Russian Federation

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The Russian Federation has long-standing strengths in science and technology but they need to be better exploited in order to diversify the economy and reduce its reliance on natural resources. Presidential Decrees in 2012 set major goals for Russian STI policy, including increasing GERD to 1.77% of GDP by 2015.

Hot Issues

Hot Issues are major national STI policy priorities, as self-reported by countries in their responses to the OECD STIO 2014 policy questionnaire.

Reforming and improving public research system (including university research)

Russia has a large public science base, dominated by industrial research institutes and the institutes of the State Academies of Sciences (RAS). In 2013, the latter were extensively reorganised. A new Federal Agency for Scientific Organisations was also established to administer the property of the RAS, to evaluate and oversee the activities of the RAS institutes and to distribute public funding to them. New arrangements for performance assessment of public scientific organisations in the civil sector were also introduced in 2013 to improve accountability. In 2013 a new Russian Research Foundation was set up and distributed on a competitive basis USD 2.06 billion (RUB 48 billion) in the form of research grants during 2013-16.<br /> <br /> Russia has few internationally renowned universities and its researchers publish little in high-impact international S&T journals (Panel 1b, c). Several important measures since 2010 seek to further develop research capabilities in universities. Most recently, a new competition for public institutional grants, known as Programme 5/100/2020, will provide USD 2 billion (RUB 40 billion) during 2014-16 to selected universities, which are expected to enter the world’s top 200 by 2020. Five universities are expected to join the world’s top 100 by the same date.

Improving returns and impact of science

During 2011-13, 34 technology platforms were established to bring together universities, research institutes and companies to share perspectives and co-operate on science and innovation. Changes have been made in the legislation for intellectual property (IP) exploitation. Decree No. 233 of 2012 assigns IPRs resulting from public research to the Russian Federation and establishes the principle of free transfer of IP to facilitate the transfer of public research results to industry and society. Amendments to federal law in 2013 made it easier for PRIs and universities to create business partnerships for transferring IP on the basis of a licence or commercialisation.

Improving the education system (in general or focusing on tertiary education)

The proportion of the tertiary-qualified population, at 53%, is well above that of any OECD country (Panel 1t). Yet, the performance of 15-year-olds in science is below the OECD median (Panel 1v). The government has introduced many measures to improve the efficiency of the education system and its ability to meet the skills needs of the country. For example, the 2012 Federal Law On Education in the Russian Federation has raised the standards for PhD qualification and made the process more transparent. Since 2012, the Presidential Programme for Advanced Training of Engineering Personnel has been implemented with total state financing of USD 38.8 million (RUB 750 million) over three years. The goal is to improve the qualification of engineers in Russia’s strategic industries and to improve the structure of engineering education by organising training programmes in priority industry sectors (energy and resource efficiency, nuclear technologies, space, medicine, and ICT) and internships in leading research and engineering centres in Russia and abroad.

Encouraging innovation in firms and supporting entrepreneurship and SMEs

BERD accounted for 0.66% of GDP in 2012. The federal budget for state-owned enterprises (SoEs) or industrial R&D organisations accounts for the major share of Russian business R&D expenditures. On many measures, the innovation performance of Russian firms lags far behind counterparts in OECD countries (Panel 1e, f, g). Several government initiatives seek to stimulate innovative activities in the business sector. The Innovation Development Programme (IDP) targets the largest SoEs, charging them to develop innovation strategies and to co-operate with universities and research institutes. As a result, the R&D and innovation expenditures of the largest SoEs have increased in the last two years. The new Federal Law on Public Procurement (2013) provides specifically for the procurement of high-technology and innovative products. In 2012-13, a number of sectoral programmes were adopted to support priority sectors such as advanced manufacturing, aviation and shipbuilding. To support SMEs, the SMEs Development Programme provides USD 8 billion (RUB 155 billion) over 2013-20 and other support measures.

Country Charts

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Selected Highlights

STI policy governance

The Presidential Council for Science and Education and the Presidential Council for Economic Modernisation and Innovative Development have been established to improve policy co-ordination on science and innovation. Two programmes, the Development of Science and Technology (DST) (2013-20) and Economic Development and Innovative Economy (2013-20), approved in 2013, are to organise and co-ordinate systematically all major federal budget-funded initiatives in science and innovation. In terms of strategic policy intelligence, foresight studies, e.g. in the framework of the Interdepartmental Commission on Technology Foresight, are increasingly used in the selection of national and sectoral STI priorities. The Long-term S&T Foresight Towards 2030, which identifies promising S&T areas, is a major input to strategic planning and policy formulation in the area. Evaluation of government programmes has also been reinforced.

ICT and Internet infrastructures

ICT infrastructures are comparatively weak, with 14.5 subscribers to fixed broadband networks per 100 inhabitants (Panel 1l). Public research infrastructure is expected to improve through several initiatives, including a Mega-Science Infrastructure Projects programme within the DST (2013-20) for the creation and development of very large research facilities. It provides competitive funding for infrastructures to both public and private research institutes and universities.

Clusters and regional policies

The government launched a new nationwide programme in 2012 to support pilot innovative clusters, and 25 were established in six strategic sectors: nuclear and radiation technology; aircraft and space vehicles manufacturing; shipbuilding; pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical industries; new materials; chemicals and petrochemicals; and information technology and electronics. In 2013, a federal subsidy of USD 67 million (RUB 1.3 billion) was allocated to support the pilot clusters, and up to USD 154 million (RUB 3.1 billion) is expected to be available annually over 2014-16.


While international co-patenting is close to the OECD median, Russian science is much less well integrated internationally (Panel 1r, q). A number of administrat ive barriers hamper deeper and more efficient international STI co-operation, including visa issues and misalignment of funding procedures with foreign and international funding agencies. In 2013, the government announced two major STI funding programmes that include provisions that support international co-operation: R&D in Priority Fields of Russia’s S&T Complex 2014-20 and R&D Personnel for Innovative Russia 2014-20.

Recent developments in STI expenditures

GBAORD has increased considerably in the last five years. The Federal Budget Plan for 2014-15 predicts a slight decrease in budget appropriations for civil R&D in 2014. Nevertheless, government funding is predicted to remain the main source of GERD until 2030, despite important recent initiatives to stimulate business R&D and innovation. HERD is set to increase from 9% to 13.5% of GERD by 2018, reflecting the government’s goal to enhance the research capacities of universities.