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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.