Innovations in #Russia vs. abroad: the shifting and perspectives

According to Business and economic data for 200 countries Russian innovation index in 2019 was at the level of 37,5 out of 100 – writes Ekaterina Petrova, Director of GenerationS corporate accelerator.

The Global Innovation Index capture elements of the national economy that enable innovative activities, such as:

Institutions, Human capital and research, Infrastructure, Market sophistication, Business sophistication

Two output pillars capture actual evidence of innovation outputs are:

Knowledge and technology outputs, Creative outputs

Ekaterina Petrova, Director of GenerationS

Ekaterina Petrova, Director of GenerationS

The full report, data, and documentation are available at Global innovation index. Interesting facts, but compared to the last year results for Russia the figure didnt raise but on the contrary went a down a few points. To analyse why there is such tendency and why innovation indicators are still pretty low versus other countries, we need to dig deeper.

When you mention the word “start-up” you automatically have an association with Silicon Valley or Israel – two main places where innovations are happening fast and growing the most and new technologies are blooming and inspiring the whole world. We heard many  success stories on how start-ups got their “meal ticket” and scaled their businesses. And most of this stories happened way outside of Russia.

 

For young start-ups to find their investor or business angel, the one who will believe in them and their business, sometimes becomes a long difficult process. To search for the right one is like searching for the needle in the haystack. And as an accelerator we see how many start-ups struggle to find the support and financial help that will enable to move their business forward. And in many cases the start-ups decide to seek for such support abroad, cause the investor activity in Russia hasn’t reached the western or European level yet. More than 70 GenerationS alumni (that’s how we call start-ups that passed the acceleration program) successfully scaled up their business abroad. So one of the main reasons we see “brain leak” from Russia is the lack of investors for young start-ups.

 

Russia has many cities with so-called high innovation rate, so it’s not only Moscow and Saint-Petersburg we are talking about, Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Ekaterinburg and many other regional cities have very well developed innovation ecosystem presented by techno parks, incubators, accelerators and innovation hubs. These institutions help start-ups at the early stage, mentor them and also contribute in connection with potential investors or industrial partners. Being a corporate accelerator we also try to find all possible ways to help start-ups grow their business and reach the new level.

 

We see how innovation approach is shifting in Russia. The programs aimed at developing innovations in certain fields such as digitalization are approved at the government level. More and more Russian companies admit that in order to move forward and be competitive they have to “make friends” with start-ups and not only develop an innovation strategy but also integrate it into the business plan, make an innovation strategy one of its key pillars. On top of that it’s important to really act and implement solutions, to adopt a paradigm of really being innovative not to seem innovative. Here come corporate accelerators which help companies not only search for suitable start-ups that will improve business processes, but also bring some knowledge in innovation corporate culture. Because every innovation that is implemented within the company has to be understood at all levels – its crucial all employees know and understand the need to integrate new technologies and solutions.

 

In 2018 GenerationS was marked as the best corporate accelerator in Europe according to Corporate Start-up Summit 2018 and in 2019 our accelerator entered the TOP-5 of the best state accelerators in the world according to UBI Global. Such an acknowledgement at international level means a lot to us, because we are working for the result and real value for the companies as well as for the start-ups. The portfolio of our clients varies from top Russian companies to the real international giants in the field of FMCG and Industry.

 

I would say that when it comes to innovations and developing an innovation ecosystem in Russia making it more lets say start-up friendly and supportive, we are in the beginning of our journey. Yes, it’s not as fast as in USA or Israel, but people’s mindset is changing, government’s mindset is changing and corporates mindset is also changing – with all this aspects shifting into the positive direction we can say that we are moving towards really bright innovative future”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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