Potential high-tech clusters in Russian regions: From current policy to new growth areas
In the current climate of sanctions imposed against Russia by several countries in 2014, special attention should be given to high-tech sectors of the economy as a key source of import substitution on the domestic market. One of the important policy measures is to support the development of high-tech, specialized clusters by forming new linkages and strengthening existing ones between small and medium-sized businesses, large enterprises, and research organizations. The starting point for an effective cluster policy is to define areas with high potential for clustering of these industries. The paper presents an original method to identify potential clusters and tests the method on Russian regions. We show that most of the state-supported pilot innovative territorial clusters are being developed in regions and sectors that have a high level of cluster potential. A typology of existing clusters depends on the index of clustering potential. We identified regions that have similar or comparatively favourable conditions for creating clusters in the pilot sectors.