participants visited in Obninsk in connection with the workshop seemed well linked to potential customers, even though they had initiated their activities through a technology push orientation.
There is one final concern related to efforts to attract foreign partners in the nuclear cities. Zarechny scientists have had considerable success in this regard, widely marketing inert gases and related analytical technologies. As to foreign investment, only Obninsk has managed to attract Western partners that have made significant investments in Russia. While Russian institutes and firms in all of the cities have received grants and contracts from Western organizations, the economic impact of these arrangements beyond providing income for a limited number of participants is small. Only when investment leads to production in Russia, as is the case in Obninsk and Zarechny, will there be significant economic impact. Also of concern is the relatively short duration of grants and contracts from abroad, which does not augur well for sustainability.
The small business sector is still in its early stage in Russia. Nevertheless, there are a sufficient number of commercially viable innovative activities with production in Russia to indicate that this sector should play an ever-increasing role in accelerating economic growth on both a local and national basis.