In December 2020, ESSI institutional member Vologda Research Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary. It is emblematic that on the threshold of its anniversary the Center was included into the List of the 1st category institutions as the leader of the research areas in the Russian Federation. The Center’s scientific findings have been recognized as corresponding to the world level.
The Vologda Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (VolRC RAS) is the only unit of the Academy on the territory of the Vologda Oblast. The history of the Center started in 1990 from a Department of the Institute for Economic Studies of the Kola Science Centre of RAS on studying problems of socio-economic development of the Vologda Oblast. Since then the Center has undergone manifold transformations. In 1993 it became an independent subdivision – the Vologda Scientific Coordinating Center of RAS. In 2009 it transformed into the Institute of Socio-Economic Development of Territories of RAS (ISEDT RAS).
In 2017 the socio-economic research was supplemented by agricultural issues. ISEDT RAS was joined by the Northwestern Dairy and Grassland Farming Research Institute, and was reorganized into the Vologda Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
One of the main achievements of 2019 was the creation of the laboratory of bioeconomics and sustainable development within the framework of the national project “Science”. The laboratory is engaged in scientific research aimed at introducing biotechnologies into the practice of agriculture.
The VolRC RAS Director is Aleksandra A. Shabunova (Doctor of Economics). The Academic Leader of the Center is Vladimir A. Ilyin (RAS Corresponding Member, Doctor of Economics, Professor, Honored Science Worker of the Russian Federation).
VolRC RAS research areas are as follows:
- studying the problems of socio-economic development and management in territorial systems;
- researching population’s living standards and lifestyle;
- studying the issues of science and technology development and knowledge economy;
- studying the influence of integration processes in science and education on regional development;
- researching dairy and grassland farming.
The most significant social research projects of the Center are related to the issues of civic engagement, social capital, social innovation, social well-being, health, marriage and family relationships, fertility, aging population, labor relations.
Today VolRC RAS comprises more than 100 researchers and 5 research departments specializing in territorial development studies; Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization; Research Educational Center (providing schoolchildren’s training, Master and postgraduate programs); 5 scientific journals (1 included in Web of Science); a laboratory conducting large-scale sociological research, and much more.
The Center regularly receives grants from various science funds (32 grants for the period of 2015-2020).
In 2014-2017 VolRC RAS has been the only Russian academic institution in the Consortium, consisting of 22 countries-participants, carrying out research under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission for the development of scientific research and technology on SI-DRIVE Project (Social innovation: driving force of social change). The participation in the project resulted in the collective monograph “Atlas of Social Innovation” (Atlas of Social Innovation – New Practices for a Better Future. Il’in V, Kuzmin I., Popov A., Soloveva T., Terebova S. etc.; Howaldt J., Kaletka C., Schröder A., Zirngiebl (eds). M. Sozialforschungsstelle, TU Dortmund University: Dortmund; Eggenstein: Stober GmbH, 2018. 245 p.).
In 2019-2020, 9 young scientists of the Vologda Research Center were supported by the Presidential Grants Council.
VolRC RAS researchers have high publication activity. Annually, they publish more than 400 articles including about 50 in Web of Science and Scopus.
Developing intellectual property objects is also one of the Center’s objectives (30 copyright certificates and patents are available to date). VolRC RAS engineers have developed 3 computer programs for collective use by Russian research organizations which are in demand in 26 regions of the Russian Federation.
The Center is vigorously developing its international activity. For the last five years VolRC RAS has been involved in joint grant projects with the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Since 2015 VolRC RAS has regularly been holding 3 international Internet conferences with 100-150 participants. To date, VolRC RAS has Cooperation agreements and Memoranda of understanding with research organizations from China, Belarus, France, Italy, Poland, Finland, Hungary, and Austria. In 2018, the Center joined the European School of Social Innovation (ESSI) where it is the only Russian participant.
In December 2020 Vologda Research Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary. It is emblematic that on the threshold of its anniversary the Center was included into the List of the 1st category institutions as the leader of the research areas in the Russian Federation. The Center’s scientific findings have been recognized as corresponding to the world level. According to the federal assessment, VolRC RAS has the potential for further development and improvement of its activities.
Suggested further reading: Personal statement of ESSI’s managing director Antonius Schröder on the partnership between the Vologda Research Center, TU Dortmund’s Social Research Center and ESSI. Please click here.