Almost 30% of advanced manufacturing technologies used in Russia are acquired abroad

February 02, 2021

Russian enterprises have limited opportunities to carry out technological modernisation on their own. Their technological portfolios reveal a high dependence on imported solutions and a limited deployment of their own developments, HSE University researchers discovered.

In recent years, there has been a growing demand for the use of advanced manufacturing technologies (AMT) in Russia. Between 2011 and 2018, the number of AMT used increased by 33%, and in 2018 they amounted to almost 255,000 units in absolute terms. Meanwhile, innovation strategies focused on independent development of novel manufacturing solutions are not widespread in Russia. Fewer than 20% of organizations meet the need for AMT by using their own resources; the majority purchase their technology either in Russia or abroad.

'Since the mid-1990s, researchers in Russia have increasingly collected and maintained statistics on development activity and the use of advanced manufacturing technologies. We have analysed this data systematically for the first time and showed to what extent our production relies on its own developments or on the acquisition of foreign ones,' says Konstantin Fursov, Deputy Director of the HSE University Centre for Statistics and Monitoring of S&T and Innovation.

Having considered the results of the federal statistical observation of the use of AMT for 2011-2018, HSE University researchers for the first time assessed the technological self-sufficiency of Russian production at the regional level. The work used a synthetic classification of territories, dividing the regions into nine types according to basic parameters of their economic development. This enabled to establish the relationship between enterprises' technological portfolios and the socio-economic conditions under which they were developed.

'Russia's financial-economic centres and regions with diversified economies account for more than 50% of the AMT developed in the country. 'It is not surprising, therefore, that metropolitan regions andareas with diversified economies, such as Tatarstan, Tyumen and Novosibirsk, demonstrate the highest rates of using independently developed AMT, since they have a high level of financial and economic activity and technological production facilities in place. The latter, in particular, require in-house solutions developmen,' comments Vlada Brilliantova, Expert at the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

Nationwide trends are directly reflected in most region types. All regions (except one type of agricultural regions group) indicate relatively high dependence on imported technologies (ranging from 16% to 38%) paired with low intensity of the use of in-house developed AMT (less than 22% in all types of regions).

Yet, the results of the study show that the demand for AMT developed in Russia is increasing. Successful examples of the use of AMT acquired in Russia are demonstrated by those types of developed regions with economies relying on the extractive and manufacturing industries, where leading regions ensure effective industry-science interactions.

'Strong industry-science linkages might boost market entry opportunities of technologies developed by Russian R&D performing organizations. Crucial to that is ensuring sustainable mechanisms of technology transfer to the real sector of the economy, in particular by means of the specialised state support,' argues Valeriya Vlasova, Research Fellow at the HSE University Laboratory for the Economics of Innovation.

This study is the first to provide statistical data on the distribution of advanced manufacturing technologies in Russian regions, but it has a number of important limitations. Since the authors worked with aggregated data, it was not possible to set and test hypotheses about the relationship between the technological strategies of enterprises and the socio-economic profile of the region. This significantly limits the validity of the conclusions presented. In addition, while the article was being reviewed by the editors of the journal, new data occurred that may change the picture.

National Research University Higher School of Economics

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