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The Study of Interaction of Business Angels with Universities and Research Institutes

Student: Elena Pchelyakova

Supervisor: Mikhail G. Nazarov

Faculty: Faculty of Management

Educational Programme: Bachelor

Year of Graduation: 2014

<p>The cooperation between universities, research institutes and private venture capital investors in the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge plays a key role in the conditions of forming and development of the regional innovation system. &nbsp;Nowadays the problem of interaction of business angels with universities and research institutes and the role of university interrelations with private investors in the development of innovative activity in the region has not been adequately reflected among Russian scholars. The general purpose of present research is to identify the existing features of interaction of the Business Angels association with the universities and research institutes, to determine the main obstacles of this phenomenon.</p><p>The goal is going to be achieved via the analytical data collection and analysis to cover the theoretical part of the problem. The practical goals of the research have been achieved by applying the semi-structured interview and by using the qualitative analysis of data.</p><p>In the framework of this study, the basic concepts of regional innovation systems, its main elements and functions have been analyzed, the features of universities and their role in the innovation system have been investigated in detail; the concept of &laquo;business angels&raquo; and &ldquo;Association of Business Angels&rdquo;, their roles in the regional development have been studied. Besides it, the foreign practice of creating innovative clusters on the example of Silicon Valley has been studied. On this basis, the most effective regional innovation infrastructure has been formulated, as well as the key factors influencing the level of interaction between business angels associations and universities have been identified. These factors include the presence of a complete regional innovation infrastructure, the promotion of universities&rsquo; entrepreneurial activity, providing of technology transfer, the government support in promoting the innovation activity of universities as well as to create a favorable conditions for the development of business angelic movement.</p><p>In order to analyze the features of interaction between business angels and universities in the Nizhny Novgorod region it was conducted exploratory study. The study was designed and conducted semi-structured interview with eight representatives of the academic community who are competent in the field of innovation activity and with four representatives of the association of Business &ndash; angels of the Nizhny Novgorod region.</p><p>In the study a model of interaction of business angels&rsquo; association &laquo;Startovye Investitsii&raquo; with academic community in the Nizhniy Novgorod was developed.</p><p>According to the study following findings have been obtained. The most significant problems that hinder the construction of an effective system of interaction are: lack of motivation among academic community and moreover lack of incentives to the commercialization of scientific research, the mistrust among management of universities and research institutes to private investors, unacceptable conditions of financing for the developers of projects. Moreover, there are barriers of legislative level in matters relating to business angels and the absence of tax incentives for private investors and small innovative companies.</p><p>In the framework of the study, the government support measures to stimulate business angelic activities have been proposed, which include improving the legal framework, the introduction of tax exemptions, the elimination of administrative barriers for business angels during the participation in the project, the financial relief of investors and also the formation of a positive image of &laquo;business angels&raquo;. In addition, measures have been proposed to improve the regional innovation infrastructure. In particular, it is necessary to create the regional &laquo;Proof of concept center&raquo;, the &laquo;Accelerator&nbsp;Fund&raquo; and the &laquo;Center for expert analysis of projects&raquo;.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

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