Own technologies are a priority: how innovations are developing in Russia

Facing international sanctions and the departure of a number of foreign companies in Russia, innovative activity is growing. According to Rosstat, at the end of 2022, the expenses on innovative activities amounted to 2.7 trillion rubles, while in 2021 this figure reached 2.4 trillion rubles. In which areas has significant growth occurred and what impedes the further development of technological sectors of the economy?

Photo: Assembly line at the plant for the production of multilayer motherboards of the ICL group of companies on the territory of the Innopolis special economic zone (SEZ) in the Laishevsky district of the Republic of Tatarstan. Maxim Bogodvid/RIA Novosti

If we rely on the data of the Federal Public Statistics Service of the Russian Federation (Rosstat), then the increase in developed advanced production technologies in 2020 was estimated at 10%, and in 2022 – already at 20%. The most significant growth (over 30%) was shown by industries related to the production of computers, electronic and optical products; development of computer software; activities related to engineering and technical design.

These statistics confirm that the designated priority for creating own industry of electronics and microelectronics, as well as modern competitive software, is being fulfilled. In addition, companies from the consumer sector showed a high level of innovative activity. This suggests that they react faster to the departure of competitors and actively occupy vacated positions in the market, while introducing new solutions and developments for the leading occupation of the vacated niche in conditions of high competition.

Barriers to innovation

As for the barriers that interfere with innovation, first of all, this is a lack of funding or investment in upgrading the equipment of industrial enterprises. The average age of machinery and equipment in the country reaches 11.8 years. Although the amount of money allocated for reconstruction and modernization over the past five years has remained at the same level of 30%, this is still not enough.

Another barrier is the lack of the ability to scale technologies quickly, since R&D (research and development) is generally not a fast process, but in the absence of resources and investments it is even less fast.

If we talk about the regulatory policy of the state, over the past two years, a large number of legislative initiatives have been adopted to help and stimulate the development and introduction of innovations.

Growth incentives

Now, simplifying the process of commercialization of R&D and ECTD, injecting additional investments not only from the state, but also from business, could stimulate innovative activity. An important step that could significantly affect innovation is the development of patent law legislation or its greater transparency for ordinary inventors. Current legislation does not allow developers to receive dividends from their patents and certificates, as it is practiced in many foreign countries. Only the patent holder, who is often the employer, has this opportunity.

By Olga Harina, cand. econ. sc., Dean of the Faculty of Technological Entrepreneurship, “Synergy” University

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