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The article of A. Shumilin, Chairman of the SCST, in the bulletin “Management Problems”, no.4 (49), 2013

The article of A. Shumilin, Chairman of the SCST, in the bulletin “Management Problems”, no.4 (49), 2013

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The article of A. Shumilin, Chairman of the SCST, in the bulletin “Management Problems”, no.4 (49), 2013




THE ROLE OF INNOVATIONS IN THE STRUCTURAL CHANGE AND ENHANCEMENT OF COMPETITIVENESS OF THE ECONOMY

The increase of efficiency of the economy may be achieved owing to active use of innovations in the field of services and the development of scientific-technical potential.

The innovative approaches for the development of the economy of Belarus were formed in the beginning of 1990s, when a course was pursued towards the construction of the economy based on new knowledge and new technologies.

In Belarus as in the majority countries of the world:

- the state favors the development of science and the training of scientific and engineering personnel;

- different programs aiming the enhancement of competitiveness of the national economy are formed;

- the state orders for the conducting of research and development works ensure the initial demand for many innovations which can be widely applied in the economy of the country; fiscal and other components of the state regulation form a stimulating influence of the external environment. The program-oriented form of the state monitoring of innovations supposes the certain financing of them through the state target, state scientific-technical, regional scientific-technical and other programs of supporting of innovations. Indirect methods of the state supporting of innovations are widely used. They are aimed at the stimulation of the innovation processes on the one hand, and the creation of favorable economic and social-politic climate for innovative activities, on the other hand.

The Head of the State approved for the first time the State Program of Innovative Development of the Republic of Belarus for the period from 2007 to 2010.

The strategic goal of this program was a construction of an innovative, competitive, science-intensive, stable and socially oriented economy.

The considerable part of the events of the starting State Program was oriented to the formation of the National Innovative System (NIS), the development and adoption of the normative basis, the update of the technological basis of the economy, the stimulation of the high-tech export and the replacement of import.

In 2011 the Government adopted the current state program of innovative development of the Republic of Belarus for the period from 2011 to 2015, which makes the main emphasis on the creation of high-tech and efficient productions with the purpose of further economic growth of the country.

The major tasks of the current state program are:

- encouragement of the development of high-tech industries (pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology and nanotechnology, high-tech industry , new materials, information and communication technologies);

- further development of innovation infrastructure;

- innovative development of traditional economic activities .

A considerable work on the development of the main components of the national innovation system and its institutions and favorable starting conditions and measures are created to stimulate innovation activities  as a result of implementation of the activities of the two government programs in  recent years.

The legislation for implementation of innovative activities has been primarily formed. Normative legal acts regulating the scientific, technical and innovation activities, as well as issues of intellectual property have been adopted.

The most important adopted regulation is the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On the State Innovation Policy and Innovation Activities in the Republic of Belarus" , which fixes the terms such as “innovation”, “innovation activity”, “innovation infrastructure”, “innovation entity”, “innovative products”,  “innovative-technological monitoring”, etc.

The legislation generally provides various forms of support for innovation activities in the form of tax and other incentive instruments: the VAT exemption, income tax, customs duties, property taxes, the use of lower tax rates, direct allocations from the state budget to finance the development of the material-technical base of the innovation infrastructure, compensation of part of interest for bank loans by the means of the republican budget, etc.

The state ensures the functioning of the new financial support mechanisms of the innovation infrastructure, and the innovative entrepreneurship.

1 high-tech park, 7 industrial parks and 4 centers for technology transfer, 40 scientific-practical centers and 76 innovation centers are registered in the Republic.

An effective procedure for ensuring innovations (by resources, performers and timeframes for assignments), and the coordination of research and development within the SSTP, the RSTP and sectorial programs for effective solution of the systemic problems in the creation and development of new products and new technologies in the real sector of the economy has been established in the country. The assignments of the SSTP stipulate the implementation of researches, research and development works, the output of trial consignment, and, in a number of cases, the output of product lines.

Thus, the preconditions for the implementation of investment projects for the organization of mass production in accordance with the results of implementation of assignments of the SSTP have been created in the country. Naturally, it is possible with investors and provided that the created products are of great value for consumers and commercial viability.The Republic of Belarus offers a favorable legal environment for doing business to investors. In particular, the Investment Code of the Republic of Belarus stipulates:

- administration of guarantees of the Republic of Belarus for attracted loans of the banks of the Republic of Belarus;

- the funding of projects from the national budget in the amount of not less than 10 % of the total volume of public capital investments ;

- government support for the introduction of new and high technologies in production;

- other tax concessions.

As a result of measures taken in recent years, a positive dynamics of innovation development has been ensured.

