Obstacles to innovations

Both questioners have a section, which asks respondents to evaluate the problems, which they face in conducting innovation activities. The list of suggested problems includes financial problems, problems with finding managers, workers and other personnel with required qualifications, and problems with access to information and infrastructure. Most of firms in both datasets consider financial problems, particularly lack of retained earnings followed by insufficient state support, as the highest barrier to innovations (see Table 3). In the IET questioners respondents ranked problems with finding experienced management and/or other personnel as secondary order problems, while infrastructure problems, lack of information, and problems with hiring foreign specialists are viewed as even less important than problems with personnel. Interestingly, firms, which conduct absolutely new innovations, appear to be slightly more liquidity constraint than imitating enterprises, and enterprises, which introduce both types of innovations. While complains about lack of retained earnings are similarly frequent across all three types of enterprises, more of those enterprises, which are involved into absolutely new innovations, rank lack of external finance as a significant barrier.

Goscomstat questioner pays a lot of attention to such factors as economic risks. Enterprises were asked about economic risk directly, and about those characteristics of innovations, which may become a problem in the presence of high economic risk. The list of such factors consists of the length of the period, which is needed to return the money, invested in innovations, and the costs of innovation activities. The latter factor can be related not only to the risk of innovation process, but also to the problem that firms are credit constraint. Respondents ranked such problems quite high, i.e. higher than the problems with personnel and infrastructure. Interestingly, when enterprisers are asked about lack of personnel, they rank this problem quite low, but rank quite high the problem “enterprise has a low innovation potential”. Infrastructure problems are ranked higher than problems with personnel. This result may have some relation to the credit constraints problem, though, because Goscomstat ask general question about infrastructure, and not the specific question about infrastructure directly needed to perform innovative activities. Respondents to Goskomstat questioner also rank quite high the question about lack of legislation, regulating innovation activities.