal policy influence. At the same time in order to avoid the effect of the scale of regional economies only relative indicators should be used for innovation analysis.


The presented comparative analysis of innovation activities in the Russian Federation regions has been accomplished on the basis of original system of indicators according to the data of 2008 official statistical survey. Results of the analysis, which is very close by its methodology to the Regional innovation scoreboard 2009, allow to compare Russian regions by the Regional Summary Innovation Index (RSII), as well as to distinguish four clusters of leading regions:  by innovation potential, by innovation climate, by efficiency of innovation activities and by efficiency of the use of innovation potential.


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