Thus, the share of innovation active organizations in the industry increased from 22.7% in 2011 to 24.8 % in 2012. Exports of science-intensive and high-tech products in 2012 tripled comparing with 2011 and amounted to more than $ 10 billion.

The indicators of the specific weight of shipped innovative products in the total volume of products (17.4 %) and domestic expenditures on research and development (0.7 % to GDP) remain the same as the ones of 2011.

Within the framework of the implementation of the State Program of Innovative Development of the Republic of Belarus for 2011-2015 the productions by 79 very important projects have been commissioned.

Total investment costs amounted to more than 50 trillion rubles. The volume of produced innovative products for completed projects amounted to more than 72 trillion rubles.

More than 8 thousand jobs have been created (upgraded).

On the basis of developments created on the instructions of the state scientific and technical programs, eight new productions have been organized, 44 existing productions have been upgraded on which the application of new technologies provided by the output of more than 6.2 trillion rubles.

Big structure-forming innovative projects in the field of information and communication technologies, pharmaceutics industry, medicine, petrochemical industry and chemical industry, energetics and energy-saving, machine-building and metallurgy, in the field of construction and production of building materials have been implemented with the use of the results of implementation of research and development works within the State Program of Innovative Development.

The Republic encourages not just the development of high-tech productions, but also the innovative development of traditional types of economy activities including with the attraction of foreign investments. In particular:

in petrochemical industry:

- expansion of the output of comprehensive NPk fertilizers and polyamide-6 for the production  of engineering plastics;

- new types of chemical products, needle-punched fabric, including geotextiles for road building;

- new types of film for

packaging, film composite and combined materials, chemical fibers and filaments with new properties for technical applications;

- manufacture of polystyrene and synthetic rubber;

- increasing output of low-tonnage chemistry;

- the production of juices and sugar production in the food industry;

in the pharmaceutical industry:

- manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients and finished dosage forms of modern molecular biological tools in medical diagnostics, medical engineering and medical products;

- production of agents for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and diseases of the nervous system, anti-infective drugs , a new generation of anticancer drugs, biological preparations based on  blood plasma, as well as diagnostics of hereditary and multi-factorial diseases;

- production of biologically active additive concentrates for the dairy industry ;

- production  of fodder amino acids (tryptophan and threonine) for agriculture;

in the field of energy and energy efficiency:

- construction of new combined-cycle units;

- enhancement of the efficiency of power equipment by installing steam and gas turbines in existing boilers and converting them into mini-heating plants;

- development of production of steam boilers functioning on local fuels ;

- production of solid fuels based on renewable energy sources (peat, wood , biomass);

- manufacture of additives and in industrial and agricultural organizations of the Republic of Belarus;

- production of biofuels (bioethanol and biobutanol fuel);

- production of biogas in biogas plants.

However, it should be emphasized that not all areas of economic activity are developed equally well. Thus, the failure of such an important predictive indicator as “a share of shipped innovation products”, according to the following economic activities:

- textile and clothing industry ;

- production of rubber and plastic products ;

- chemical industry ;

- processing of wood and products of wood;

- production of cellulose, pulp, paper, cardboard,  paper and cardboard products;

- manufacture of basic metals and fabricated metal products;

- production of vehicles and equipment .

The main factors hindering the development of the innovation process in the country include:

- lack of the own means for innovations in organizations;

- low innovation capacity of organizations ;

- high economic risk and long payback periods of innovations;

- lack of qualified personnel to conduct innovative activities;

- lack of investment and venture capital;

- poorly developed interaction between science and business;

- a limited number of domestic developments, on the basis of which you can create a fundamentally new export production with high added value;

- the problem of the formation and use of innovation funds not completely solved .

The problems of improving the innovation infrastructure are supposed to be solved in the coming years.

It’s been provided:

- to create of a number of large industrial parks, including all regional centers and in Minsk, the major industrial centers;

- to establish holdings, with the participation of research organizations, engineering companies, design and engineering organizations;

- to establish new research centers, scientific-production associations and design organizations.

