Innovative territorial clusters as the mechanism of regions economy development


One of strategically important problems of the Russian economy development is increase of regions role regarding innovative development and production modernization. For its solution the government has decided to use innovative territorial clusters format, widespread in foreign practice with proved high efficiency.

The innovative territorial cluster (ITC) is a set of enterprises and organizations placed on the limited territory characterized by existence of research and production chain uniting participants of the cluster, mechanism of their interaction and synergetic effect which is expressed in economic productivity increase of each enterprise activity at the expense of high extent of their cooperation. A distinctive feature of ITK as in Russia, as abroad, is hi-tech sector enterprises support first of all (biotechnologies, pharmaceutics, IT and so forth) on the competitive basis, i.e. only best of them can take advantage.

In Russia innovative territorial clusters creation initiative has been launched in 2012 when applications reception for participation in ITK development programs has been declared. As a result of 94 applications consideration the final list included 25 pilot ITK. These clusters are located mainly in regions with high level of investment activity icnluding a range of science cities, territories of special economic zones basing and the closed administrative-territorial entities. Information technologies and electronics, new materials, production flying and spacecrafts, shipbuilding, pharmaceutics and biotechnologies, chemistry and petro-chemistry, nuclear and radiation technologies are the branches having ITK. In 2015 Udmurt machine-building cluster has been also recorded in the list of pilot clusters.

ITK is provided an essential state support the key instrument of which is subsidizing of the measures initiated by clusters in regions. The most popular direction of the received funds expenditure is development of innovative infrastructure objects, in particular engineering centers (about 55% of subsidies from the federal budget). It is expected that in medium-term prospect demand of ITK will be displaced towards information, expert and organizational support.

Total amount of the projects financing specified in development programs for the period from 2012 to 2017 will make about 1,5 trillion rubles. At the same time it is planned to attract 480 billion rubles (33% of total amount) of funds from the federal budget, about 213 more billion rubles (14%) of funds from regional and local budgets. Thus, in 2013 1,3 billion rubles have been allocated for ITK development, in 2014 - almost twice more (2,5 billion rubles), and in 2015 this sum has decreased to 1,25 billion rubles. In addition to the state subsidies, ITK can count on financial and non-financial support measures from the participants of "Activity of certain territories development institutes, including in the innovative territorial clusters" working group.

Measures on the regions investment appeal increase due to use of the ITK mechanism have already led to the first positive results. Perhaps, one of the most successful examples is pharmaceutical cluster in Kaluga Region uniting 62 companies. In recent years expenses of its participants on innovations have increased by 20%, and in 2015 3 large pharmaceutical factories have begun to work on its territory. Enterprises of a cluster produce more than 109 medicines, 20 more are on the stage of registration. Development and production of several tens of new medicines is planned in the long term including import substitution program.