Research Policy

The substance and procedure of shaping Russian research policy are described in the Federal Law No. 127-FZ of August 23, 1996 “On Science and State Science and Technology Policy” (with changes of November 3, 2013; version put in force from January 1, 2014).

Research policy: objectives and priorities

National science and technology priorities of the Russian Federation are formulated as priority S&T areas and critical technologies.

The current priorities were set by the governmental decree №2433-p of December 20, 2012 “On Approving the State Programme of the Russian Federation “Development of Science and Technology 2013-2020”. The list of thematic areas for financing basic and applied research in priority S&T areas (Appendix I to the State programme of the Russian Federation “Development of Science and Technology 2013-2020”) includes:

  • New materials and nanotechnologies
  • Information and telecommunication technologies
  • Biotechnologies
  • Medicine and health
  • Rational use of natural resources
  • Transport and space systems
  • Energy efficiency and energy conservation
  • Interdisciplinary studies in sociology, economics and humanities

The lists of priority S&T areas and critical technologies were also approved by the President of the Russian Federation in July 2011 (Presidential Decree № 899 of July 7, 2011 “On Approving Priority Areas of Science and Technology Development in the Russian Federation and the List of Critical Technologies of the Russian Federation”). Priority S&T areas define the general trends capable of providing new technologies and facilities that contribute to the development of national economy and social sphere.

The list of priority S&T areas includes eight priorities:

  • Information and telecommunications systems
  • Nanosystems industry and materials
  • Living systems
  • Rational use of natural resources
  • Energy efficiency, energy conservation and nuclear energy
  • Transport, aviation and space systems
  • Safety and terrorism counteraction
  • Prospective armaments, military and special equipment

Detailed priorities are specified in the List of Critical Technologies of the Russian Federation, which forms the background for making decisions on concentrating public resources in the most important areas of science, technologies and innovation as well as on implementing the available S&T potential.

The Concept for Long-term Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation 2020 (approved by the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation № 1662-h of November 17, 2008) emphasized the need for creating a national system for supporting innovation and technological progress. The concept also defined four main transition directions towards socially oriented innovation-based economic growth:

  1. Upgrading of human potential.
  2. Encouragement entrepreneurial activity and attracting investments to economy.
  3. Innovation and technology modernisation, including integration of R&D and education systems.
  4. Enlargement of global competitive advantages of Russia in its traditional economic sectors such as energy, transport, agriculture, nature resources processing.

In 2010 the President named the five priorities for modernization of Russia’s economy: energy efficiency and energy conservation, including development of new types of fuel; nuclear technologies; space technologies, particularly those related to telecommunications (GLONASS and ground infrastructure); medical technologies; strategic information technologies, including creation of supercomputers and software.

The Strategy for Innovative Development of the Russian Federation 2020 “Innovative Russia – 2020” (approved by the governmental decree № 2227-p of December 8, 2011) specifies, among others, the need to reestablish the leadership of Russia’s basic science on the global arena and to form a balanced R&D sector that will keep developing in a sustainable way as key vehicles for re-directing Russian economy towards an innovative way of development by 2020.

In March 2014, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved Science and Technology Foresight of the Russian Federation 2030. The document was developed by the Ministry of Education and Science with the participation of key stakeholders. The foresight document highlights six science and technology priority areas that Russia needs to develop in order to boost the competitiveness of its economy: information and communication technologies, life sciences (biotechnology, medicine, and public health), new materials and nanotechnology, rational use of natural resources, transport and space systems, and energy efficiency. For each of these areas, the forecasters described some of the global challenges, threats, and opportunities for Russia; identified innovative markets; assessed the potential demand and competition for Russia's innovative technologies and products, benchmarked against global leaders; and identified priority R&D areas.

S&T Policy making and coordination

Medium-term and long-term trends for the state science and technology policy are defined by the President of the Russian Federation on the basis of a special report prepared by the Government of the Russian Federation.

