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ISSN 1995-459X print
E-ISSN 2312-9972 online
ISSN 2500-2597 online English

Leonid Gokhberg


Sergey Makarov1, Ekaterina Ugnich 2
  • 1 Russian Venture Company, 29 Serebryanicheskaya nab., Moscow 109028, Russian Federation.
  • 2 Don State Technical University, 1 Gagarina sq., Rostov-on-Don 344010, Russian Federation.

Business-catalysts as Drivers of Regional Innovation Systems

2015. Vol. 9. No. 1. P. 56–67 [issue contents]

The need to address the tremendous technological and investment risks intrinsic to the stages of business structuring and drawing up a business model means that an optimal tool to support innovative start-ups is sought. Continuity of the innovation process depends on the efficiency of individual instruments of implementing innovation and indeed on the entire infrastructure. Foreign experiences have shown that an acceleration mechanism to support innovative projects with the appropriate involvement of all stakeholders can be effective. This approach is embodied in regional business catalysts, combining organizational, managerial, research and production, and technological competences of the various actors of the innovation process, thus reducing the 'seedbed' costs and improving the quality of projects at the riskiest stages of the innovation process.

The article reveals the importance and place of regional business catalysts in the innovation infrastructure toolbox, in particular the role they play in helping newcomers overcome the so-called 'valley of death' and in aiding innovative companies find investment. Regional business catalysts do this by synchronizing and coordinating competences of regional participants of the innovation process on the basis of common standards and a transparent selection procedure. Business catalysts can also contribute to an overall revitalization of innovative activity in regions.

Examples of regional business catalysts introduced in Russia suggest that the region’s high scientific and educational potential, the development of innovation infrastructure, and support of the authorities are key to catalysts’ effectiveness. A performance assessment of the first national business catalyst, launched in the region of Rostov in 2012, confirms the effectiveness of catalysts in establishing horizontal linkages between the regional business community and institutions supporting innovation at the local and federal level.

The authors describe the objective difficulties faced by regional business catalysts that are driven by the specificities of the engineering and manufacturing expertise for some projects and the complexity in establishing cooperation with key institutions of regional innovation infrastructure. Future developments are suggested to consolidate business catalysts’ sectoral affiliation, to develop the networking aspects, ensure transparency of this mechanism, as well as expand partnerships between regional industry, academia, and government institutions to support innovative entrepreneurship.

Citation: Makarov S., Ugnich E. (2015) Business-catalysts as Drivers of Regional Innovation Systems. Foresight-Russia, vol. 9, no 1, pp. 56–67. DOI: 10.17323/1995-459X.2015.1.56.67


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