Sanctions and the growing isolation from the West continue to influence the development of Russia’s innovation economy, at least in the form of the deterioration of the investment climate and increased economic instability. Modernization of the Russian economy, which is now cut off from Western foreign loans and still heavily dependent on oil and gas revenues, becomes a matter of survival.

In this report, we decided to look closely at the hubs where Russian innovation is being developed today. In doing so, we are trying to make sense of the most recent modernizing initiatives and sort out the vast array of new technoparks, high-tech hubs and innovation clusters.

The co-authors of our report are on-the-ground practitioners and leading thinkers of the Russian innovation economy. George Gogolev of the Russian Venture Company (RVC), a joint-stock company created by the Russian government with a mission to help set up Russia’s own venture capital industry, writes about the challenges of transitioning to new models of innovation in the country whose industry still largely relies on old internal Soviet research and development supply chains and is highly controlled by the government.

Andrew Shpilenko of the non-profit Association of Science Parks in High Technology gives a detailed overview of Russia’s technology parks and provides a briefing on the newly adopted framework documents in this field.

His analysis is followed by a commentary from the Russian Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications, which sheds light on the Russian government’s strategy and priorities in creating favorable environment for technology hubs.

In addition, Oleg Buklemishev of Moscow State University, a former assistant to the prime minister, gives a highly critical assessment of the current efforts to modernize the Russian economy. He insists on three alternative ways to capitalize on Russia’s advantages in order to transform the economy and create new breakthroughs in the field of innovation.

This Russia Direct report also contains three case studies of Russian high-tech hubs and specific recommendations for Russian innovation entrepreneurs from Kendrick White, a U.S.-born entrepreneur with more than 20 years of investing and management experience in Russia.

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