Sputnik enterprises: high technology enterprise creation in Russia
The sprouting of high technology SMEs around Science Academy institutes have been spotted during on-field visits in Novosibirsk2 - Siberia. We have defined euphemistically Sputnik company creation the creation of satellite enterprises from the scientific and research centres, due to the “maternal” link that persists throughout the life cycle of the new ventures with the parent organisation. Similar to the spin-off phenomenon in Western economies, this process shows very specific characteristics linked to the particular economic environment. The studied process is a key element in the development of local, regional and national economy. This is even more relevant considering that Siberia is the richly endowed in natural resources still under exploited by a backward industry. By reflection, also the future of research in Russia is affected by this phenomenon. The 1992 rupture has given the opportunity - it has compelled - to re-cast the rules of exploitation of the scientific organisation inherited from the socialist era. This revision was sanctioned by a tacit agreement between those who were in charge to administer and control and those who were administered and controlled. To describe the process more emphasis was given to qualitative description rather than quantitative analysis. This seemed inevitable as the research was mostly based on case studies resulting from visits and interviews carried out in Novosibirsk oblast. Moreover, it is our belief that the opposite approach, where too much stress is given to figures, would not lead to a correct interpretation of the topic under survey.
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