The Baltic Region

2012 Issue №4(14)

Topical issue of innovative development

The assessment and factors of increase in innovative competitiveness of Latvian regions

Abstract

Latvia’s participation in the process of integration and globalization within the European Uni on creates a need to improve tools of competitiveness and management assessment of the country’s regions. It also requires the development of common approaches to sel ection criteria, competition indicators and assessment tools at the micro-, meso-, and macro-levels. This study identifies the development stage of Latvia’s regions and considers methods as well as experience of evaluation and improvement of the competitiveness of Latvia’s regions. The authors describe priorities and tools for regional innovative development and analyze conditions affecting regional development in the country. This work takes into account the current priority of the European Union — innovation and development of socioeconomic activity aimed at enhancing the competitiveness and attractiveness of European regions. This study sets out to evaluate the competitiveness of Latvia’s regions using a method developed by the European Commission. An  expert survey based on the analytic hierarchy process identifies priority areas and instruments for their innovative development.

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The methodological bases of comparative evaluation of sci¬entific and technological potential of Russia and the EU: regional and international aspects

Abstract

This article analyses approaches to the definition of such categories as “scientific and technological potential” and “innovative potential” in view of their resource, structural, procedural and resultant components. The author gives a more accurate definition of the scientific and technological potential through identifying its resources and orientation towards transforming abilities. On the basis of the existing methods of comparative analysis used in Russia and abroad, the author proposes a methodology for evaluating scientific and technological potential in the context of regional and international comparison. The integral index is calculated on the basis of a customised information and statistical database of normalised indicators through the identification and convolution of subindices that characterise individual components of potential. These subindices include pecific indicators applied in different statistical systems, in particular, those used in Russia and the EU, which made it possible  to compar the data. The article presents the result of the application of this methodology based on a comparative evaluation of the scientific and technological potential of Russia (Northwestern federal district) and EU states of the Baltic region. The experimental check suggests that the methodology be further improved for future clustering of Russian and EU regions according to the level of their innovative development.

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The prospects of entrepreneurship in the formation of new hi-tech markets in the Baltic Sea region

Abstract

The article offers an analytical review of the prospects for the formation of new hi-tech markets in the Baltic Sea region with the participation of small and medium businesses. In view of the essential features of entrepreneurship, its prospects in the development and implementation of innovations seem to be quite attractive. However, in the current economic context, growth requires special measures. The authors analyse the measures taken by the European Union and individual countries in order to strengthen the participation of small and medium business in R&D and innovation, describe conditions which are necessary for unlocking innovative potential, identify new industries that might become drivers of innovative economy in Europe. The authors also offer a country-specific list of basic markets, which can be developed by small and medium enterprises in a short-term perspective. In the structure of the Baltic Sea region a special position is held by the Nordic countries — Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland  — major regional innovators, as well as a group of South-eastern regions that serve as innovation consumers. Best hopes rest with information and communications technologies and biotechnologies, which are expected to become the centre of major clusters of small and medium enterprises.

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On the historical context of innovative development in Russia

Abstract

The present analysis is based on the institutional model of research on social processes. Thus, the idea of possible modernisation of Russian society rests on the consideration of the current situation in the field of economics, management, and science. On the basis of a secondary analysis of statistical data and the works of Russian and international sociologists, this article describes the fundamental conceptual framework of the modernisation of Russian society. In particular, it focuses on the criticism of the modernisation project initiated by the forces that present themselves as conservative. The author also mentions significant problems arising during the modernisation of Russian society; these problems are rooted in both objective conditions of the on-going process and subjective factors. The article addresses the emergence and development of the modernisation idea in Russia. The relevance of this work lies in theidentification of the features of the transition of Russian society into a new phase, which reflects the trends of global innovative processes.

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Research and technology agreements in the Norwegian concession system of the 1970s—1990s

Abstract

This article is devoted to research and technology agreements in Norway, and their positive impact on the development of relations with foreign oil and gas companies during the period of formation of the Norwegian oil and gas industry. Based on archival documents, the article considers Norway’s experience of conclusion of research and technology agreements for transferring the latest technologies of exploration and oil and gas production to national oil and gas companies in the process of developing the country’s oil and gas industry. The author concludes that Norway made significant scientific and technological progress through promoting active cooperation with foreign companies. Norway’s successful experience could be applied by Russian state authorities in order to develop relations with foreign oil companies. These companies could take part in offshore exploration in the Russian sector of the Barents Sea through concluding similar agreements between Russian state institutions, and foreign oil and gas companies, which would give an impetus to the development of the technological component of Russia’s oil and gas sector. Research and technology agreements have been used by Norwegians with the aim of diversification of the economy and prevention of excessive dependence on the energy sector, which is one of the major challenges faced by Russia.

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International cooperation

The foreign policy of Poland and the Kaliningrad region in 1989—2012

Abstract

This article sets out to analyse the role of the Kaliningrad region in the Polish foreign policy after 1989. The analysis focuses on the political and regional determinants, which had the greatest impact on the Poland-Kaliningrad region relations. The methodology used in the article is not unusual for political science and is based on analysing original (documents) and secondary (scholarly publications, press articles) sources. The authors also use the system and decision analysis methods. The analysis covers the period after 1989, when the geopolitical changes brought about by the collapse of the Yalta-Potsdam order resulted in Poland redefine the priorities of its foreign policy. One of the most important challenges for the Polish diplomacy after 1989 was the development of economic and political relations with the Russian Federation. Cross-border cooperation between Poland and the Kaliningrad Region is conducted, inter alia, through euroregional structures functioning in the border areas. The analysis of this issue is vital for further cooperation in the Polish-Russian borderland, especially after the conclusion of the local border traffic agreement in 2012. The authors come to a conclusion that the implementation of the local border traffic agreement can improve cross-border relations but it will not significantly change the role of the Kaliningrad region in the Polish foreign policy.

