RUSSIAN PUBLIC OPINION OF THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY: Science, Innovation, Information Technology and Education as Drivers of Economic Growth and Quality of Life
Russia, with its long scientific tradition, has always been one of the major contributors to the world’s knowledge. The extensive growth in R&D manpower and investment during the decades of the 21st Century had allowed the development of an extremely large R&D base, greater, in absolute terms, than that of many other industrially developed nations. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the transition to a market economy radically affected the national R&D system inherited from the former USSR. The R&D system developed in Soviet times had three special characteristics: it was very large; it was centrally directed, and it was government financed. These features were ill-suited to a market economy, so it was not surprising that the R&D sector underwent a crisis in the years of transition.