International experience suggests that maintaining stable economic growth and high competitiveness are possible only through the innovative development of economy, involving continuous quality improvement. Quality is the key to success, facilitating the reduced costs, production upgrade, promotion of the employees’ initiatives, effective reproduction and industrial modernizing, improving the investment attractiveness of not only individual companies but also the entire regions.
Today economy can develop only through innovations. As the president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev highlighted in his article “Russia, go forward!”: “Within the upcoming decades,Russia shall become a country which welfare is ensured not only by the raw material resources but more by the intellectual ones: “smart” economy, creating unique knowledge, and the export of innovative technologies and products.”
Primarily, the above requires establishing conditions that would allow implementation of the scientific, technical and technological developments existing inRussiain order to create products and technologies with high competitiveness.
A strategy for developing science-and-innovation sector, meeting the economy needs, as well as the mechanisms for investing and stimulating innovation process shall be formed.
As an example of such activity at the federal level we should mention the establishment of the “Skolkovo”InnovationCenter, initiated by the Russian President Mr. Medvedev.
Strategic objectives of “Skolkovo” are as follows: high-tech industries development and overcoming dependence on natural resources as a driver for economic growth; improving the international competitiveness of Russia through innovation; giving new impetus to entrepreneurship development; changing legislative and investment environment of Russia in order to attract long term investments.
Achievement of these objectives is ensured by the specific legal regime of the “Skolkovo”InnovationCenter, which provides tax and customs privileges, as well as simplification of procedures for urban construction, sanitary and fire safety rules, rules of technical regulating and terms of interaction with public authorities.
Total financing of the project is estimated at 120-180 billion rubles. In December 2010 the first 16 projects with the “participant” status were identified, 11 of which have received grants for implementation with a total amount of three billion two hundred million rubles.
Companies of the North-West region are already involved in the “Skolkovo” projects. In particular, in the project on establishing aResearchCenteron thin-film technology in the energy sector at the Physical-and-technical Institute n.a. Ioffe. The second project, to be implemented with the participation ofSt. Petersburgscientists is the development of original drugs to treat viral etiology infections and methods of viral diseases diagnostics.
Since innovations are aimed at improving quality, when evaluating the economic effects of their implementation, one can simultaneously assess the economic impact of quality improvement. As for the goals of innovative development, particularly of a region, they can be identified based on the objective of improving quality of products, services and activities.
Moreover, using modern methods of the quality science any problem at any level can be solved, regardless of the type of social system, ownership forms, production type, size and number of personnel of a company. Long-term experience of the author in the field of quality within different socio-economic systems (planned economy, transition economy, market economy), convincingly proves the validity of the above thesis.
In particular, using methods and approaches of such scientific field as the economics for quality, topical economic and organizational tasks related with the development of the “Skolkovo”InnovationCentercan be achieved.
Economics for quality is a part of economics, which studies the interrelation between the qualitative characteristics of objects or phenomena and the economic indicators, covers all areas of economic science and extensively involves the natural, social and technical disciplines (mathematics, physics, chemistry, sociology, psychology, jurisprudence).
Economics for quality is a unique phenomenon: being one of the branches of the economic science, it is an integral part of all other areas, which focuses on the need on incorporating quality characteristics, studied in various aspects. This also applies to labor economics, economic statistics, regional and sector economy.
The ultimate goal of economics for quality as a science is the formation of models, adequately reflecting the role of quality in the natural, technical, social and legal mechanisms of the economic systems functioning.
Current results of research in the field of economics for quality form the basis for assigning the status of a scientific school to a team of specialists involved in research of the economics for quality problems in relation to key areas of socio-economic development of society.
Implementation of economics for quality methods and approaches, including those developed on the basis of quality management methods, will allow to:
— Ensure optimal use of enormous financial resources, allocated and being invested into the “Skolkovo”InnovationCenter, preventing their inefficient spending;
— Efficiently organize the entire process of developing and manufacturing high-tech products of theInnovationCenter.
Thus, given the current economy, innovations shall be evaluated not only in terms of scientific and technical level of the project, but also in terms of quality, thereby evaluating the possibilities of implementing a project and the expected effectiveness from its application. This approach is based on the principles of total quality management, which were developed by scientists of many countries within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The first step towards implementing the above approach is the introduction of quality management system. Such system allows controlling and effectively organizing the process of innovative products development, the financial resources consumption and, therefore, ensuring a high quality of the results.
Vladimir V. Okrepilov
Corresponding Member of RAS,
Deputy Chairman of
St. Petersburg Scientific Center of RAS,
Member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the “Skolkovo” Foundation,
General Director of
FGI “Center for Testing and Certification — St. Petersburg”
Was published Baltik Rim Economies, Quarterly Review//
 “Russia, go forward!”, published on 10 September, 2009, on the official website of the Russian Federation President: www.kremlin.ru