The “Innovation economy: actors, markets and linkages: new approaches to analysis, modelling and evaluation” project aims to:
- Provide theoretical and practical concepts, methodologies, tools and instruments for analyzing the national innovation system and the behavior of and interactions between its actors.
- Study individual actors and actor types within the national innovation system (NIS), with the aims of exploring and understanding the specificities of their organisation and behavior, how these features are determined and are evolving, and how agency is expressed in their objectives and strategies.
- Develop policy- and strategy-relevant knowledge about innovation processes and systems, including the results of our analyses of institutional and contextual influences upon the direction, extent, and efficiency of innovation efforts.
Specific objectives accomplished in 2011-13 include the following:
- systematization of novel approaches to studying the behavior of individual actors and actor types within the innovation system, and testing these approaches within the Russian NIS context;
- description and evaluation of major actors and their practices, so as to model their behavior within the Russian NIS;
- investigation of the practices employed for dissemination of knowledge, skills and competences for innovation;
- development of methodologies for studyingthe markets for innovation.
The major results obtained in 2011-13 concerning the behavior of various types of actor in the National Innovation System, include:
- In connection with firms,analyses of the Russian version of the Community Innovation Survey and the European Manufacturing Survey examine firms across a wide range of industries, looking at their innovative activities (how innovative they are, using what sources and resources, and with what outcomes), and their adoption and use of various advanced technologies and organisational techniques. The studies have identified various distinct modes of innovative behavior adopted by different firms and to relate these to sectoral and regional characteristics, and to ownership types.
- Concerning Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs), we are working with large datasets on RTOs in the Russian Federation (such data are not available elsewhere, where RTOs have mainly been investigated through partial or qualitative research – and are indeed often neglected in studies of innovation systems). The studies have resulted in defining and describing typical strategies or modes of RTO innovation behaviour. As a result, three basic modes were proposed for RTOs: “innovators” (institutions providing technologies for new to market products), “modifiers” (RTOs specialised in modification of existing technologies) and “adapters” (research and technology institutions oriented towards engineering and other services). Variation across these groups relates to types of technology market behaviour, including customer-performer transaction modes, as well as to R&D performance and funding strategies; there is evidence for unequal access to technology markets across the different RTO innovation modes.
- Focusing more on Individuals, one line of work involvesunderstanding public awareness of science and technology – public opinion is more concerned with the framework conditions such as personal security, law enforcement and civil order than with the role of fostering S&T in reaching Russia’s sustainable economic growth objective, The public can be a source of innovative ideas and products, and a large-scale survey of the Russian population has let us explore how many people have been involved in one or other kind of innovation, and how this relates to their occupation, education and location (e.g. in cities of different sizes). Another line of research concerns people at work, and specifically examines how far the competencies that engineers have acquired through education and training match those they deem to be necessary for the jobs they do. The results indicate that technical competencies and specific engineering skills alone are insufficient in the modern labour market; high demand is experienced for professional dynamism, an orientation towards results, and team-work skills.
- Other lines of work have focused more on the roles of large firms especially in oil and gas sectors) - the most proactive companies here are leading players on an international level, competing less against local rivals and more against other international top-players, - and Knowledge-Intensive Business Services, which can help their clients innovate, but whose one-off services have been found to be frequently hard for the firms to replicate.