Uncovering Regional Clustering of High Technology SMEs: Russian Case
Stepan Zemtsov, Vera Barinova, Denis Bukov, Vladimir Eremkin
The Soviet Union predetermined Russia’s economic activity’s location patterns. While the main forms of industry organization were territorial production complexes (TPC) - networks of industrial organizations united by a single technological process, -switch to the market economy in the early 90s destroyed economic ties within the TPC, leading to fragmentation of large enterprises and formation of a number of independent firms. Some scientists believe that this situation over the last 20 years could serve as a necessary foundation for clusters’ formation. Nowadays interest in clusters in Russia is rekindled due to the need to find new support mechanisms for production and innovation in a stagnating economy. The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation has initiated a project to support pilot territorial innovation clusters with infrastructure formation funding. The aim of this work is to identify clusters as areas of geographical concentration of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in high technology sector. Authors also try to check, whether existing cluster initiatives comply with the actual concentration of high-tech SMEs and whether there is any potential for new cluster initiatives. The present paper analysis exploits modified methodology, based on localization index. The study provides tables and maps, reflecting small and medium businesses concentration in Russian regions using evidence from high and medium-high technology industries. The authors empirically confirm the existence of traditional and well-known clusters and identify new concentrations of firms in Russia. This useful information can be used for policy advice.