The Penza region: driven by innovation

The Penza region is promoting the four I's' formula for success (Institutions, Infrastructure, Investment, and Innovation) proposed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. It describes well its social and economic development strategy.

"We are determined to create modern institutes and a well-developed infrastructure in order to unlock our potential," says Vasiliy Bochkarev, the governor of the Penza Region. "Our advantages are a favourable climate, thousands hectares of fertile soil, sufficient mineral resources, forests and water. In addition to these, the region boasts of a well-developed transport infrastructure, high industrial potential and education. Our education and retraining system allows us to quickly train specialists of any level. Besides training, the leading Penza colleges and universities create innovative products contributing to the industry development.

In 2007, over 30 % of all innovative products sold by Penza industrial enterprises were exported. The regional innovation system relies upon over thirty Russian industrial enterprises and seven research institutes. Sixteen of these are in the list of strategic facilities. Smaller innovation companies are making good progress too. Over the first 9 months of 2008, the industrial production index of the Penza Region has reached 112.2 % year-on-year. The share of capital investment has increased on 38 % in 2008, and of private investment per capita has risen by 33 %.

In order to further promote innovative development in the region, the government of the Penza Region is implementing institutional reforms: building up infrastructure for innovative enterprises, designing financial framework to support innovative development, fostering new manufacturing and management techniques. As the role of innovations in the regional economy grows, so does the volume of investments. In terms of investment growth, the Penza Region is high on the list in the Volga Federal District. These figures confirm, that the region is providing one of the best launch pads for investment and innovative development.

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