Transforming the Post-Soviet Research Systems Through Incubating Technological Entrepreneurship

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Abstract

For many years the Soviet Union and the Eastern block countries (member countries of the former Warsaw pact) had been considered as the main military competitors of the western countries buttressed in their struggle against the West by their economic and scientific resources. The Warsaw pact countries had high levels of R&D investments, a large number of researchers and engineers, and diverse research facilities.

On the other hand, output indicators (patent applications, number of papers, scientific citations, etc.), and especially the rates of technological innovation were not so impressive. This paper analyzes the sources of these differences with special attention to the functions played by science and technology (S&T) programs in the formerly communist societies of Europe and Russia.

The dynamics of changes in the R&D potential in these countries are considered along with ways and possible scenarios of convergence towards the national systems of innovation of developed western economies. Special emphasis is assigned to the constructive role that technology transfer and commercialization processes along with the use of a network of virtual incubators and the promotion of technological entrepreneurship, can play in fostering a socio-economic renaissance in Eastern Europe and Russia.

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