It’s planned to intensify innovation in existing enterprises along with the creation of new institutional entities in the field of innovations. The following areas can be distinguished among the key areas of improvement and systematization of legislation related to the innovative development:

- creation of most favorable conditions for innovation activities and commercialization of research and development works of the program of innovative development of the Republic;

- establishment of a system of incentives and introduction for practical implementation of prospective scientific and technical developments into production and market promotion;

- improvement of the procedure and conditions of scientific and technical (scientific) expertise of drafts of assignments of programs at various levels and areas and innovation projects;

- improvement of state regulation mechanisms to encourage the creation and use of industrial property rights;

- improvement of the mechanisms of protection of intellectual property and the transfer of rights to use the results of scientific, scientific-technical and innovation activities  by organizations and individuals;

- providing of a comprehensive legal regulation of social relations associated with the provision of legal protection of information constituting a trade secret, as well as protecting the rights of its owners ;

- creation of conditions for providing a starting support for development of innovative entrepreneurship and the creation of a system of preferential lending of small and medium-sized enterprises;

- improvement of venture financing mechanisms and attraction of private capital for venture capital financing;

- establishment of a normative legal framework for attracting foreign engineering companies in the Republic of Belarus. A number of key projects for economic development will be implemented till the end of five-year-period under the state program:

a plant for the production of bleached kraft pulp (the JSC “Pulp and Paper Plant of Svetlogorsk”) has been put into operation;

a combined unit for ammonia and methanol in the JSC “Grodno Nitrogen” has been built ;

re-equipment of the production of all-metal-cord truck tires at the JSC "Belshina" has been carried out;

the construction of a delayed coking unit in "Naftan" has been completed;

the production of a rolled section steel with the construction of light-section wire mill at the Belarusian Steel Works has been organized;

the production of solid dosage forms in the JSC “Borisov Pharmaceutical Plant” has been organized;

the production of the equipment of the technological level up to 65 nm for industrial applications in the microelectronic production of new generation ( the SSPA  “Planar” ).

A particular importance is attached to the development and adoption of the State Program for 2016-2020 years in the next two years.

This document must not only ensure the continuity of the current program, but also to introduce completely new elements in the process of its formation, and in the process of its implementation.

The development of the concept of the new program, which should reflect the strategic tasks of innovative development of the Republic of Belarus is supposed to be carried out in 2014, in particular:

- the leading development of productions at the intersection of traditional and science-intensive sectors of the industry in close cooperation with scientific organizations;

- large-scale introduction of domestic science-intensive technologies, the adoption of production with elements of nanomaterials;

- industrial adoption of nuclear energy, renewable and alternative energy sources, bio-industry and aerospace industry.

The following steps are to be taken in the next few years in the field of improvement of the Belarusian science and its management system:

- gradual modernization of the organizational structure of science and its management ;

- large-scale integration of the NAS of Belarus in the country's economy by improving its organizational structure, and with the transformation into a powerful research and manufacturing company that performs a full range of services, from basic and applied researches to pilot and serial production of science-intensive products by their own developments by creating new scientific and industrial structures, such as holdings (clusters) on a number of scientific fields and interagency structures, such as nano-technological  centers and industrial parks .

 The Department of Innovation Development and Expertise is expected to be created within the system of the SCST that will be responsible for innovation activity issues and commercialization of research results.

The goals of the Department are:

- coordination of the activities of combined national advisory councils;

- ensuring interaction between organizations of the scientific sphere and the real economy sector in terms of their implementation (use) and commercialization;

- monitoring of the process of implementation of innovation and venture projects, as well as adoption of the results of completed research and development works in the production, which were performed at the expense of the budget.

In order to solve the problems of innovative development of industries, it’s supposed to develop and implement new mechanisms to ensure a constructive engagement of all the sectors of science, such as an academic sector, a sector of industry, an institutional sector and a regional one.

A situation in which each branch (region) develops its program (a strategy and a concept) of development for the medium and long term.

Each program should contain a section on strategic goals and scientific and technological innovation development. This section should include the tasks required for the industry (regional) development with the preliminary study of a scientific and technical component, which must be solved in cooperation with scientists.

Thus, the principle of planning of the research and development works and drafts of assignments of relevant scientific and technical programs  of the government customer (a ministry or an executive committee) taking into account a potential need in developed products is ensured.

Scientific and technical potential of the Republic of Belarus should be focused on the development of a narrow range of scientific and scientific-technical activities related mainly to V and VI technological order due to the limited resources of the state. We believe that in the first place these areas should be provided with a state support on a priority basis, since these areas are breakthrough for the national economy.

In order to enhance the efficiency of the commercialization and adoption of scientific and technical developments of academic and higher education sectors of science in production it’s planned to create a number of engineering centers within the system of the NAS of Belarus and the Ministry of Education.  A scientific and methodological support of the created scientific and technical developments in the field of material science, nanotechnologies and nanomaterials, biotechnologies and robotics must become a priority area of their activities.

It’s planned to create a unified state examination system of scientific and technical projects, in fact, the so-called "single window" to improve the efficiency of selection of scientific and research and innovation projects.

