The Gaidar Forum- 2019: National Report on Development of High-Tech Business in Russian Regions

On 15 January, within the framework of the Gaidar Forum-2019 Stepan Zemtsev, Senior Researcher of the Innovation Economy Department, Gaidar Institute presented the National Report: “The Development of High-Tech Business in Russian Regions”.

The report was prepared by the Gaidar Institute, the RANEPA and the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia together with the Interfax Group. Development of the report was supported by heads of regions of the AIRR.

The Report’s main purpose was to identify potential points of non-oil and gas growth in Russia’s economy. In the RF President’s Decree of May 7, 2018 on National Goals and Strategic Priorities in Development of the Russian Federation in the Period till 2024 it is specified that it is necessary to speed up technological development of the Russian Federation and form a globally competitive non-oil and gas sector. However, there are still debates as regards selection of the line of support.

According to the authors, the problem related to the low level of introduction of new technologies consists in the specifics of the Russian economic pattern, that is, domination of low-tech (mineral mining) industries, rather than in insufficient motivation of innovative activities.   So, the report deals with advance processing industries which are on the cutting edge of research and development. The high-tech business is already making a considerable contribution to the Russian economy (it accounts for about 22% of GDP, employs 34.3% of the total number of workers and yields nearly 17% of profit tax revenues); it plays an important role in import substitution and protection of Russia’s national security. However, the rates of development of high-tech business are not sufficient enough amid global digital transformation.

Global processes of industrial automation and introduction of intelligent systems may lead to a substantial reduction of employment in the 2030s in Russia. According to the estimates provided in the Report, nearly a half of jobs can become automated. Establishment of a new business as a form of creativity and self-actualization is actually a single option which can underpin mass employment.

Proceeding from global trends and federal policy directions, implementation of the alternatives of the new economy will be determined to a great extent by regional authorities’ policy   aimed at promotion of business initiatives and cultivation of technological leaders. So, the original monitoring system developed by the authors of the Report is important for regional administrations because it permits to monitor formation of the non-oil and gas economy in accordance with the RF President’s Decree and carry out diagnostics of potential risks of the digital economy.

A number of large and most successful regions in terms of development of high-tech business may become the centers of non-oil and gas growth of the Russian economy in the long-term prospect, namely: Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Moscow Region, the Republic of Tatarstan, the Nizhny Novgorod Region, the Samara Region,  the Novosibirsk Region, the Sverdlovsk Region, the Perm Territory, the Republic of Bashkortostan, the Rostov Region, the Chelyabinsk Region and a number of other constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

According to the Report’s data, as compared to the results of the previous year in the rating of conditions and resources of development of high-tech business the following regions moved upwards substantially: the Tomsk Region (+7 places in the rating), the Vologda Region (+7), the Novosibirsk Region (+4), the Kaluga Region (+3), the Rostov region (+2), the Leningrad Region (+2) and the Ulyanov region (+2). In the rating of contribution of regions to development of Russia’s high-tech business, the leaders which moved upwards the most were the Volgograd Region (+8), the Rostov Region (+7), the Irkutsk Region (+7), the Kaluga Region (+7), the Chelyabinsk Region (+4), the Republic of Bashkortostan (+3) and the Krasnodar Territory (+3).

One can get familiar with the presentation to the Report here.

Video recording