“Foresight-Russia” no 1, 2014
Associated with ISSEK, Stanislav Zaichenko, Tatyana Kuznetsova and Vitaliy Roud are the authors of “Features of Interaction Between Russian Enterprises and Research Organisations in the Field of Innovation”. The paper concerns strategies of technology exchange, factors that foster or prevent it, and channels for knowledge and technology transfer used in existing models of creating and implementing innovation and evaluating its effectiveness. Using the results of an annual survey, “Monitoring of Innovation Activities of Innovation Process Actors”, carried out by ISSEK beginning in 2009, the authors note significantly uneven involvement of Russian enterprises and research organisations in technology exchange. Only a few sectors and companies match their foreign counterparts in terms of innovation performance, and their impact is insufficient to relieve impression of lack of integration. Development of innovation in companies is generally constrained by low resource capabilities and scientific potential, as well as lack of qualified engineering personnel. Major restrictions for science, apart from a lack of resources, lie in extremely low demand for R&D, a lack of readiness for practical implementation of scientific results, and availability of low-cost highly competitive foreign products.
The paper by Thomas Thurner (ISSEK) and Gunnar Prause (Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia), “User Communities — Drivers for Open Innovation”, analyses trends of user innovation development. It assesses why consumers participate in innovation communities, what benefits a company obtains from interaction with these communities, and what are the risks associated with focusing on the needs of either a too limited or too wide range of consumers. Based on cases of user innovation in software, hardware, construction, sports, medicine, fashion and design, the authors show how the interaction with innovative communities that link users with different needs and experiences enables companies to integrate distributed knowledge and improve the functionality and quality of their products. They show that tools used in interactions, particularly virtual networks and living labs, serve as information sources for Foresight studies and strategic planning.
The third paper asks: What influences the decisions of multinational companies (MNCs) when choosing location for conducting R&D outside the country of origin? Answering this question experts from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH – Halle, Germany) Eva Dettmann, Iciar Dominguez Lacasa, Jutta Günther and Björn Jindra. Their paper, “Determinants of Foreign Technological Activity in German Regions — A Count Model Analysis of Transnational Patents”, in contrast to similar studies conducted on a national scale, considers the distribution of S&T activity led by MNCs at the local level. The authors focus on such factors as local knowledge spillovers, regional technological specialisation, scientific and educational infrastructure, industrial diversity and the intellectual property regime.
In her paper, ISSEK researcher Ekaterina Streltsova analyses areas of application and explanatory potential of patent analysis for studying the current state of biotechnology in Russia. Having presented an overview of the theoretical and methodological foundations of this approach and the results of content analysis using patent data from Rospatent, WIPO and other sources, the author then analyses quantitative and qualitative indicators of patent activity in biotech. The applied value of the paper “Patent Activity in Biotechnology” is that it outlines the primary areas of innovation in biomedicine and biopharmaceuticals, key players and specific features of the domestic market.
The next paper is by Marcus Bussey, professor at the University of Sunshine Coast, Australia. His “Causal Layered Analysis: Towards a Theory of the Multiple” provides a Foresight tool for effective decision-making; it gives stakeholders the necessary information about preferred future developments. As a representative of a prominent "post conventional" future studies school, Marcus Bussey addresses the challenge related to limited perception of reality and points to the need to identify hidden root causes of events with reliance on causal layered analysis. The paper discusses essence, characteristics and capabilities of this deep futures method comparing it with the concept of the rhizome, proposed by French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, to describe surrounding reality as a complex and multidimensional system, a space for challenges and opportunities.
The issue ends with a review of the international workshop “Quantitative Methods in Future Studies”, held by ISSEK in late 2013. Participants discuss the prospects and challenges of integrating qualitative and quantitative methods in Foresight analysis. International experts describe the potential for applying modeling techniques and data visualization for promising technologies and products, present state-of-the-art simulation tools for developing quantitative scenarios for S&T, and share experiences in the use of online games in futures studies. Experts agree that the integration of qualitative and quantitative methods enriches the Foresight methodology and increases synergies from mutual learning of specialists in collaborative projects.
Prepared by Mikhail Salazkin