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Development of theoretical and methodological approaches to studying activities of innovation process participants

Priority areas of development: economics
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

Relevance of studying behaviour of innovation process participants is due to the growing interest, in Russia and elsewhere, in knowledge creation, transfer, and practical application. Economic theory covers an increasingly wide range of actors active in knowledge and technology markets (producers and consumers of products and services, intermediary institutions, skilled personnel, specific social groups), applying increasingly diverse analytical approaches based on collecting, processing, and structuring data from various sources – which allows to identify “hidden” phenomena and players.

The goal of the study for 2017 was develop techniques for researching the knowledge market and assessing behaviour patterns of various economic actors.

The analysis was focused on methodological and analytical approaches to studying and structuring the following aspects:

Companies’ and research organisations’ innovation strategies, specifically those aimed at involvement in innovation and strengthening cooperation (objective 1);

Knowledge-intensive services companies’ activities and functionality, in particular regarding demand for specific innovation-related services (objective 2);

Strategies and behaviour patterns of doctorate holders, and application of their competencies (objective 3);

The role of users in creation of innovations (objective 4).

Methodology and techniques. The long-term project in question belongs in the integrated theoretical-empirical research class. Ultimately it’s aimed at accumulating various data, including analytics, on specific features of interaction between various components/actors of innovation systems (in Russia and abroad); extending theoretical coverage, elaborating and refining practical conclusions which would help collect information required for shaping evidence-based science, technology, and innovation (STI) policy.

The 2017 project builds upon the results obtained by the ISSEK team, including the following projects implemented in the scope of the HSE Basic Research Programme in 2007-2017: Monitoring activities of innovation process participants (ongoing since 2009); Monitoring innovation behaviour of the population (ongoing since 2009); Russian National Innovation System: development trends and policy areas (2011-2012); Monitoring careers of researchers – doctorate holders (ongoing since 2010), Monitoring the knowledge-intensive services sector (ongoing since 2007), etc.

Specific characteristics of innovation behaviour are being analysed in the course of the study, including various aspects of knowledge creation, dissemination, and application; labour turnover; and perception of policies.

Macroeconomic, microeconometric, sociological and statistical analysis techniques are being applied and developed in the scope of the project, to identify key interconnections and assess specific factors affecting companies’ and other organisations’ choice of STI strategies; methodological approaches and techniques (recommendations) employed in the scope of international programmes are being further developed and adjusted, such as Careers of Doctorate Holders (CDH), European Manufacturing Survey, etc.

The empirical basis of the study comprises arrays of relevant statistical data, results of original representative and targeted surveys of companies and other organisations active in the STI sphere, industry, and services, and households (in 2007-2017); various available databases of survey and monitoring results conducted in Russia and other countries, and implemented by international organisations.

The study yielded the following results (in the scope of objectives 1-4):

(1) New analytical approaches were developed to identify innovation system participants’ roles and objectives, ways to adapt economic behaviour models to changing conditions (among other things due to global challenges or increased competition in product, technology, and other markets); various taxonomies; and areas and forms of such actors’ cooperation.

(2) The scope and key characteristics of the knowledge-intensive services sector were identified, among other things for international comparison purposes; innovation activities of the sector companies were analysed; approaches to studying demand for knowledge-intensive services were tested (assessing the level of co-production, and consumption of such services by customers); growth of the sector’s specific segments was measured (engineering, information technologies, financial brokerage).

(3) Development of a methodology for studying strategies and behavioral practices of employees of higher scientific qualifications in the system of innovation and knowledge economy, the use of their competencies for economic growth; identification of the characteristics of primary and secondary employment, professional and social mobility in the international and national labor market.

(4) Assessing the role of end users (as a group of the total economically active population) in creation and dissemination of innovations; structuring present-day analytical approaches to measuring innovation activity of the population, and assessing the scope for extending methodologies and tools for statistical observation of innovation activities to cover economic activities of households.

Practical application. Implementation of the project will increase the explanatory power of existing analytical models and allow to suggest new  approaches to develop (among other things) substantiated recommendations on strengthening the information basis for making management decisions in the STI sphere.  It would help increase the validity of these decisions and select efficient regulation tools and areas on the basis of best international practices.


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