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International research cooperation in the Baltic region: a scientometric analysis

Abstract

This article examines the processes of international research cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. It focuses on research works published in the leading periodicals in 1993—2012. The empirical material is collected from the world’s largest abstract and citation database, SciVerse Scopus, which makes it possible to evaluate macroindicators at the national and global levels as well as the contribution of scholars to the global progress. The article also offers an assessment of the efficiency of research activities in the Baltic Sea region countries. It is based on a number of scientometric indicators that reflect the performance of universities in terms of research journal publications and the development of research cooperation in the field of Baltic studies. The authors consider the dynamics of research contribution and academic cooperation in the Baltic Sea countries in four leading fields — i. e. agricultural and biological sciences, Earth sciences, ecology and social sciences presented in the SciVerse Scopus scientometric database. The article provides a map of research cooperation in the Baltic Sea region.

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The historical aspects and current issues of the development of Russian-Lithuanian economic relations

Abstract

This article focuses on development of Russian-Lithuanian economic ties. The research and practical significance of this study lies in the identification of the sources of modern Russian-Lithuanian economic cooperation and the prospects of future mutually beneficial economic relations. The first attempt at establishing economic relations was made in 1919. However, young Lithuanian Republic gravitated towards the West, severing ties with the Russian market. However, the initiatives of Lithuanian authorities did not result in successful state building, and the economic situation remained unchanged. The USSR leadership made an effort to improve the living conditions in post-war Lithuania. There were some mistakes made in the relations with the local population that resulted in Lithuanians’ resistance to sovietisation. However, in the conditions of post-war restoration of national economy and acute deficit of material and human resources, the Soviet leadership managed not only to reform and develop a socialistic  economy in Lithuania but also to turn it into an industrial republic with developed agriculture and modern manufacturing facilities, whose major industries manufactured products used in nuclear and space technologies, aviation and navigation. The research shows that the post-Soviet period led to a dramatic change in Russian-Lithuanian economic relations; however, these relations retained potential for future development.

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Similarities and differences in curricula of a bachelor’s degree in oceanology at the universities in St Petersburg, Klaipeda, and Kaliningrad

Abstract

Conducting a multi-aspect comparative analysis of curricula of bachelor’s degree programmes in oceanology offered at universities in St Petersburg, Klaipeda and Kaliningrad, the authors trace similarities between the existing variants of oceanologist training in the context of competence modules, disciplines, the so-called academic practices, and the number of hours and credits stipulated in the existing curricula. A formal comparison of generalised quantitative indicators without analysing the content of curriculum components demonstrated certain similarities in all indicators in terms of workload, the number of disciplines (50, 56 and 45) and academic practices. The clustering of competence modules and disciplines at each university within generalised academic areas — physics and mathematics, philosophy, informatics and computers, geoecology, measurement disciplines, etc. — made a more detailed comparison possible. The results of research demonstrate considerable similarities in the curricula used at the  given universities in terms of all variants of comparison. The strongest similarity is observed in the areas of basic and professional disciplines.

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Academic discussion

Russia and the European Union: an elusive quest for common values?

Abstract

This article focuses on the dialogue between the Russian Federation and the European Union based on “common values” (legal sphere and the rule of law), which form the framework for the EU-Russia “common spaces” — on the economy, freedom, security and justice, as well as in the field of research and education (including cultural aspects). The author analyses the current state of the EU-Russia dialogue (section 1), East-West cooperation in the framework of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (section 2), and the position of the Council of Europe member states on the European Court for Human Rights (section 3). The author comes to a conclusion that the concept of “common values” is to a great degree fictitious, and its viability depends on whether Russia behaves as a European country. The complete internalisation of democratic values, human rights, and good governance is still unattainable for the Russian Federation, which uses the platform of common values predominantly to achieve strategic  goals (section 4).

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Research reports

The instruments of Russia — EU research and technological co-operation in the sphere of innovations

Abstract

The article focuses on the basic tools of Russia-EU international cooperation, cofunded by the EU and Russia, such as crossborder, trans-border, and trans-national cooperation programmes, which can contribute to innovative, scientific and technological development. The author gives an overview of large-scale Russia-EU international cooperation projects in the field of innovations and comments on the cooperation programme running until the end of 2013. Special attention is paid to a special financial tool — the Framework Programme — one of the most important tools of financial support for joint projects in the fields of science and innovation with the EU participation. The article emphasises the opportunities for career growth and professional development for individual researchers in the field of innovation.  

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On the international cooperation of North-West Russia in the field of innovations in the Baltic

Abstract

This article focuses on the cooperation between the constituent entities of the Northwestern Federal District of the Russian Federation and the Baltic countries (Finland, Estonia, and Norway) in the field of innovations at national and regional levels, as well as at the level of corporate cooperation. The author reviews successful implementation of innovation projects within cross-border and transnational cooperation programmes. The most significant projects focus on the development of information and communications technologies in healthcare, the development of networks uniting innovation centres in the Baltic Sea region, and the transnational network of business incubators in the Baltic Sea region. The author identifies promising areas of cooperation between North-West Russia, Finland, Norway, and Estonia in the field of innovations, including telecommunications, information and, space; biological, environmental and nanotechnologies; software, medicine, education, culture, energy efficiency and ecological construction, as well as the development of creative industries. The article pays attention to large-scale national projects, such as “St. Petersburg Corridor — Two Model Open Innovation Platform” and “Partnership in commercialization of Russian innovations”.

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