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The long-term development of Russian biotech sector

Anna Grebenyuk (Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation)
Nikolai Ravin (Federal Research Center “Fundamentals of Biotechnology”, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 11 September 2017




To define strategic directions for the Russia’s social, economic, scientific and technological development in 2011-2013, a large-scale foresight study including the deep analysis of prospects of biotechnology development there was undertaken (Russia 2030: Science and Technology Foresight). This paper aims to present results of this research.


The study was based on a combination of technology-push and market-pull approaches that aimed not only to identify most promising science and technology (S&T) areas but also to understand how they can be realized in practice. Representatives from federal authorities, science and business were involved in the project to create future visions of technological directions; analyze grand challenges, weak signals and wild cards; and set research and development (R&D) priorities.


According to results of the study, Russia has a potential for biotech sector development, although the level of R&D in the majority of areas is lagging behind that in the USA and leading EU countries. However, there are several advanced applied research areas where efforts can be focused. Among them are high-performance genomics and post-genomics research platforms, systems and structural biology, microbial metabolic engineering, plant biotechnology and microbial strains and consortia for development of symbiotic plant–microbial communities.


Concentration of available resources of government and business on biotechnological sector development can help to find answers for challenges that Russia faces today or will face tomorrow. It will help to pick up on the current level of research activities, improve the quality of personnel training, make this area the engine of the economy and carry out the so-called new industrialization of the country, building a new, high-tech device industry.



The research leading to these results has received funding from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation in 2015-2016 (project ID: RFMEFI60215X0007).


Grebenyuk, A. and Ravin, N. (2017), "The long-term development of Russian biotech sector", Foresight, Vol. 19 No. 5, pp. 491-500.



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