Russia’s technological policy and knowhow in a competitive global context

VTT Technical Research Center of Finland Ltd. (VTT), the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) and Aleksanteri institute (AI) are conducting a joint research project “Russia’s technological policy and knowhow in a competitive global context”. This one-year project is part of the Finnish Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities (VN-TEAS) for 2021 and will be carried out between March 2021 and February 2022.

The global technological competition is increasingly intertwined with the growing great power competition. Therefore, it is important to also understand its (geopolitical) implications to Finland and Finland’s security environment. In the past, the debates have focused primarily on the competition dynamics and growing tension between the United States and China. Remarkably less attention has been given to Russia’s technological policy and knowhow. Yet, Russia has significant technological and scientific knowhow and potential. Even more importantly, the Russian leadership has set a goal to take Russian technology and innovation system to a world class. Technological capabilities are seen as an important tool enabling Moscow to achieve its key domestic, foreign and defense policy goals.

The research project sets out to 1) map out Russia’s current technological knowhow and the trajectory of its technological edge, 2) examine and evaluate the effectiveness of Russia’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policies and strategies, 3) analyse Russia’s technological development in the context of its geopolitical implications, in particular great power competition today and in the future. The project will also analyse how these developments impact the international environment, the European Union and specifically Finland.

The research project is led by the Principal Scientist Arho Suominen (VTT). The research team consist of Research Scientist Santtu Lehtinen and Senior Scientist Arash Hajikhani from VTT, Senior Research Fellows Sinikukka Saari, Elina Sinkkonen and Marco Siddi from FIIA, and Assistant Professors Daria Gritsenko and Katri Pynnöniemi as well as Postdoctoral Researcher Andrey Indukaev from AI.

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