The Foundation started its work in 2001 with a major research project: “The Development of the Contours of Socio-Economic Strategy for North-Western Russia”
This project was the first attempt to work out a comprehensive strategy for the region as a territorial entity. Among the project developers were expert and regional task forces established under the agreement of the CSR “North-West” with heads of the RF constituent entities in the district. As the result of this project the CSR “North-West” made public the “Development Doctrine of North-Western Russia” - the framework document that put forward key principles for Russia’s development strategy in the North-West.
The “Doctrine” laid the basis for all further projects of the Foundation. Within the framework of the ideology set out in this document the Foundation launched research and design work on several priority areas: spatial development and elaboration of development strategies for regions; human resources; development of innovative economy institutions; energy.
Elaboration of strategic documents (strategies and development programs) for regions and RF constituent entities is one of the most important project directions of the Foundation.
CSR “North-West” experts participated in elaboration of the Concept of the Strategy for Socio-Economic Development of the RF Regions, the Spatial Development section of the Concept for RF Long-Term Development until 2020. In total, the Foundation has prepared over 30 long-term strategy documents for Russia’s regions. The documents were approved by the RF Regional Development Ministry, some of them received awards in the All-Russia contest of regional strategies and programs for socio-economic development.
- The CSR “North-West” has accumulated vast practical experience in the sphere of strategic development of cites. The Foundation experts have launched a series of researches dedicated to modern urbanization process and formation of agglomerations. In 2008 the key project within the framework of this direction was the research dedicated to leading trends in urban development. The research results are constantly updated with the new data.
- The Foundation’s first initiative in the sphere of human resources resulted in the establishment of the network School of Innovative Managers in 2001. In 2002 the CSR together with its partners set up in St. Petersburg the International School of Management offering an MBA program.
- In 2005-2006 the CSR experts conducted a series of researches on the Russian market for educational services. The goal of research was formation of expert evaluation of major development tendencies in Russian higher education, identification of its possible reform scenarios and assessment of the effects of the higher education reform on the labor market sphere. Research results were published in a separate publication. The CSR “North-West” has developed the Concept of the National University in the Siberia Federal District (in the city of Krasnoyarsk) as well as concepts for a number of other research institutions.
- Among the most important CSR “North-West” projects is research in the sphere of innovation economy development at different stages of its creation: from provision of assistance in search for innovation projects and evaluation of the investment potential of the area to elaboration of concepts for specific instruments for innovation development of the area, including financial, organizational and personnel elements of the infrastructure. The Foundation has conducted a series of researches within the framework of the large-scale federal project dedicated to research of the current situation in science and innovation in Russia. The project was initiated by the RF Ministry of Science and Education. The research was also conducted as part of the process of Russia’s preparation for accession to Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD). The Foundation has vast experience of work with such efficient element of innovation economy infrastructure as technoparks.
- In 2003 Foundation started a major project, which has become a serious claim for a comprehensive analysis of the world energy base. The research findings were prepared in the format of maps and published in a separate publication - the Geo-economic Atlas for Global Energy.
- In 2009—2010 the Foundation created the expert position on the development of global energy and became the initiator of a series of public events where industry executives, market players and experts discuss issues related to Russian energy sector reforms.
- In 2010 the Foundation started work on making forecasts for global development trends in the energy sector, identification of promising directions in development of Russian nuclear energy and also created a forecast for development of technologies in coal based energy sector. The research results were summarized in the Geo-economic Atlas for Global Energy. The document, published in December 2011, presented a vision of the future until 2030.
- In 2010-2012, the Foundation continued research on issues related to technological development and creation of innovative economy. Drawing on the experience of already implemented the science and technology and energy Foresight projects, the Foundation experts embarked on industrial and technology foresight in partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia. The project aims to get long-term forecasts for development of global manufacturing sector and technology markets. In future, the obtained results will help the Ministry of Industry and Trade to select Russia’s target positions in global industrial technology markets, coordinate strategic priorities of Industrial Policy with national economy development priorities in general and specific industries in particular, to improve the selection of innovative projects, tools and formats of cooperation with other players in the sector.
- Summing up its experience in regional strategic planning and results of the in-depth analysis of the energy and technology issues, the CSR "North-West" turned to the issue of the development of innovation clusters. Such initiatives emerge primarily in the areas where township-forming enterprises and institutions are located and certain basis infrastructure exists, and there is a strong need for new forms and instruments for development of not only the enterprises but also of the areas that depend upon these enterprise. The goal set by the CSR "North-West" experts is not only to provide methodology for the cluster formation, but also to establish comprehensive communication between all stakeholders - organizers, government agencies and potential participants. The Foundation representatives are members of the innovation cluster councils and provide consulting support for establishment of clusters in shipbuilding, radiology, aerospace, nuclear and space technology sectors.
- Russia’s Northwest, and the city of St. Petersburg, in particular, remain one of the main focuses of the CSR “North-West” activities. The work on elaboration of strategic development documents for the Northwest areas was continued by publication of the report "The Potential for Socio-Economic Development of St. Petersburg until 2020: Possible Strategies”. Within the framework of the preparation of the report the CSR “North-West” experts analyzed the economic development results of St. Petersburg for the last 20 years, reviewed accumulated problems, deficits and challenges. The goal of the research was to identify priority development areas for the city with due consideration of major global trends in development of cities and megalopolises and major trends in global economic development. The Foundation presented its vision of strategic development priorities for St. Petersburg at expert and public discussions about the city’s future, conducted in 2010-2012.