Every year, in accordance with the President’s Letter on the current situation in the Russian Federation and with proposals of the Government of the Russian Federation, the legislative public authorities define the annual amounts allocated for the execution of federal S&T programmes and projects, the amount of financing of scientific organisations and the amounts channeled to federal foundations dealing with the support of science, technology, and innovation.

The setting of main trends for state S&T policy, scientific and technological forecasts, the selection of priorities for the development of science and technology, the development of recommendations and proposals on the implementation of scientific programmes, S&T programmes and projects as well as on the use of S&T achievements are all carried out under the conditions of openness, using various forms of public discussions, evaluation and competitive procedures.

State S&T policy is developed and implemented by the relevant executive authorities with the involvement of economic entities and taking into account the general state S&T policy.
The national S&T strategy is primarily developed by the following bodies:

  • Council for Economic Modernisation and Innovative Development (established by the Executive Order oft he President of the Russian Federation № 878 of June 18, 2012) and three inter-ministerial commissions of the presidium of the Council:
    o Inter-ministerial Commission for the Implementation of the Strategy of Innovative Development of the Russian Federation 2020
    o Inter-ministerial Commission for Technological Development
    o Inter-ministerial Commission for Technological Forecasting.
    The Council is an advisory body chaired by the President of the Russian Federation and was established to facilitate economic modernisation and innovative development in Russia and improve state management in this area. The Council and its presidium are charged with preparing proposals to the President of the Russian Federation regading the identification of trends and mechanisms of Russia’s economic modernisation and innovative development, including the development of measures of state support in the area. Decisions made by the Council will be formulated as presidential instructions, and the President can issue orders and instructions for the implementation of these decisions.
  • Department for Science, High Technologies and Education of the Government of the Russian Federation (created in March 2010)
  • Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation: Ministry Board, Department for Strategy, Analysis and Forecasting; Department of Science and Technology, International Department).
  • State Duma Committee for Science and Science Intensive Technologies.
    The Committee provides legal support for the creation of Russia’s innovation system and integration of basic and applied science, education and knowedge-intensive industries.

National Research Programmes

In December 2012, State Programme of the Russian Federation "Development of Science and Technology 2013-2020" was approved, which provides a framework for its main STI funding programmes - the Federal Targeted Programmes. The State programme is a complex umbrella measure, whose ambition is to form an integrated science and education space across the country, giving a direction for science and technology development till 2020. The goal of the programme is to form a competitive and effective R&D sector and to ensure its leading role in the process of technological modernisation of the Russian economy.

The principal tasks of the programme are:

  • to support basic research;
  • to lay S&T foundation for advancement in the Priority Fields
  • to develop institutions in the R&D sector, improve their structure, management and finance system; integrate science and education
  • to form a modern material and technology basis of the R&D sector
  • to ensure integration of the Russian R&D sector into the international R&D space, etc.

National S&T priorities are also implemented via national S&T and Innovation programmes, federal and sectoral targeted programmes, including Federal Targeted Programmes “Research and Development in Priority Fileds of S&T Complex of Russia in 2014-2020” (approved by the Governmental Decree № 426 of May 21, 2013; total funding for 2014-2020 – RUB 239 billion, including RUB 202.2 billion from the federal budget) and “Scientific and Scientific-Pedagogical Personnel of Innovative Russia for 2014-2020” (approved by the Governmental Decree № 424 of May 21, 2013; total funding for 2014-2020 – RUB 201.2 billion, including RUB 153.5 billion from the federal budget).

Source: HSE
Last update: March 2014

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Contact Persons

  • Anna Pikalova

    • Higher School of Economics (HSE)
    • Myasnitskaya 20
    • 101000 Moscow, Russia
    • Telephone: +7 495 6283254
    • Fax: +7 495 6250367
    • Email Address: apikalova@hse.ru
    • Homepage: http://www.hse.ru
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