Importance The article focuses on the phenomenon of innovative potential of socio?economic actors at different hierarchical levels (macro-, meso-, micro-) through the triple interaction of university, industry and government. Objectives We devise our own toolkit by involving elements of vector calculus and field theory so as to analyze how innovation influences the development of the above actors, and test it from perspectives of defining the innovative potential of Russia as a macroactor. Methods The research draws upon elements of vector calculus and field theory (gradient, divergence, continuity equation), method of analogies to adapt concepts of natural sciences to economics (dividing the above actors' characteristics into structural and dynamic by their substantive comparison), regression analysis to define components of the region’s innovative potential. Results We devise the technique for defining the innovative potential of socio-economic actors at different hierarchical levels through the lens of the triple helix University–Industry–Government. The innovative potential is represented with three elements. The proposed tool kit was tested by examining trends in Russia's innovative potential during 2010–2015. As the analysis shows, the 'University' element makes the most valuable contribution. Conclusions and Relevance Having tested the technique, we assured not only its practical significance, flexibility of the proposed toolkit, but also a method for handling official statistics irrespective of its quality. Domestic data processing is too difficult that it shall be compensated with a transparent and concise toolkit.
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