A balanced approach to cooperation with the BRICS countries
On June 21-23, 2017, the international conference ‘Rising Powers and Interdependent Futures’ was held in Manchester, the UK. Mikhail Gershman, the Head of the Centre for Innovation Policy Studies at the Higher School of Economics, presented his report on the current directions of Russian science and technology policy.
|Friends Meeting House — the venue of the conference.|
The conference was the final event discussing the results of the 12 international research projects implemented in 2012-2017 under the auspices of 10 leading British universities. The projects were financed by the UK Economic and Social Research Council while their coordinator was the University of Manchester.
The projects covered various aspects of the socio-economic development of the BRICS countries (the so-called ‘rising powers’), including ensuring regional stability, attracting foreign investment, reducing social inequality, improving labour legislation, and developing energy systems. The outcomes of this large-scale study are interesting for the UK in terms of new opportunities for cooperation with China, Russia and other BRICS countries, especially taking into account possible negative consequences of Brexit.
Since 2012, the HSE ISSEK together with colleagues from Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Beijing Institute of Technology and Georgia Institute of Technology has participated in the implementation of one of the 12 projects — Rising powers: Emerging Technologies and Implications of Next Generation Innovation Systems Development in China and Russia.
The international team of researchers studied the influence of emerging technologies on the development of innovation systems in China and Russia. Scientists from Russia participated in the comparative analysis of national innovation systems in China and Russia, in the organisation of a series of expert interviews, in the formation of thematic databases, conducted bibliometric analysis, and took part in the preparation of academic publications.
Among the main findings of the project, the researchers note the significant progress of China in comparison with Russia in building a national innovation development strategy. One of the reasons for the success of the Celestial Empire is that it is better to overcome the existing dependence on old institutional principles and structures based on centralised management practices. In China, innovative start-ups received a great deal of support and dissemination. In addition, this country is largely open to international cooperation and academic mobility.
In Russia, the key problems remain the limited involvement of researchers in international science and technology cooperation and the low level of commercialisation of intellectual property.