Scientific journal
European Journal of Natural History
ISSN 2073-4972
ИФ РИНЦ = 0,283


Stepanova E.V. 1
1 Siberian Federal University

The clusters approach has emerged as an important analytical tool for governments and economic development agencies seeking policy prescriptions to make their economies and firms more competitive. While the cluster approach has traditionally been used for examining national economies it can also be a useful tool in analyzing the dynamics of sub-national or regional economies. However, it is absolutely vital that cluster programs and actions are properly tailored to the individual needs and requirements of any given cluster and the specific characteristics of any given region.

Previously the Russian Federation showed little interest in cluster-based policies at the national level. However, considerable interest is now being shown in the cluster approach at the regional level of the country. There are cluster strategies, conceptions of cluster policies accepted by some regional government in Russia. The main accents in these documents are made on regional innovations. The factors encouraging cluster development and innovations diffusion are presented in Table 1.

Table 1

Factors Encouraging Cluster Development

Groups of factors

Factors encouraging cluster development

Strong science base

Leading research organizations: University departments, hospitals/medical schools and charities, critical mass of researchers, world leading scientist(s)

Entrepreneurial culture

Commercial awareness and entrepreneurship in universities and research institutes, role models and recognition of entrepreneurs, second generation entrepreneurs

Growing company base

Thriving spin-out and start up companies, more mature ‘role model’ companies

Ability to attract key staff

Critical mass of employment opportunities, image/reputation as biotechnology cluster, attractive place to live

Premises and infrastructure

Incubators available close to research organizations, premises with wet labs and flexible leasing arrangements, space to expand, good transport links: motorways, rail, international airport

Availability of finance

Venture Capitalists, business angels

Table 1

Factors Encouraging Cluster Development

Groups of factors

Factors encouraging cluster development

Business support services and large companies

Specialist business, legal, patent, recruitment, property advisors, large companies in related sectors (healthcare, chemical, agro food)

Skilled workforce

Skilled workforce, training courses at all levels

Effective networking

Shared aspiration to be a cluster. Regional trade associations. shared equipment and infrastructure, frequent collaborations

Supportive policy environment

National and sector innovation support policies, proportionate fiscal and regulatory framework, support from RDAs and other economic development

Recognizing different cluster governance structures and coordinating mechanisms can help to guide cluster policy towards the most efficient use of factors encouraging the cluster initiatives. Application of the cluster approach is the most actual at a regional level due to the necessity of close contact between participants of the cluster, that high the regional competitiveness.

Although numerous methods are used to analyze and measure the size and importance of regional clusters, there is no universally accepted method of cluster assessment and measurement.

The purpose of Table 2 to consider the indicators of innovation clusters in regions and in the country.

Practitioners generally favor the use of both quantitative and qualitative analysis towards cluster identification and analysis. This is the approach is taking to its current research which is attempting to map industrial clusters across the Russian regions. This approach will make use of various official data sources such as the Inter-Departmental Business register (IDBR) as well as close liaison and interviews with local business leaders, RDAs etc. Clearly some clusters are more difficult to define than others.

Knowledge of governance structures and coordinating mechanisms can also guide policy towards the most efficient use of scare resources, especially as clusters, even in the same location, might have very different characteristics. Finally, the participants of the cluster should try and help localize, deepen, broaden, activity enrich and/or improve the innovative capacity of clusters.

Under this approach clusters are primarily viewed as an analytical device to improve the effectiveness of narrower types of policy tools.

Table 2

Main types of innovation indicators

Main types

Innovation indicator

Human recourses

– new doctorate graduates per 1000 population aged 25–24;

– percentage population aged 30–34 completed tertiary education;

– percentage youth aged 20–24 having attained at least upper secondary education

Open, excellent and attractive research system

– international scientific co-publication per million population;

– scientific publication among top 10 % most cited publications worldwide as % of total scientific publication of the country

Finance and support

– public R&D expenditures as % of GDP;

– venture capital (early stage expansion and replacement) as % of GDP

Firms investment activities

– business R&D expenditures as % of GDP;

– non-R&D innovation expenditures as % of turnover

Innovative entrepreneurships

– SMEs innovating in-houde as % of SMEs;

– innovative SMEs collaborating with others as % of SMEs;

– public-private co-publications per million population

Intellectual assets

– PCT patents application per billion GDP;

– PCT patent applications in social challenges per billion of GDP (climate changes, health)


– SMEs introducing product or process innovations as % of SMEs;

– SMEs introducing marketing or organizational innovations as % of SMEs;

– high-growth innovative firms

The work is submitted to the International Scientific Conference «Economic mechanism of innovative development», Australia (Sydney), March 26 – April 6, 2013, came to the editorial office оn 26.02.13.