The cap on investment in a given single project may prove insufficient, as the Fund has not right to invest in LLCs of which such a volume of investment is more typical than of JSCs RFTD A significant record of selection and support of applied Just a sole mechanism of support is permitted, that is, research projects. target loans, which is not always the best mechanism for A mature system of communication with research organiza- innovation projects by companies and new and smalltions and corporations. sized ones in particular.
As the focus is on support of projects in the frame of tech- The selection of a fraction of technological platforms as nological platforms, the high demand for the projects’ top priority ones is not clear outputs is highly likely ROSNANO Holistic approach to operations (support of innovation Gradual drift to support of increasingly larger programs projects, innovation infrastructure development, education, and projects.
improvement of regulation. With no strictly established corporate development Sizeable financial resources at hands. framework in place, the risk of an unjustified expansion Upon incorporation there emerges a possibility (and plans of the scale and functions.
have been shaped up already) for attraction of private The de-facto refusal to finance R&D (beyond the frame investors. of innovation projects), while support of R&D was set as Highly active, primarily in regard to investment projects one of the company’s major functions rollout across a broad range of directions.
A considerable number of initiatives associated with the innovation infrastructure development.
A fairly high degree of transparency, including that of operational pillars and regulations; a well-developed public awareness and communications system.
Vnesheconombank A sizeable resources volume, possibility to support huge No strictly determined methodology of assessment and long-term investment projects. principles of support of investment projects on developPre-crisis, a high efficacy with regard to organization of ment of innovation as yet.
selection and support of implementation of huge investment A gradual expansion of the Bank’s functions in its capacprojects. ity of the RF Government’s agent (which became particuThe resource and organizational capacity on hand to sup- larly significant during the crisis) which reduces the port projects that secure significant multiplying effects for Bank’s capacity with regard to a consistent and systemic advancement of the national economy and the rise of pro- implementation of functions of development institution.
gressive technological shifts. There are signs of a certain trend to reallocation of reRainbow of forms of support: loans, investment, sources in favor of infrastructure projects with resources guarantees – and the possibility to combine them. on support of innovation projects being limited.
Possibility to expand projects on support of regional inno- No strictly determined requirements to the extrabudgetary vation infrastructure project co-financing.
The risk of using the Bank’s resources as a “surrogate” of extrabudgetary funding in side-projects (including those implemented by other development institutions) Roseximbank Employment of various schemes, provision of support at Relatively moderate magnitude of operations and humble different stages, including the pre-export one. resource capacity on hand.
Support of export as a major profile, a substantial record in A certain inclination to supporting traditional industries.
this sphere The support was not customized to meet small-sized companies’ needs SME Bank Well-developed and fairly effective operational pattern of a Because of the effective caps on loans, the Bank focuses mass provision of support to SMEs on the basis of agent largely on support of small-sized and micro-firms, rather agreements with banks and infrastructure organizations. than medium-sized businesses.
Sizeable volume of resources to support SMEs. A special program of support of innovation activity was A very broad “encompassing” (in terms of the number of launched just in 2010 and, funds-wise, has thus far been supported projects). fairly modest Rainbow of forms of support: loans, including microfinancing), leasing, investment.
Expansion of the scope and employment of new forms of support, in particular, in the innovation sphere RFDI Possibility to implement very large, backbone for an indus- Taking into account prospective projects – relatively try, region or the economy as a whole, projects small capital of the fund.
Focus on attraction of foreign investors, including institu- No publicly available documents to specify the procedure tional ones. and conditions of investment activity.
Intention to invest in rapidly expanding sectors and industry The risk of “megalomania” in the course of selection of leaders projects to RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks 6.3.4. Critical Challenges and Possible Ways of Improvement of the System of Public Financial Development Institutions with Regard to Support of Innovation Activity So, there has recently emerged a tendency to a notable expansion of Russian financial development institutions’ scope of operations: the volume of their investment is on the rise, as the number of investment projects they back is. Our estimates suggest that the aggregate volume of support of investment and innovation projects by development institutions increased from Rb 78bn in 2008 to 211bn in 2010, while the number of supported projects grew over the same period from 2,100 to 5,800. As noted above, it was expansion of the Russian Bank for Development’s operations on support of MSEs that accounted for a critical contribution to the rise in the number of supported projects. Meanwhile, the growth in the overall volume of support was secured by expansion of the Vnesheconombank’s operations on lending to investment projects and ROSNANO’s funding production projects.
In its most general form, as far as the innovation sphere is concerned, the development institutions system should ensure addressing the following tasks:
1) Support of creation of new innovation companies, R&D commodization processes, and technology transfers;
2) Ensuring conditions of a rapid expansion of successful innovation firms, including by compensating for market failures and granting access to financing at different stages of the innovation cycle;
3) Ensuring a demonstration effect for the economy, boosting private resources in the innovation sphere.
The businesses’ assessment1 of the development institutions’ impact allows the following conclusions: on the one hand, their influence on the corporate sector’s innovation performance may appear fairly limited: only 4% of enterprises in the sample noted the presence of such an effect from VEB and ROSNANO’s operations, while another 2% of respondents noted the same with regard to venture funds’ operations. On the other hand, however, those are not small figures, given the narrow focus of the development institutions’ operations and comparing them with the respective figure of the impact of financing of innovation projects in the frame of the FTP (8% of respondents).
