Bibliographic description:Druzhinin P.V., Potasheva O.V. The role of innovation in the economic development of the Northern and Arctic regions. Arctic: ecology and economy, 2019, no. 3(35), pp. 4-15. DOI: 10.25283/2223-4594-2019-3-4-15. (In Russian).
The article examines the development of the four Arctic regions of Russia (the Murmansk and Arkhangelsk Regions, the Republics of Karelia and Komi). The analysis of their economic dynamics shows that they are developing more slowly, than the Russian Federation as a whole. Most of the enterprises happen to be noncompetitive. The population of the Arctic regions has declined by more than a quarter. The share of new sectors in their economic structure is not growing. However, according to the analysis of the economic development in Sweden and Finland, being in approximately similar climatic conditions, the universities during the 1960s began to develop rapidly in the northern and peripheral regions of the countries. At the same time, an innovation support system there began to take shape. Sweden and Finland joined the European Union in 1995, which increased the openness of their economies. Active innovation, the development of new sectors of the economy contributed to the growth of economic efficiency in Sweden and Finland after their entry into the EU. Information and communication technology and firms developed most successfully in Finland, Sweden and Norway. The Arctic regions of the Russian Federation are focused on the industry development, primarily on the mining one. At the initial stage of the reforms the northern regions had certain advantages, and the raw materials produced were in demand on the world market. Most manufacturing enterprises were closed during the reforms. The intensification of interregional relations leads to an increase in cheaper products from the central and southern regions in the northern regions. Innovative projects were few. The developments of scientific centers, universities and individual innovators turned out to be poorly oriented towards market needs. Innovative support by the regional authorities proved to be ineffective. To change the situation it is necessary to promote the development of northern universities and research centers. At the same time, their projects should be oriented towards the branches developing in the region and non-material-intensive sectors. The experience of the northern countries has shown that innovative firms working for markets external to the region can successfully develop in the field of information technology.
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