www.rdmag.com WINTER 2019 R&D Magazine 27
Russia is forecast to invest $61.94 billion in R&D in 2019 with an expected economy of $4.129 trillion. Russia has the 8th largest R&D budget in the world, above
that of the U.K. and Brazil who have significantly smaller
economies than that of Russia. It has a population of 144.5
million, about the same as it had in 2005—the country actually had a negative population growth from the end of the Soviet Union in 1990 through 2012 when its birth rate increased
to equal its death rate.
Additionally, Russia ranks 46th in the Global Innovation Index 2018, just below Vietnam and the Ukraine rankings, but
well below the GII rankings of the major European and Asian
economies. Russia lacks many of the modern trappings of
today’s high-growth economies. A recent visit by a journalist
to Moscow noted that there was not a single full-time MBA
school in Russia that the global economy could tap into.
Russia’s investment in R&D is only about 1.5% of its overall
economy, significantly lower that the ratios of most top R&D
spending countries, except for India whose large economy and
population biases its R&D investment statistics. About 70% of
Russia’s R&D funding comes from the government, with much
of it utilized by their public research institutes, such as the
Russian Academy of Sciences. The RAS was founded in 1724
and currently includes 1,008 institutions employing 47,000 research scientists in a total staff of about 125,000 people. Russia’s
research infrastructure was severely battered in the 1990s by a
decline in funding and the accompanying brain drain.
Even in the current industries where Russia partially excels
About 70% of Russia’s R&D
funding comes from the
government, with much of it
utilized by their public research
institutes, such as the Russian
Academy of Sciences.
such as in its space exploration programs, Russia lags behind
its competitors due to a severe lack of innovation. Its rocket
engines are still among the most powerful and most reliable, but it has no reusable systems or deep space exploration
systems and is not pushing any technological frontiers. Many
of its major industries, such as defense, transportation and
energy remain largely state-owned and operated with low
productivities that affect the rest of Russia’s economy.
Russia continues to collaborate with other countries to
advance its technological areas of expertise. China and Russia are jointly developing a widebody passenger aircraft, the
CR929. The development project, including the development
of a brand-new engine, is expected to take at least 10 years
to complete. First flights are expected by 2025 to 2028. Some
systems, such as the landing gear have already been designed.
China Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corp.
opened its Shanghai office for the CR629 project in 2017. The
project expects to target markets in China, Russia and other
Asia-Pacific countries after it is put into commercial use.
The combined economies of the four CIS (Commonwealth
of Independent States) countries in our R&D listing is only
about $1 trillion and their combined R&D investments is
about $3 billion for a combined R&D as a percent of GDP of
only 0.30%. Some of these countries have received support
from organizations like the World Bank to be able to bring
their scientific products to market since little science infrastructure exists.
GDP R&D GDP R&D
BIL USD BIL USD BIL USD BIL USD
Russia 4,068.0 61.83 4,129.0 61.94
Kazakhstan 489.5 1.37 503.2 1.46
Uzbekistan 232.8 0.63 244.4 0.66
Azerbaijan 170.1 0.51 176.7 0.53
Turkmenistan 109.9 0.27 116.1 0.29
Total 5,070.3 64.61 5,169.5 64.88
Russia/CIS R&D Investments
Francis Crick Institute—the U.K.’s largest biomedical research
lab—say they are much less likely to remain in the U.K. when
looking at their next career step. Half of the researchers say they
are less likely to stay in the U.K., while only 7% are confident
that the U.K. will continue to attract top scientific talent. Only
10% feel confident in the future of U.K. science.
European countries also lead the world in the percentage of
their populations that are employed in manufacturing, according to the International Labour Organization. Poland ( 20.2%),
Germany (19%), Italy ( 18.5%) and Turkey 18.1%) lead the world
in this area. China and Japan both have 16.9% of their workforces employed in manufacturing and the U.S. has 10.5%.