More important is what category of enterprises noted a positive effect from development institutions’ operations. Having run a regression analysis, we found out that it is corporations with government participation and those with a solid financial standing which more often cite a positive effect from Vnesheconombank and ROSNANO’s operations. Meanwhile, it is medium-sized companies (with up to 250 employees), corporations with government participation and those with a solid financial standing which more often ascertained the same with regard to venture funds. As a positive fact, let us note that the positive effect in question was more often cited (given other conditions being equal) by companies with a higher level of spending on technological innovation, a positive dynamic of such costs and boasting cuttingedge innovation produce.
On the basis of a survey on executives of 600 medium-sized and large industrial corporations run in OctoberNovember 2011 and individual interim findings of the project of the Interdepartmental analytical center on assessment of various instruments of encouragement of innovation implemented for the benefit of the RF Ministry of Education and Science.
Section Institutional Issues It appears quite logical that the development institutions’ operations generally prove more significant to robust companies, while venture funds’ operations in particular – to smallersized companies. That said, interpretation of some shift of the “group of beneficiaries” towards companies with government participation is a tricky question. We assume there might be at least two explanatory hypotheses: (1) being controlled by the state, public development institutions’ focus of operations is shifted toward support of companies with government participation; (2) where private corporations receive funding from public development institutions, they face the need to give up a fraction of corporate control in the course of implementation of an investment project, while companies with government participation are not particularly concerned about such anti-motivations.
An accelerated and multidirectional expansion of Russian development institutions, particularly coupled with an insufficiently developed independent audit of their performance, inevitably increases risks associated with the rise (intensification) of certain systemic imbalances in their operations. It is possible to identify the following tentative groups of such imbalances:
• «vertical» ones, which appear to be determined by an insufficient balance of support at different stages of innovation ;
• «horizontal», which are associated with thematic directions of development institutions’ operations and peculiarities of their prioritization; and • Institutional ones, determined by the normative framework of conditions of provision of support and a loose combination of instruments applied.
Let us first examine general trends of development of the Russian market for investment at venture stages vis--vis mature innovation economies. Between 2005 and 2010, Russia first posted some advanced growth of the level (vs. GDP) of investment at venture stages followed by its stabilization at the level of 0.1% of GGDP since 2008 (Fig. 7), with the indicator in question nationwide during the whole period being substantially lower than in countries with a mature venture industry, such as US and Finland and thus far having exhibited no trend to its post-crisis growth.
While analyzing operations on the Russian market for venture and direct investment sector-wise, it should be noted that thus far it has not undergone any substantial, sustained shifts in terms of “diversification” of thematic directions. According to RAVI1, in 2007–2010, investment in three sectors – telecommunications, financial services and consumer market – accounted for 70-80% in the structure of private equity and venture funds’ investments.
Throughout the period in question, investments in the medicine and health care sector were being steadily on the rise. After the crisis 2009 tendencies to growth in investment renewed in such sectors and energy, industrial equipment, agriculture, while investment activity in such sectors as chemicals, biotechnology, light industry, and environmental management remained low.
The public institutions’ operations at venture stages also gravitate more toward “traditional” thematic direction, though with some attention being paid to certain other sectors, such as medicine and energy engineering.
Russian Association for Direct and Venture Investment. Direct and venture investment in Russia 2010. A preliminary market review. RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks 0,0,0,0,0,0,0,2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 US Finland Germany Russia * Venture stages include the seed, initial and early stages (by the RAVI methodology) and analogous stages as classified overseas.
Source: assessments of the Interdepartmental analytical center on the basis of data of RAVI (Russia), NVÑA (UD), EVÑA (Germany).
Fig. 7. Dynamic of the level of Investment at Venture Stages * in Individual Countries, as % to GDP As to the direct investment market, ROSNANO is particularly active there, but, of course, only in the frame of its core mission of development of nanoindustry. Meanwhile, as far as such a promising direction as bioindustry is concerned, the existing development institutions do not exert any significant influence on its advancement. In our view, due to the industry’s huge capital intensiveness and dependence of its development prospects on improvement of regulation, it is imperative to establish a specialized PPP-based biotechnological direct investment fund. There might as well be a certain niche to form other funds (both venture and direct investment ones) to focus on such directions as fine chemistry, alternative energy, robotics.
Despite a certain progress, the Russian industry of venture capital and direct investment has still remained unbalanced phase-wise: between 2005-10 investment at the stage of expansion proved nearly 10-fold greater than investment at venture phases, while developed economies exhibit a greater level of investment at the latter stages. If in our consideration we cross out a ”formal” increase in the share of investment at venture stages during the crisis period (determined by contraction of private businesses’ investment activity at expansion stages), it can be noted that US demonstrated a tendency to increase in the share of investment at venture stages, while in Russia this share was down: in 2005, the proportion of investment at venture stages in the aggregate volume of investment at venture stages plus those at expansion stages was over 15.7%, in 2010 it dwindled to 6.3% (Fig. 8). We believe this effect was engendered by the strive for practical results from development institutions’ operations in the short run and by the shift of operation of the whole system of development institutions toward later-, “commercial” stages with more visible direct deliverables.
Volume of investment, as % of GDP Section Institutional Issues 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 USA Russia * The category of venture stages comprises seed, initial and early stages (by the RAVI methodology), and their analogues in foreign classifications.
Source: estimates by the Interdepartmental analytical center on the basis of RAVI (Russia) and NVÑA (US) data.