Human capital development is a cross-cutting theme of the Foundation research activity. Relevance of the topic is determined by importance of human resources for efficient functioning of knowledge economy and innovation-based growth, especially in light of the demographic crisis. Application-oriented research in human capital is represented by projects of all scales, from modernization of the education system and higher education, including the task of improving its competitiveness, to conceptualization of the development of different groups of universities or strategic development of specific educational institutions. The Foundation research interests also include social development trends, health industry, consumer trends.
Research of educational services markets is an integral part of CSR "North-West" projects. Projects in this area stem from the research conducted in 2005-2006: beginning from this time the Foundation has been forming its independent expert attitude regarding government policy in the sphere of science and education, trends in development of the education sector and the labor market. In recent years the Foundation implemented a number of major projects for the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. The projects focus on comprehensive modernization of the national education system of higher vocational education, as well as on separate acute topics: introduction of practice-oriented teaching methods, issues related to reforms in engineering education.
Consumer markets (culture, tourism, entertainment, creative industries, the health market etc.) play an increasingly important role in the development of regional and urban ecosystems.
The level of consumer markets development and, accordingly, the variety and quality of services provided, can be a decisive factor in the struggle of modern cities for human resources. Development of consumer markets, existing approaches to planning and formatting of these markets - all these issues are the themes of research conducted by leading think tanks, and are also in the focus of interest of the CSR “North-West” Foundation.
Social trends is an important factor in formation of vectors for development of areas and industries. The Foundation has been conducting research on trends in development of society on a wide spectrum of issues, including consumer expectations and demand, demographic potential, labor market development trends.