UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Book Launch - Innovation and Modernisation in Contemporary Russia

16 January 2023, 5:00 pm–6:00 pm

Book cover of Innovation and Modernisation in Contemporary Russia

The Centre for Transition Economies (CNET) at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies is delighted to invite you to this online book launch of the recent book by Dr Imogen Wade, “Innovation and Modernisation in Contemporary Russia: Science Towns, Technology Parks and Very Limited Success”

This event is free.

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This book examines how technological modernisation and innovation policies have been implemented in Russia from the Soviet era to the present day. It discusses how since about 2000 the Russian state has attempted to address the country’s excessive dependence on natural resources by implementing an ambitious programme of economic modernisation, including giving innovation more policy prominence, boosting state funding for research and development and innovation, and emphasising science towns and technology parks as key instruments for stimulating innovation. Based on extensive original research, taking a multidisciplinary approach, and including detailed case studies, the book explains why, despite these efforts, Russia is performing comparatively poorly in innovation outcomes. It argues that a key factor is the country’s political economy model in which science, technology, and innovation policies are mainly controlled and funded by the federal centre of power and led by domestic political and economic elites.

To join the event please use the following link: https://ucl.zoom.us/j/92366983908 


Dr Imogen Wade joined the University of Sussex in March 2020 as Research Fellow at the Sussex Policy Research Unit. She works on the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) and its sister project, Deep Transitions, with focus for TIPC to help develop an overarching data and knowledge management strategy, and to develop a methodology for comparative analysis of the learning and capacity building in all the very different countries involved in TIPC.

Dr Wade completed a PhD from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London (UCL) in 2019 on the role of the state in innovation systems using Russian Federation as a case study. She also holds an MPhil in Comparative Politics from the University of Oxford (2010) and a BA (Honours) degree in Combined Arts from the University of Durham (2005) for which she studied Social Anthropology, Russian, and French. She has also worked as Research Fellow in the Higher School of Economics (Moscow) and as Teaching Associate in UCL. Dr Wade is a native English speaker with fluent Russian and French, and conversational Bengali and Spanish.


Prof Rainer Kattel’s research focusses on organisational and institutional aspects of innovations and innovation policies. Rainer's research shows that successful governments—entrepreneurial states — manage to deliver a delicate balancing act: they are able to create space for agility (taking risks and experimenting, responding to new challenges) and providing stability (minimising long-term risks and uncertainty). Capacity for innovation in bureaucracy is about having the space — skills, networks, organisations — for both agility and stability. His book How to Make an Entrepreneurial State. Why Innovation Needs Bureaucracy with Yale University Press explores the complex and often contradictory positions of innovating public bodies—and shows how they can overcome financial and political resistance to change for the good of us all.

Rainer's research on digital transformation in the public sector focusses on emerging international paradigms in how governments digitalise their activities. The main research goal is to understand how public digital infrastructure and government platforms are shaping public services and their delivery, socio-political and market dynamics. His research is mapping how countries such as Estonia, the UK, Italy, and others implement in highly diverse ways the digital government.