State Support of Small Innovative Companies by the Fund for Assistance to Innovations

State Support of Small Innovative Companies by the Fund for Assistance to Innovations

Dezhina I.G.

Dr. Sci. (Econ.), Prof., National Research University «Higher School of Economics»; Head of Department, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia.

Medovnikov D.S.

Director, Institute of Management of Innovations, National Research University «Higher School of Economics», Moscow, Russia.

Rozmirovich S.D.

Deputy Directorr, Institute of Management of Innovations, National Research University «Higher School of Economics», Moscow, Russia.

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Dezhina I.G., Medovnikov D.S., Rozmirovich S.D. State Support of Small Innovative Companies by the Fund for Assistance to Innovations. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2019. No 11. P. 110-119


The article presents results of a quantitative and qualitative survey based on opinions of small innovative companies’ directors aimed at impact assessment of the programs implemented by the Fund for Assistance to Innovations – the largest state organization in Russia that supports R&D at small innovative enterprises. The majority of respondents have expressed positive opinion regarding the Fund’s evolution both in terms of widening variety of program and internal processes that the Fund uses for monitoring and evaluation of projects. At the same time, respondents often criticized bureaucratic procedures adopted by the Fund. The authors conclude that activity of the Fund for Assistance has produced socio-economic effects that are at least as strong as those obtained in the course of implementation of foreign programs-analogous (in USA and Western Europe) and even outperforms them by a number of cases. In particular, the support provided by the Fund in 1990–2000s produced substantial socio-political effect by preventing emigration of entrepreneurs. In later years, the Fund started to focus on wider involvement of youth in innovative business. In fact, to some extent the Fund substitutes the underdeveloped commercial (venture and business-angel) funding of high-risk innovations in modern Russia. At the same time, the Fund supports, according to approximate estimates, only about 5% of the domestic high-tech companies and thus is not able to solve radically the main systemic problem hampering the development of small innovative business – deficit of customers of innovative products. As a result, even in the presence of highly efficient state management as it is at the Fund for Assistance, there is an overlay of «state failures» (strong bureaucracy) on «market failures» (weak venture funding).

sociology of administration; sociology of organizations; sociological analysis of innovations; small innovative companies; institutes for development; comparative analysis


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Content No 11, 2019