Science, Technology and Innovation in Turkey
TÜBİTAK, EUREKA National Coordination Office
In this article, current science, technology, innovation strategies and visions of Turkey and mechanism of funding programmes of TÜBİTAK, as a Public Authority, will be explained in detail.
The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) is the leading agency for management, funding and research in Turkey. It was established in 1963 with a mission to advance science and technology, conduct research and support Turkish researchers.
Tübitak supports the government in formulating Turkey’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policies, setting its vision to be an innovative, guiding, participating and cooperating institution in the fields of science and technology, which serves for improvement of the life standards of our society and sustainable development of our country. In addition, TÜBİTAK supports innovation, academic and industrial R&D studies as well as the Turkish Research Area with its funding programmes. Furthermore, TÜBITAK develops scientific and technological policies and manages R&D institutes, carrying on research, technology and development studies in line with national priorities.
National Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy
The vision of Turkey during the upcoming National Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy (UBTYS) 2011-2016 is to contribute to new knowledge and develop innovative technologies to improve the quality of life by transforming the former into products, processes, and services for the benefit of the country and humanity.
The strategic framework summarizing the steps to be taken in the context of UBTYS 2011-2016 consists of three vertical axes and six horizontal axes designed to complement integrity (see figure). All of the axes are important for the vision of UBTYS 2011-2016.
■ In mission-oriented approaches within strong areas like automotive, manufacturing and ICT sectors relatively substantial resources are devoted to RDI by the private sector. At the same time, innovation oriented competitive power is planned to be pursued.
■ In addition to this approach, there are need-oriented approaches in areas like defense, space, energy, water and food, where gaining acceleration in RDI is important in the aspect of the geopolitical position and strategic needs of Turkey.
■ As the third vertical axis, there are bottom-up approaches providing opportunities to generate projects on basic, applied and frontier research subjects determined by the industry, universities and research institutes.
■ The six horizontal axes are designed to complement and integrate with the vertical axis.
Funding programmes of TÜBİTAK for industry
Aiming to fasten the process of conversion of the technology to profit, the Technology and Innovation Funding Programs Directorate (TEYDEB) was established to fund the technology development and innovation activities of the companies in Turkey. Thus, it is targeted to increase research-technology development capability, innovation culture, and competitiveness of Turkish companies. In line with these objectives, TEYDEB designs and executes various funding programmes. TEYDEB contributes to the process of transforming technology into the common good, considering that it is the most important economic development source. In line with these targets, TEYDEB encourages research and development activities of private companies settled in Turkey.
The technology groups of the programme are
■ Machinery and Manufacturing
■ Electrical and Electronics
■ Material, Metallurgical and Chemical
■ Information Technologies
■ Biotechnology, Agricultural, Environmental and Food (no thematic restriction, so suitable for agrifood and bio-based economy)
These technology groups were established not only to evaluate and monitor R&D projects in their domains, but also to assist companies to mature their project ideas, give an impetus to them, and make collaborations with academia.
The sub-mechanisms of the programme are
■ 1501 – Industrial R&D Projects Funding Programme
■ 1503 - Project Brokerage Events Funding Programme
■ 1505 – Research for SMEs Technology Transfer Funding Programme
■ 1507 – SME R&D Funding Programme
■ 1509 – International Industrial R&D Projects Funding Programme
In 1501, the Industrial R&D Funding Programme is a general bottom-up programme which is aimed to fund national R&D projects offered by all eligible Turkish companies (both SMEs and large companies). The grant ratio provided by this programme can be up to 60% of a project’s budget.
In 1503, project brokerage events, which are organized by universities, are supported.
In 1505, the programme aims to contribute to commercialization of the knowledge of universities/research institutes by transferring this knowledge to SMEs through creation of a product or a process. The amount of funding that will be provided for projects is determined according to the qualification of the project and is up to 300,000 TL; 75% of the eligible cost for each project will be provided to the company as a grant.
In 1507, the first two projects of SMEs are supported with a higher ratio (75% of eligible cost for each project will be provided to a company as a grant). Only SMEs which are not granted previously by TÜBİTAK can apply for the grant, and their first couple of projects budgets up to 400,000 TL (approx. 210,000 €) are supported.
In 1509, all companies that were established in accordance with Turkish law can apply for funding for their EUREKA/Eurostars projects. There is no budget limit for international projects, and they can be funded by TÜBİTAK without any restriction in project duration. Only companies participating in international projects are funded within this programme but universities and research centers can be funded as subcontractors. Companies receive a certain percentage of their eligible costs as a grant. The percentage is 60% for large companies and 75% for SMEs.
As stated in the National Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for 2011-2016, Information and Communication Technologies is one of the strongest R&D and innovation capacity of Turkey. Concerning ICT priorities and Celtic-Plus research areas, TÜBİTAK gives special priority and importance to the area of telecommunications, new media, future Internet, and applications & services focusing on a new “Smart Connected World” paradigm. As Public Authority, TÜBİTAK is ready to foster industry to submit new project ideas via its encouraging funding mechanisms.
You can find more information about TUBITAK at www.tubitak.gov.tr/en/ot/10/