Subject The article addresses big challenges that are important to consider when shaping the State policy in the sphere of science, technology, and innovation. Objectives We focus on analyzing the content of the big challenges concept. Using the case of such a scientific problem as exhaustion of opportunities for Russia's economic growth based on extensive exploitation of raw materials, we highlight conditions for the emergence of big challenges. Methods The study draws on logical and systems approaches, methods of grouping, comparison, generalization, analysis and synthesis. It suggests the hypothesis that a scientific problem evolves into a big challenge when the established system of basic institutions becomes unable to complete tasks aimed at improving the efficiency of economic actors by using intensive factors due to non-compliance with the concepts and laws of system development. Results We formulate the subject and triggering events for big challenges faced by economic actors. We analyzed concepts and laws on system development. The analysis helped us to prove that non-compliance with the laws and the principles of concepts that serve as a basis for government programs, has the opposite effect – a ‘big challenge’ evolves into a ‘big bang’. Conclusions When elaborating government programs, it is crucial to take into account the effect of system development laws. If these programs fail to include specific subject, industry and technological indicators, they are unable to timely identify a big challenge at its inception, therefore, it may adversely affect the quality of social, economic and technological development program implementation.
Keywords: scientific and technological development, big challenge, law of development, life cycle, risk management
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