Risky Economies: Innovation of Medical Devices in Russia

  • Evgeniya Popova


Classic views of innovation describe a relatively standard trajectory that an idea has to follow to become a profitable product. However, in Russia national policies to stimulate innovation are unpredictable and create a risky economy. This chapter, based on documents and interviews, discusses the experiences and strategies of hi-tech companies’ directors developing medical equipment in Russia. Four strategies are distinguished—smaller-scale tactics, conformist, reformist, and isolationist. While the latter is most creative, imaginary, and innovative, it is also rare. Most entrepreneurs respond to unpredictable policy agendas and rule setting by focussing on creating barely innovative products. This implies that the Russian devices market still mostly relies on copying, localising, and adapting foreign products.



This chapter is supported by the European University at St. Petersburg. I thank the members of research project ‘Individual Strategies of Russian Hi-tech Entrepreneurs’ from European University at St. Petersburg, supported by RUSNANO, for sharing all data gathered during the project. I wish to thank the heads of Russian med-tech companies who were willing to tell me their stories and the experts on innovation policy in Russian regions who were willing to give an interview. I am also immensely grateful to Olga Bychkova, professor at the European University at St. Petersburg, and Ivan Tchakakov, professor at the University of Plovdiv, for their comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. I would also like to acknowledge the other editors of this volume, Klasien Horstman and Olga Zvonareva, for their comments that greatly improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evgeniya Popova
    • 1
  1. 1.Policy Analysis and Studies of TechnologyTomsk State UniversityTomskRussia

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