The Baltic Region

2012 Issue №3(13)

Theoretical and methodological aspects of innovative economic development

Clusters in the institutional perspective: on the theory and methodology of local socioeconomic development

Abstract

This article addresses the problem of definition and identification of clusters as localized mesoeconomic systems with fuzzy boundaries that stimulate the  development of these systems. The author analyses the influence of the inductive approach to the formation of cluster theory and juxtaposes different typologies of clusters and other types of localized economic systems. The article offers an overview of the existing methodological approaches to the problem of cluster identification and emphasises the major role of institutional dimension in the identification (and functioning) of clusters, especially in comparison to cluster formation theory based on the technological connection of adjacent units. The author comes to a conclusion that, without the inclusion of institutional factors, alongside localising and technological ones (demonstrated through different variables), it is virtually impossible to develop an independent cluster theory, different from the general  agglomeration theory. For the first time, a hierarchy of institutions affecting the formation of local economic systems is considered against the background of the identification of institutional levels, whose full development makes it possible to speak of the formation of clusters as most successful mesoeconomic systems. At the same time, the author emphasizes that, in economies gravitating towards the market type of organisation, the development of mesoeconomic systems is closely connected to competition for innovative rent. The article outlines the methodology for cluster studies, which makes it possible to consider such relatively new to the regional science phenomena as innovative and “transborder” clusters.

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The development of small innovative enterprises through harmonising economic interests

Abstract

The harmonisation of economic interests is one of the essential preconditions for the development of enterprises, including small ones. As practice shows, the harmonisation of major interests of small innovative business requires not only market instruments, but also state regulation, which demands the development of a corresponding mechanism. This study sets out to develop and justify the macroeconomic mechanism of development of small innovative enterprises on the basis of harmonisation of basic economic interests of their agents. The research significance of the results presented in the article consists in the fact that, for the first time, the problem of economic interest harmonisation has been considered in relation to the agents of small innovative business. The author juxtaposes the major economic interests of these agents and identifies their compatibility and conflict areas. The article offers a mechanism for the development of small innovative businesses, including two sets of instruments — those aimed at combining the agents’ efforts on the basis of their common economic interests and prevention of conflicts resulting from their incompatibility. The recommendations on the application of instruments for harmonizing economic interests can be used in drawing up programmes for the development of small innovative business at the federal, regional, and municipal levels.

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The methodological features of managing the value of companies introducing "green" innovations

Abstract

Although it is a common assumption that innovations are one of the most important factors of economic development, there is a need to review some provisions of innovation methodology so that new fundamental values are taken into account more fully. Most recent business models are based on the depletion of natural environment, whose potential has been almost exhausted. It is necessary to introduce new ideas that are of use for society and create values for companies. One way of achieving this goal is “green” (environmental) innovations. The next decade is expected to see a rapid growth in environmental innovations. Their organization and management will require modern — and adequate to the objectives set —technologies. One of those is the quest for value methodology. To date, the quest for value methodology has given rise to several conceptual approaches, which can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of environmental innovations. This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of major approaches. The author comes to a conclusion that that the modern theory and practice of corporate finance still lacks a generally accepted approach to assessing the value of companies that explicitly takes into account the impact of environmental factors on the cost. The article outlines the basic theoretical frameworks for the formation of such approach.

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The innovative development of the Baltic region: territorial differen-tiation

Innovative economy in the Baltic Sea region

Abstract

Innovative activity is carried out at three levels — those of the state, region and a company or a university. This article considers the level of development of knowledge-based economy in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland at each of the three levels, as well as descripes the spatial differentiation of innovative activity within the Baltic region. The analysis is done on the basis of national and international research, as well as statistical data on the intensity of research and development, structure of research expenditure, human capital in the field of advanced technologies, and the methods of institutional support for innovative activity. The authors characterise the role of business, university, and authorities — which constitute the «triple helix» — in national innovative systems. The article also analyses such important factors as the intensity of research and development, the share of employees in the field of advanced technologies, and the methods of public support. Examples of private-public infrastructure for the implementation of innovative projects are offered.

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The innovative process in the Baltic Sea region

Abstract

In order to maintain its global competitiveness in the future, the Baltic Sea region (BSR) needs to preserve and improve its technological capability and innovativeness. This article focuses on innovations in the Baltic Sea region, particularly on external innovation drivers and innovation environments in the BSR and individual countries within the region. Firstly, some definitions of innovations, innovation drivers, and characteristics of a favourable innovation environment are presented. Secondly, the current condition of innovation environments in the BSR is described and the innovation performances of Baltic countries are compared. Finally, the research aims to conclude, as well as to analyse, the future innovation development of the BSR. The research material for this desk study is collected from various sources, including journal articles, statistics, media, research reports, and other publications.

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Territorial differences in the innovative development of Sweden, Finland, and the North-western federal district of the Russian Federation

Abstract

This article considers the innovative component of the economies of Sweden, Finland, and the Noreth-western federal district (NWFD) of the Russian Federation. The authors present the results of a comparative analysis of research and technological potential of the regions and their administrativeterritorial units in terms of innovative activity development. For the first time, the index of integral assessment of research and technological potential of the NWFD has been calculated in comparison to Sweden and Finland. The NWFD is proved to lag behind Sweden and Finland in terms of innovative development indices; however, the NWFD shows an increase in such indices in catches up in terms of individual indices (mobile communication density and Internet access availability). The authors offer sketch maps showing similarities in the character of territorial differentiation of innovative processes in the NEFD, Sweden, and Finland (which corresponds to the centreperiphery model).

