Lack of clear sectoral planning hampers innovation development

Ministry of Economic Development drafted a government resolution aimed at increasing the use of innovations by the state companies.

The ministry's initiative features the introduction of quotas for purchase of innovations by the state companies with earnings over 1 billion rubles: from 2016 onwards purchase of innovation goods (works and services) must amount to 2% of the total annual order and 1% of the purchase volume of small and medium size businesses, and from 2018 quotas should increase to 5% and 2.5%, respectively.
Implementation of such measure as the purchase of innovations by the state companies may bring positive results, however, it may come to nothing because in life this initiative without the resolution of endemic problems in the sphere of innovation development will not allow state companies to adopt a new innovation development.
In our opinion, it is necessary not to force state companies to purchase innovations but to engineer conditions which stimulate their implementation. At the current stage there are a number of issues in the sphere of innovation development which require urgent resolution. First of all, the lack of clear sectoral innovation state policy able to coordinate innovation activity of the market players, thus increased demand for innovations.
At the same time, certain state companies lack long-term development strategy which results in the separation of innovation projects from businesses and reduces their (projects) prospective benefit. The shortage of qualified specialists in this sphere, lack of strong links between departments on innovation development issues can be among the barriers of promotion of innovations in the state companies.
Shortage of budget funds amid deteriorating economic outlook also hampers promotion of innovations. It is fair to assume that companies striving to observe quotas in the wake of tight shortage of funds will be trying to recognize purely common goods (works and services) as innovative.
In the current circumstances, measures aimed at the promotion of innovation development should not be selective but be endemic. Innovations should not be imposed, state companies should be interested to boost their implementation.

Margarita Gvozdeva, researcher