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Victor Polterovich 
Different approaches to the formation of a National Innovation System (NIS) are discussed. In Russia, the current attempts of creating NIS resemble “shock therapy” whereas an interim institution strategy could be more fruitful. At the initial stage, such a strategy has to provide creation of mechanisms to raise country absorptive capacity. Institutions of truly innovative development have to be introduced gradually while a country approaches world technology frontier.Factors that influence absorptive capacity are considered. We analyze mechanisms and specific features of economic policies stimulating modernization. It is shown that a system of indicative (interactive) planning is necessary to implement these policies. A methodology of measuring absorptive and innovative capacities is outlined.The suggested theory is supported by experience of “economic miracle” countries. This experience al" so demonstrates that banking system and large corporations play decisive role at the imitation stage. However, the role of small and medium size firms and financial markets increases as a country transits to the innovation stage of development.
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