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Innovations in the development of rural territories

Innovative factors and conditions of sustainable development of rural territories

Abstract

This article considers the main features of sustainable development of rural territories, identifies the factors of innovative entrepreneurship, and assesses their influence on the condition of rural economy. Special attention is paid to the analysis of concepts, programmes, and projects in the field of rural territory development. The authors summarise conceptual and strategic approaches and actions of the Baltic region states in the field of sustainable development of rural territories. The article identifies objectives, common for the Baltic region, relating to sustainability of rural territories, including sustainable use of natural resource potential, diversification of production through support for non-agricultural activities and employment, application of innovations and efficient technologies, and manufacturing of environmentally friendly products. The analysis of the development of agricultural and innovations in the Baltic Sea regions serves as a basis for identifying the factors and conditions of supporting innovative entrepreneurship. Of special importance are the research, technological, and innovative potential of the territory, the availability of adequate innovative infrastructure, and the formation of innovative culture. The authors corroborate the idea of innovative entrepreneurship development in rural territories through the transformation of organizational and economic mechanism of management relating to the creation of institutional, infrastructure, and spatial conditions. Research and technological cooperation in the Baltic region is emphasised as a priority area.

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Innovation centres as growth points for smaller towns and rural areas

Abstract

This article addresses the role of innovative centres in the development of surrounding areas beyond large cities. At the same time, the innovative development of rural areas should be of a composite nature; municipality development strategies take innovations into account. International practices serve as a an argument in favour of establishing innovative centres in smaller and medium-sized towns in order to facilitate the socioeconomic development of the territory and surrounding rural areas. Science parks created in smaller towns give a boost to socioeconomic development. The authors analyse the case of the science park in the town of Gusev in the Kaliningrad region and emphasise the role of development and adoption of legal acts at regional and municipal levels, for example, the law «On the production policy of the Kaliningrad region».

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Innovative development of fishing industry

The formation of a risk management system for projects in the field of aquaculture innovative development in the Kaliningrad region: a case study

Abstract

This article sets out to develop the concept and the principal scheme of the formation of a risk management system for innovative economic development projects in the field of aquaculture. The research carried out by the authors helps identify the main problems and characteristics of risk management projects for the development of aquaculture in presentday Russia. The authors outline the status and features of aquaculture development projects in the North-western federal district and the Kaliningrad region. The article formulates and justifies the concept of “risk management projects in innovative development of aquaculture in the region” focusing on the classification of aquaculture risks in relation to innovative development projects, which expands the conceptual framework of risk management in view of the specific risks relating to economic development projects in the field of aquaculture. The authors characterize modern methods and approaches to risk management projects and organizations in the context of their application in the framework of aquaculture development projects and offer mechanisms for risk management of aquaculture development projects, which make it possible to include risk management activity in the general context of activities of parent project organizations. The authors develop the concept and principal scheme of the formation of risk management system for innovative development projects in aquaculture.

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The innovative aspects of the fishing fleet development in the Russian exclave region

Abstract

Our country has set a course for the economy modernisation on the basis of innovative development. In the post-war period until 1991, the exclave of Russia — the Kaliningrad region — showed high rates of socioeconomic development due to the establishment of a large-scale sea fishing industry. Such success rested on research and innovative activity. This article analyses the successful innovative development of the fishing fleet in the historical perspective: new vessels, the development of new equipment, introduction of innovative forms of fishing organisation. The authors offer data on the efficiency of such innovative initiatives. This historical experience  is of great importance given the revival of industrial fishing in the Kaliningrad region.

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Research and education

Organisation of scientific research in Germany

Abstract

This article considers the structure of research system in Germany. It describes the federal and state levels of research management. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) bears primary responsibility for science and technology policy at the federal level. At the state level, this responsible is shared by the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Economy. The author emphasizes the role of the National Academy of Sciences “Leopoldina”, whose principal objective is to provide advisory services to German policymakers and present German science at the international level. Special attention is paid to the wide spectrum of German research agents: public and private research organizations, higher education institutions, R&D departments of industrial companies. The article stresses the research potential of universities that receive funding under the Excellence Initiative and describes the contribution of production in research and development activities, focusing on the top ten German  companies in terms of R&D expenditure.

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Universities of the North-western federal district in Russian-Finnish research cooperation

Abstract

This article focuses on the cooperation between universities of the North-western federal district (NWFD) of the Russian Federation, Sweden, and Finland, its intensity and territorial differentiation. The analysis was conducted on the basis of public domain information on the international activity of universities available on their official websites. The authors identify the principle areas and leading centres
of such cooperation. The NWFD universities have significant experience in cooperation with Finnish universities. Cooperation with Swedish universities is proved to be less developed. Approximately 50 NFWD universities, 29 of which are located in Saint Petersburg, are involved in cooperation; most NWFD universities do not cooperate with the mentioned countries. Such low degree of cooperation in the field of education is a serious inhibiting factor, which reduces competitiveness on the modern market of educational services.

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