The Rostov Region - the main scientific and industrial area with the highest concentration of Higher School and sectoral research in the South of Russia - desperately needs the integrated into the national one regional innovation system formation process finalization.
Due to the spontaneous (self-development of scientific and industrial institutions and small entrepot) and organized (implementation of regional and federal purpose-oriented programs, creation of legal environment and elements of innovation infrastructure, etc.) formation of the innovation potential a favourable situation for the innovation sector share increase in the economy of the Rostov Region emerged; the base of the sector being made up of scientific educational institutions (universities, research institutes, design centers), industrial institutions, small innovation enterpot. An important factor characterizing the innovation activity is the positive dynamics of the investment appeal rating innovation component. Thus, in 2005, according to the "Expert RA" rating agency´s estimates the Rostov Region gained the 11th place among 89 subjects of the Russian Federation on the innovation potential.
The Rostov Region has got a well-developed scientific and technological component of the innovation potential:
- 95 organizations carrying out research and development works (54 scientific and 15 engineering organizations, 14 higher education institutions, 12 technological subdivisions in industrial institutions);
- 87 state and non-state higher and secondary professional establishments, 350 educational institutions of staff training and retraining;
- 3 industrial estates, RAS research center, a range of department and intersectoral information centers, consulting firms, etc.
- the SFU technology transfer center.
The higher school innovation potential is characterized by a high activity. Thus, the Southern Corporate University (SCU), having combined the RSU, TRSTU, SRSTU (SPI), executed research and development works to the amount of 500 million rubles in 2005, the Multi-Access Center of the SCU on nano-technologies (80 million rubles) was created. In 2006 the TRSTU received 324 million rubles for the innovative education development, and the Southern Federal University creation within the framework of the RF National Education Program guarantees the attraction of additional financing in the amount of 3 billion rubles in 2007 and 2 billion rubles every year in the following two ones. The Rostov Technology Transfer Center (RTTC) combining the potential of the SFU, SRSTU (SPI), DSTU, providing the innovation commercialization through transferring to industrial institutions. However, the innovation breakthrough provision requires the development and implementation of the region´s innovation potential extended reproduction mechanisms. The current situation is characterized by an independent development of the applied science and production and caused by the lack in the Rostov Region of the innovation conducting network as a necessary infrastructural component of the extended reproduction of the region´s innovation potential providing the market high technology production demand satisfaction by joint efforts of research, commissioning organizations and industrial institutions. The main structural elements of the innovation potential extended reproduction system are:
- the knowledge production subsystem - higher school science, first of all;
- the professional training and educational sphere providing the human potential formation;
- the innovation production and service subsystem;
- the innovation infrastructure including the channels of innovation potential reproduction financial provision.
As an innovation infrastructure system forming part organizationally providing regional innovation potential extended reproduction we offer the creation of the Regional Innovation Center (RIC) of the Rostov Region - an organization, with which the Rostov Region Authority, on a competitive basis, will make a government contract and which will be committed to work on the innovation process organization in the region. The RIC activity is aimed at the regional innovation processes´ activating and overcoming the effects of the preserved trend of the system investment-innovation crisis. The RIC renders expert, information-marketing, analytical and other services. The RIC is called to coordinate the activity of technology transfer centers (TTC), engineering and patent centers (EPC), innovation-technology centers (ITC), industrial parks and other innovation activity subjects financed at the expense of the regional budget.
The holding block groups of the regional innovation infrastructure are the existing and actively developing on the higher school basis academic scientific-innovation complexes, in which the environment for commercial development of innovations in scientific and technological and educational spheres. At the infant stage an important mechanism of the venture capital procurement into the regional innovation system is the creation of the Innovation Fund in the partnership with the Rostov Region Authority.
At the present time the institutional-legal framework of the innovation potential extended reproduction and its use to a large extent consists of general enunciations not letting develop initiative in the priority activities on this basis. For the purpose of legislation concreteness promotion in the innovation sphere it is advisable to fix the priority of getting a state support by the innovation-active enterprises and organizations. For example, even the increased by the RF CB amount of budgetary resources used not in a competitive basis doesn´t allow the SFU scientists to get more than 100 000 rubles per quarter on the won intra-university grants.
