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The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki

Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Anna Chernysh (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)

Institutionalization of Rules in Russian Innovation Policy: Between State Power and Local Interests

The changing of the institutional landscape for sustainable economic growth stays one of the main challenge in contemporary Russia. Predictably, this subject will not lose its actuality in the future. To forecast future opportunities and restrictions we can take a look at the past to understand how new institutions arose and became a part of everyday life in contemporary Russia. I propose to consider the question of new institutions arising using the example of Russian state policy on the support of innovation activities. The Russian government has made many attempts to stimulate economic activitiy, especially in the innovation sector. These attempts were closely connected with the changing of institutions and, following that, the establishment of new organizational forms, like business incubators, technology parks and so forth. In this paper, I specifically reconstruct and analyze the institutionalization process of one such new form, the business incubator. I examine two cases of business incubators, one in St. Petersburg and one in Novosibirsk, utilizing data from 61 interviews with experts and users. The guiding questions are as follows: where did the new practices come from, how did they take root, how did they turn into organizational rules, and how the organizational form itself got legitimacy in the eyes of potential users and partners. Particular attention is given to the question of how powerful actors interact with the local professional community.