Where Experts in the Fields of Science, Technology and Innovation are Trained
An expert in science, technology and innovation is a person who provides scientists and engineers with economic, legal, sociological and managerial knowledge in innovative, entrepreneurial teams. These specialists are already in high demand in such organisations as Russian Venture Company, Innovation Promotion Fund, OECD and World Bank; and the demand for them will grow. These specialists are trained at the Master’s Programme 'Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation' of the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge.
Professors Alexey Bereznoy, Director of the Centre for Industrial Market Studies and Business Strategies; Mikhail Gershman, Deputy Director of the Centre for S&T, Innovation and Information Policy of the HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge; Vasily Osmakov, the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation; Alexey Ponomarev, Vice-President for Industrial Relations of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech); Vitaliy Roud, senior research fellow, Laboratory for Economics of Innovation, HSE ISSEK; Sofia Chernogortseva, Deputy Head of Analytical Research at HSE ISSEK, spoke of the programme.
What are They Teaching Students?
One of the most important elements of the programme is the fact that all the courses are related to innovation management in business structures. At the same time, compared with many other similar programmes in the field of innovation management, this programme has a number of significant features.
1. The programme is largely focused on the strategic aspects of innovation management at the corporate level. It focuses on the formation of a system of strategic (corporate) foresight, development and implementation of innovative strategies, as well as the restructuring of business models — they are the topics that are extremely rare in other programmes.
2. The programme not only acquaints students with the basic fundamentals of innovation management, but also provides a systematic view of innovation management, both at the level of an individual corporation and in the context of the state innovation policy.
3. The programme is well-balanced in terms of a combination of theoretical and practical aspects of innovation management.
Students gain knowledge on the structure of national and corporate innovation systems, study laws for the protection of intellectual property, acquire methods of measurement and analysis of science, technology and innovation, and skills of interpreting trends in the STI development in different countries, as well as skills of building scientific and technological forecasts. For this purpose, the programme includes not only traditional lectures, seminars and laboratory work, as well as design workshops, research seminars, etc.
Students work in groups, which is important from the point of view of team thinking, and in terms of adaptation of graduates in organisations where they will work.
And bonus, students with different backgrounds create a wide system of social relations among representatives of various scientific areas — the programme receives applications from students with basic economic, management, sociological, political, scientific and engineering education. This is very valuable for both professional and cultural development.
The language of instruction of the programme is English. This fact and double-degree agreements with Maastricht University (The Netherlands), Seoul National University (Republic of Korea) and Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) make the programme competitive at the international level.
Who is Teaching?
Many teachers are current staff members of leading STI organisations who talk about real problems and their solutions on the basis of their experience. Often from the first, and certainly from the second year of the programme, students participate more actively in the resolution of these cases.
Concurrently, many of the teachers are involved in scientific research, analysing the best practices of innovation management. This makes it possible to constantly monitor the latest scientific developments in the relevant key areas and at the same time, they take into account the challenges associated with the practical implementation of new management decisions.
Employment of the Graduates
Most of the students already work in analytical companies, large businesses, government agencies, innovative startups, as well as in the Institute by the time they start their studies. After receiving a Master's degree with a European supplement to it, their competitiveness is increasing. The graduate has a set of knowledge and skills that are highly valued by employers not only because of the quality of the teaching at the Higher School of Economics but, first of all, because such specialists are currently just a few.
For other students, the programme gives a start to the career. For example, one of the students joined a complex and large scientific and technological project of the National Technology Initiative; after the graduation, he stayed in the project team, and soon entered its leadership board. Another example is one of the foreign students who participated in the double degree programme with the Technical University of Berlin (Germany); his humanitarian and management skills helped him to successfully enter into a Skoltech technology project.
Where do the Graduated Work?
Some graduates choose an academic career and continue their studies at the HSE or at leading foreign universities. For example, Valeriya Vlasova, who graduated last year with honours, works at the ISSEK, combining work with post-graduate study at the HSE, and another graduate — Alina Kadyrova is now studying at the PhD programme 'Science, Technology and Innovation Policy' at the University of Manchester.
There are also young people who have been engaged in entrepreneurship while studying at the programme or after it. Among them — Ekaterina Shipilova, who has already managed to create two businesses — a service for collecting waste paper MK Service, and a project for organising excursions in English Walk&Talk Tours, and Joshua Levy, who launched an educational startup JLP Russia.
Other graduates quickly receive offers from government offices related to the development of technology and innovation, and international organisations. For example, Dmitry Plekhanov, who has been working for two years as a project manager in the OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy, or Daria Kuzmina, who is a manager of science and innovation in the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) in Brussels.