The Program proposes a unification of expert councils which are close in profile operating at the NAS of Belarus and relevant government expert boards under the SCST.

This will enable to focus the efforts and experience as experts in the field of basic and applied sciences. At the same time, it’s provided not only the involvement of leading experts from Belarus, but also from the Russian Federation, etc.

An important innovation will be strengthening the economic component of the examination with the obligatory inclusion of the experts-economists in expert boards for a deeper assessment of the economic efficiency of the project and its commercial viability at the stage of beginning of its consideration.

At the same time, the requirements for the selection and ranking of the experts themselves and for enhancement of their responsibility for decisions are considerably increased.

It’s planned to consolidate the mechanism of financing of "risky" breakthrough developments in the normative-legal basis.

Currently, priority of financing is given to the developments, the implementation of which is associated with minimal risks. This approach is justified, but it entails the fact that the performers don’t risk carrying out some potentially highly promising projects because there’s a great likelihood not to achieve the planned results.

 However, we may expect a significant effect during the implementation of such "risky" breakthrough developments.

In this connection, the Program provides the consolidation of the financial mechanism of breakthrough developments taking into account the allocation of up to 20 % of the total funds for such projects.

At the same time the development will be defined as a breakthrough at the stage of the examination.

It’s expected to organize of the “Fair of Innovations”.

To improve the process of commercialization of scientific developments, the program provides the operation of the “Fair of Innovations” on the base of the Belarusian Institute of System Analysis and Information Support of Science and Technology.

The most important developments will be implemented and the additional conditions for the establishment of mutually beneficial cooperation of project developers, the potential users and investors of these developments, including supplies of developments for export and discussion of the opportunity of acquiring the most advanced technologies from abroad will be implemented with the use of the "Fair of Innovations".

Favorable legal and institutional preconditions for more active commercialization of the results of scientific and technical activity appeared after the entry into force of the Presidential Decree no. 59 of February 4, 2013 "On the Commercialization of Scientific and Technological Activity Created by Public Funds" and the beginning of formation of the state register of rights to the results kept by the SCST.

However, this decree does not work fully, since it extends only to the developments created after August of this year. To eliminate this disbalance, the SCST prepares proposals for the dissemination of the regulations of the Decree for scientific and technological developments created in previous years.

The further development of the field of intellectual property will be aimed at the complex integration of the national intellectual property system in the socio- economic policy.

Here we plan to intensify efforts in:

- harmonization of patent laws in line with international standards (it’s especially topical in connection with the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community and the entry of the Russian Federation to the WTO);

- improvement of the State monitoring and enforcement mechanisms in the field of intellectual property;

- development of the system of commercialization of intellectual property items.

There’s a task to expand the authority of the Belarusian Innovative Foundation in the international structures and the structures of innovative and venture financing, including by laying and fixation of the function of co-financing of the Belarusian party of international scientific and technical projects in the prescribed manner, with the purpose of strengthening of  international science, technology and innovation cooperation with the countries of the Eurasian Economic Community , the EU and etc. and the attraction of  foreign investment in the scientific area of Belarus.

In order to meet the needs of science and high-tech sectors, we are to focus on the training of highly-qualified specialists primarily in engineering and new technologies, natural sciences, medicine, agricultural sector, architecture and construction.

The involvement of talented youth, rejuvenation and enhancement of quality of the training of high-qualified personnel is provided in this connection.

There will be created conditions for the adoption of developments of young scientists in the real sector of the economy as well as mechanisms to receive dividends from these developments. The aiming of the dissertation research topics at the solution of applied problems of organizations and enterprises and the development of science-based system of performance of needs in the scientific personnel of higher qualification of enterprises and organizations.

Further development of cooperation of academic organizations, institutions of education and enterprises of the real sector of the economy, including for the identification of young professionals who have successfully established themselves in the labor market, and to stimulate them to enroll in the graduate school.

Consideration should be given to the preparation of graduate students, doctoral candidates and applicants for priority areas of scientific and scientific-technological activities and to bring the number of their admission to the level of annual 1000-1100 people in the system of postgraduate education. At the same time the share of postgraduates in high-tech areas of the 5th and the 6th technological structures must be at least 35-40 % of total admission.

It’s necessary to start the preparation of scientific high-qualified personnel in new professions in the areas of nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, space technologies, medical chemistry, nuclear industry and to improve considerably the work on preparation of high-qualified specialists for industrial enterprises and other organizations of the real sector of economy.

The successful solution of the mentioned above large-scale problems for development of the innovation potential of the country will enable to carry out the structural reorganization and to enhance the competitiveness of the economy of the Republic of Belarus.

MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS, no.4 (49), 2013