Strategic planning of small and mediumsized business development: adaptation of innovation voucher schemes to russian conditions

Strategic Planning of MesoLevel Economic Systems

The subject of the research described in this paper is the state stimulation of small and medium-sized enterprises, and using the innovation voucher successfully employed in international practice as one of the instruments for introducing the RIA culture into the Russian business environment.  The innovation voucher is an instrument which can provide a solution to several problems. Firstly, the innovation voucher can stimulate the SMEs’ demand for innovation, as a tool of targeted funding not providing free monetary funds but allowing to pay for service/work (which ensures innovation in the enterprise that is the recipient of the voucher) at par value. Secondly, the innovation voucher could be a catalyst for development including the SME sector of manufacturing, which is especially important in a period when the rate of economic development of the state is directed to mobilizing its own resources and to import substitution. And finally, using innovation vouchers will allow to additionally fund state educational and research institutions in order to develop practice-oriented RIA, as a preference when choosing service providers should be given to such institutions. According to Ilyina and Sergeeva, integrating this instrument may serve as a stimulus for the development of small innovative entrepreneurship, educational and research institutions or demand for innovation, deserves attention.  The article analyzes foreign experience of implementing voucher schemes. The main conditions for providing innovative vouchers within the EU are described, as well as the possibilities and methods of their application in Russia in accordance with economic, territorial and other factors.  Taking into account the territorial features of Russia and the need for relatively uniform development of regions, it is proposed to introduce a regional voucher scheme based on existing SME support centers in each of the 85 subjects of the Russian Federation. The authors have developed a draft provision on the «Innovation voucher» program, which includes general provisions, requirements to the participant of the program, the project and the concept of an innovation voucher and the mechanism of its granting. The analysis of the existing experience of voucher schemes identified their main characteristic features and determined approaches to risk management.