It goes without saying that it is necessary to adopt a legislative act on innovation activity. Thereupon it is offered:
- to limit the public sector of science with the institutes carrying out the research of the world´s level or servicing the public administration and state- financed organizations - healthcare, education, ecology, defence and safety, etc.;
- to give the research institutes retained their scientific potential to higher school for the purpose of research universities formation;
- to create advanced research centers on a competitive basis;
- to pass from subsidization to crediting with the innovation promotion;
- to create technology transfer centers in research institutes and universities:
- for the innovation activity stimulation:
a) to release the profit aimed at the new technologies´ implementation and research and developments´ financing from taxation within the regional wage limits;
b) to support the creation of small science-intensive firms with concessional taxation within the regional wage limits;
c) to apply accelerated amortization of tangible and intangible assets;
d) to provide public and private insurance of investments into innovation activity;
e) to assist mass creation of small starting firms by the seed capital assignment (by the experience of the SBIR American program), tax concession, rendering judicial and information support;
- to make provisions in the regional budget estimates for science and innovation managers´ training regional program implementation or to specialize the managers´ training in the SFU and RSEU in this sphere on the Federal program.
Within the active innovation development scenario´s framework the priority development of "knowledge production" environment, the research sector competitiveness and priority area developments provision, the creation of effective innovation infrastructure and stimulation of large-scale engineering modernization of economy branches are needed. For the active scenario realization it is required:
- the concentration of budgetary and extra-budgetary resources meant for research and development works´ and science-intensive projects´ financing in priority area;
- the provision of new high technologies and their demand information dissemination to enterprises and organizations of non-financial sector of economy.
Taking into account the being formed development trends there is a probability for the Rostov Region to raise its role as a knowledge (not technologies) provider. In this case the positive effects from the produced knowledge will mainly fall at foreign economies or other subjects of the RF. The entrepreneurial sector demand promotion for innovations will be generally manifested by the expansion of foreign and other-regional technologies´ imports by local companies, that will elevate the "impoverish" risk development. In this case the innovation sector development capitalization will take place mainly out of the region (in Moscow, St.-Petersburg, abroad).
The shortage of qualified managers, patent specialists and lawyers for the realization of intellectual activity objects (IAO) use effective policy in scientific organizations and enterprises restricts the IAO involvement into the economic turnover. The basis for the educational programs implementation should become educational science-based innovation complexes. Together with educational and scientific units the innovation and business structures should be included in the higher school structure. The integration of scientific, educational, innovative and productive activities, natural-scientific and humanitarian training will allow developing and implementing of the multilevel specialists´ training innovation educational programs based on the cross-disciplinary and instrumental technologies of competences formation in the academic process.
The SFU creation on the basis of the RSU, the win of the TRSTU in the national competition of higher professional education innovation programs, etc., testifies to the competitiveness of the Don universities at the national level, and in a range of directions (neurocomputers, bioengineering, and others) - at the international one. In connection with this it is necessary to support the innovation educational products´ development and the new technologies´ application in the academic and research processes. The development of scientific-academic-production infrastructure (student engineering departments, technoparks, scientific university laboratories, etc.) and educational innovatics will provide the passage from the delivery of highly specialized knowledge to cross-disciplinary and complex one, that will result in the retuning of the university environment to the formation of necessary in the innovation economy competences (according to a complex analysis of changing social-economic processes, the skills of organization and running projects, effective search and analysis of different information, practical managerial skills, the ability to research work and practical use of the fundamental and applied research results).
A special attention should be paid to cross-disciplinary directions of specialists´ training and retraining for working in the sphere of high technologies. In is important to attract youth to innovation management, to add the disciplines revealing the ways of transformation of the results of investigations into merchandise articles to all education programs of universities. The professional development and training in the sphere of economics and management is carried out at the SFU (faculties of economics, faculty of high technologies, higher business school), SRSTU (NPI), RSEU (RINE) and other universities.The article is admitted to the International Scientific Conference "Development prospects of higher school science", Sochi (Dagomys), 20-23th September, 2007, came to the editorial office on 09.11.07.