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  • ‘Innovation: Superpowered invention’ by Leonid Gokhberg and Dirk Meissner published in Nature

‘Innovation: Superpowered invention’ by Leonid Gokhberg and Dirk Meissner published in Nature

In the article the scientists compare accounts on the trajectory of innovation in Russia and the USA.

“Many of us believe that science is indispensable for generating innovation, and that innovation is a basis for manufacturing, which, in turn, is a must for the economy. But is the road that straight?” — First Vice-Rector, Director of Institute of Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge Leonid Gokhberg and Deputy Head of the HSE International Laboratory for Science and Technology Studies Dirk Meissner ask in the article for Nature.

Commenting on two new MIT Press publications “Lonely Ideas: Can Russia Compete?” by Loren Graham and “Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing” by Vaclav Smil, the scientists analyse the growth factors for the innovation systems of the two towering economies, characterise their actual state and outline the directions of their development within the context of the challenges of re-industrialisation and modernisation. The key factors in focus include: the societal mindset, development of middle class, the level of qualifications, population mobility, entrepreneurial initiative, the state of science, technology progress, and etc.

Speaking about industrial development, the authors suggest that sustainable growth in both countries will probably come from highly automated manufacturing. “The digitization of manufacturing, encompassing robots, three-dimensional printing and more, will continue apace along with the need for new skills”, the article reads. 

However, for the sustainable development of innovation systems, we need something more than technological solutions. “No nation can survive solely on digital industry; a good living standard comes from combining innovation in the real and digital economies, and in services”, Leonid Gokhberg and Dirk Meissner point out. “But these demand clever policies and frameworks, including a favourable climate for competition and investment, property protection and the rule of law”.

The full text is available online.

Leonid Gokhberg & Dirk Meissner. Innovation: Superpowered invention. Nature 501, P. 313–314 (19 September 2013) doi:10.1038/501313a

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