An assessment of regional innovation system efficiency in Russia: the application of the DEA approach
The main aim of this study is to compare Russian regions according to their ability to create new technologies efficiently and to identify factors that determine these differences over a long period of time. We apply data envelopment analysis (DEA) to assess the relationship between the results of patenting and resources of a regional innovation system (RIS). Unlike previous studies, we apply the DEA method over a long period, comparing regions to one another and over time. In general, RIS efficiency in Russia increased during the period, especially in the least developed territories. There was significant regional differentiation. The most efficient RIS were formed in the largest agglomerations with leading universities and research centers: the cities Moscow and Saint Petersburg and the Novosibirsk, Voronezh, and Tomsk regions. Econometric calculations show that RIS efficiency was higher in technologically more developed regions with the oldest universities and larger patent stock. Time is a crucial factor for knowledge accumulation and creating links between innovative agents within RIS. Entrepreneurial activity was also a significant factor because it helps to convert ideas and research into inventions and new technologies and it enhances the interaction between innovative agents. It is advantageous to be located near major innovation centres because of more intensive interregional knowledge spillovers. Public support of more efficient regions can lead to a more productive regional innovation policy.