In August, the Russian Ministry of Industry approved the collective classification categories in the field of engineering and industrial design (order 2890 of August 18, 2016) on the basis of the All-Russian Classifier of Types of Economic Activity (ARCTEA) and the All-Russian Classifier of Products of Economic Activity (ARCPEA). Mikhail Gershman, the head of the Department of Science Policy Research Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (ISSEK) of the HSE told the reporter of STRF.ru how the addition of new categories will strengthen the official statistics:
- Engineering industry and industrial design sector belongs to the so-called new sectors of the economy, representing horizontal economic activities. This series includes biotechnology, photonics, the sector of composite materials and the ICT sector. It is estimated that investments in these sectors in the future could have a cumulative effect on the whole economy, so the government keeps them under special control, and provides them with comprehensive support. To stimulate the development of engineering and industrial design of the Russian Federation Government a special action plan (roadmap) was approved in 2013.
First of all, the official statistics can provide the insight concerning the efficiency of the measures of state support and in general the way Russian engineering and industrial design is developed. And it virtually didnt exist in this sector until recently, by the way.
But it appeared. And, as far as I understand, the HSE was involved.
- Since 2014 the Higher School of Economics has been implementing a project in the interest of Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia concerning the creation of a system of statistical monitoring of the engineering and industrial design sectors. The system includes the introduction of collective sector groups on the basis of ARCTEA and ARCPEA, as well as the development and testing of specialized tools of three pilot studies on large and medium-sized organizations, small businesses, and business activity in the sector of engineering and industrial design.
At the first phase of the project, which was carried out in a fairly short period of time, the experts of ISSEK NRU HSE developed a scientific and methodological basis for monitoring and framework of a supervision system. Thus, they relied both on international standards in the field of statistics (including economic classifications) and the Russian regulatory framework. The main methodological developments are formalized in the Development monitoring concept of engineering services and industrial design market (it was discussed widely by experts and public and approved by Order of Industry and Trade of Russia from August 13, 2015 № 2343). Also ISSEK NRU HSE issued the relevant teaching materials.
Three pilot statistical surveys were carried out in Russia for testing specialized statistical tools and assessing the current state and development of engineering and industrial design. The newsletter Indicators of engineering services market in Russia (from the series Science, technology and innovation) presented the results of the survey, which engaged 102 large and medium-sized organizations of the engineering services sector from 23 Russian regions. Such detailed data have never been collected previously neither in Russia nor abroad, on the whole, their results are unique.
Finally, after approval of collective classification groups in the field of engineering and industrial design on the basis of ARCTEA and ARCPEA by the Ministry of Industry of Russia in August, and further putting them into practice of Rosstat, the formation of official statistical information on this sector will be based on existing forms of statistical reporting, that is, without the additional load on enterprises.
The project is now at the final stage, the results of which will determine the development of proposals for amendments to the Federal statistical work plan. We have also prepared a consolidated analytical report.
The main result of the work is that we start to understand the scope of the engineering and industrial design sector, its structure, the main markets (of services), the staff of organizations, features of project implementation, the use of modern technologies and other important aspects.
A pilot survey of business activity, for example, enabled to measure the economic state of the sector in the business estimates, including changes in the level of demand and financial and economic situation of the organizations. These data are very important for decision-makers from the state, in order to understand what effect specific measures of state support have.
What are the prospects for the development of industrial design and engineering in Russia?
- It is difficult to talk about the prospects of development with a lack of historical data. Judging from the export volumes (this figure is considered to be the official statistics from 2000), in recent years there has been significant growth in exports of engineering services (in 2015 by 1.5 times). At the same time, it should be understood that the scope of this market in Russia is small, a few big players, and therefore, the statistical estimates are sensitive to large projects. In particular, the current export growth may occur due to the implementation of several large-scale projects (such as the design and construction of nuclear power plants in Belarus, India and other countries). When these projects are over, the volume of exports of Russia may dramatically decrease, unless, of course, there will be new ones. By the way,
imports of engineering services have been growing in recent years (though not as sharply as exports), and the balance of payments is negative.
As for the industrial design, this segment in Russia is so small that it hardly gives statistical measurements. From this point of view, the potential for development of engineering and industrial design in Russia is quite high. Of course, state plays a significant role.