This paper studies the Russian Science Foundation’s first grant competition, which was held in 2014 to select exploratory or basic research projects in order to shed light on the following two questions: (1) who wins the grants, and (2) what factors are attributed to winning? The subsample of winners (when compared with the whole sample of applicants) seem to have higher proportions of projects submitted to the life sciences section, which is affiliated with the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and projects from Moscow or the Moscow region. Besides, the heads of the winning projects had better publication indicators. We find that main factor attributed to winning in the grant competition is the evaluation score given by external experts, while controlling for other factors. Although experts’ score is the most influential factor, the probability of receiving grant is strongly associated with other factors. Thus, projects affiliated with the RAS and with the head of the project holding a doctor’s degree have some advantages, all other factors being equal. Furthermore, projects from the regions and, most importantly, with young project heads, were more likely to win.
The paper is part of a large foresight study carried out by the authors at the HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge for the Russian Ministry of Telecommunication and Mass Communications. It is important that mass communication, with its virtual product is related to two other sectors: telecommunications and information and communication technology. Technological transformations affect these three industries alike; the growth of bandwidth, convergence of terminals and growth of their computational performance are transforming products and markets in all three. Long-term trends in these markets have been well defined by a range of industrial experts. The conclusion of the paper provides recommendations for the revision of public policy.
The authors note only a few new tendencies in services and products. However, wide diffusion of these trends due to cheap technologies will lead to radical changes in the sector. New markets will appear as a result of expansion and adjustment of industrial relations between agents, previously independent of each other. Key trends are the abandonment of linear-media in favor of "user-controlled" consumption, with a growing amount of content produced by the user, and the spread of social interactions. The trends are interrelated and determine the transformation of business models, the sources of income, and the value of goods produced by the media industry. The most negative trend according to experts is "deprofessionalization" of content, which poses a risk for institutionalized forms of media. With such turbulent changes regulation in mass communications will inevitably undergo transformation. Henceforth it will not be able to rely upon content filtering and setting quotas. Instead the regulation should be built upon enabling a diversity of information sources to create the news agenda at the request of the audience.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) radically transform many areas of human activity thus attracting great attention of researchers. However, the dynamics of ICT development depends on the global challenges and broader trends that define long-term S&T priorities. What factors that will influence the future of the ICT industry? What technological solutions will determine its characteristics in the next 15–20 years? These and similar questions were considered by the HSE ISSEK specialists in co-operation with the colleagues from other research entities while investigating trends in S&T at the global and national levels. The experts have analyzed socio-economic and S&T challenges affecting the ICT sector, advanced R&D fields, markets for innovative products and services, estimated the «windows of opportunities» for Russia. As a result, the strategic directions of blueprint research which ensure the basis for the creation of innovative products and new markets for the medium- and long-term (beyond 2020) perspective. Foresight results have been validated by the representatives of leading companies, research centers, universities and international organizations. Among the solutions expected in the period up to 2030 are the prototypes of systems implementing the new computing principles and multi-language software for extraction and formalization of knowledge, technologies dealing with «big data», new analytical tools (personal analytic systems, means of the real time data processing, mobile analytics, etc.). Markets for novel technology solutions are expected to be rapidly growing in healthcare, energy, engineering and transport, as well as in personal usage of ICT products and services. The study allows to conclude that in the medium to long term, the ICT sector will retain a high growth dynamic and will have transformative impact on virtually all areas of human life. The life cycle of technologies, related products and services will shorten. In this context, R&D development plays a crucial role for keeping up with competitors. Russian science has a certain potential in much of the considered areas, although one can hardly perceive Russia as gaining global leadership. A breakthrough level of research is observed, for example, in telecommunication technologies (communication, networking and content distribution).