Aim for excellence – News

Türkiye’s R&D and innovation success is supported by fully equipped and skilled centers that work day and night to achieve excellence



Turkey has gained significant momentum in science, technology and innovation in recent years. The share of R&D expenditure rose from 0.51% to 1.09% over the period 2002-2020. Among the 44 member and observer countries of the OECD during the period 2015-2019, Turkey is the 13th country with the highest increase in R&D expenditure in purchasing power parity (PPP) dollars. The share of the private sector in total R&D expenditure increased from 29% in 2002 to 65% in 2020. Compared to 2015, Turkey is the seventh country with the highest increase in the share of the private sector in total expenditure of R&D among OECD countries. countries.

Turkey ranks third among the OECD countries with the highest increase in R&D personnel FTE during the period 2015-2019. While the private sector’s share of total R&D personnel was 20 percent in 2002, it has now risen to 65 percent. The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) R&D personnel, which was 28,964 in 2002, reached 199,371 in 2020, and the number of FTE R&D personnel in the private sector, which was 5,918 in 2002, reached 130,279 recently.

Turkey has climbed 10 steps to reach 41st place in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, taking a big leap into the top 50. The country has also moved up to fourth place in the group of low-income countries middle-upper. Additionally, patent applications filed with the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office increased 2.2 times between 2010 and 2020 and reached 18,705 in 2020.

Contribution of TÜBİTAK to Science, Technology and Innovation in Turkey

Türkiye Science and Technology Research Council (TÜBİTAK) aims to develop science, technology and innovation (STI) policies, create the necessary infrastructure and means for implementing these policies, performing and funding R&D and coordinating Türkiye’s international STI relations in line with national priorities in the field of science, technology and innovation since 1963. The institution plays a leading role in the fields of scientific and technological activities of Türkiye and falls under the Ministry of Industry and Technology.

TÜBİTAK allocates significant resources to R&D activities in Turkey. Under the support programs implemented for the private sector in 2021, TÜBİTAK provided support of TL 90.3 million to 3,943 R&D projects from 2,766 companies. TÜBİTAK also provided TL 1.29 billion for 3,720 R&D projects from over 160 universities in 2021. The institution also provided TL 374 million to 24,257 scientists and students.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan laid out a vision for the country’s science and technology breakthrough, saying, “We aim to make our country the base of the products and technologies of the fourth industrial revolution in accordance with our national technology movement.” In line with the National Technology Move, Türkiye aims to produce high-tech products domestically and authentically. TÜBİTAK also plays a serious role in the National Technology Move by promoting and producing national and genuine high-tech products.

In line with this goal, “Türkiye Covid-19 Platform” was established to conduct national vaccine and drug development studies under the coordination of TÜBİTAK. The platform has had tremendous success in developing a Virus-Like Particles (VLP) vaccine and has successfully completed the Phase II study. This vaccine will be used once the phase IIB and phase III studies have been completed. The platform has also developed Montelukast, a drug that blocks the enzymes that allow the virus to multiply in the cell and blocks the proteins that cause the virus to enter the cell.

TÜBİTAK is also one of the organizers of TEKNOFEST Aerospace and Technology Festival, which aims to raise awareness of technology in society and increase domestic production capacity. TUBITAK supports ambitious young students in the fields of biotechnology innovation, autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, artificial intelligence and research development.

TÜBİTAK also mobilizes the whole ecosystem with a science-based and co-creation approach to tackling climate change and environmental issues to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and reach zero. net emission of Turkey by 2053. In line with this goal, Green Growth Technology Roadmap has been prepared with the collaboration of the Ministry of Industry and Technology, to identify technologies needed to harmonize with the European Green Agreement, to increase green production in industry, to support R&D studies in order to develop technologies, and to carry out studies on the dissemination and transfer of technologies.

The agreement allowing Turkey to officially participate in the Horizon Europe programme, managed by the European Union (EU), was signed in October 2021. Horizon Europe, the EU’s 9th framework programme, aims to support activities science and innovation with a budget of 95.5 billion Euros between 2021-2027. TÜBİTAK is responsible for coordinating the program in Turkey.

To raise awareness of science and technology, TUBITAK also publishes academic journals, popular science books, and magazines for children and students to promote science literacy. These are promoted through experimental technology workshops, science centers, science festivals, nature and science schools, science conferences, magazines and books, and innovative educational practices.

TÜBİTAK conducts R&D activities in 23 research centers and institutes employing thousands of researchers. TÜBİTAK Marmara Research Center (MAM) conducts research, development and innovation activities on environment and cleaner production, energy, genetic engineering and biotechnology, food, chemical technology, polar research, materials and earth and marine sciences.

TÜBİTAK Research Institute for Basic Sciences (TBAE) initiates research and training activities on basic sciences.

TÜBİTAK Research Center for Advanced Computing and Information Security Technologies (BILGEM) operates on information technology, information security and advanced electronics. With its experience, the center is today one of the most competent R&D centers in Turkey on advanced technologies, electronics and cryptology, information technologies, software development and cybersecurity. .

TÜBİTAK Defense Industries Research and Development Institute (SAGE) conducts research and development activities for defense systems, including engineering and production of prototypes, starting with their basic research and conceptual design . Most projects are executed in coordination with the relevant defense institutions.

TÜBİTAK Space Technology Research Institute (UZAY) is proficient in satellite technologies, communication systems, remote sensing and data processing, and aerospace technologies.

TÜBİTAK National Institute of Metrology (UME) works in the field of national measurement system to ensure the accuracy of measurements used in commercial and industrial environments and to increase the quality of Turkish industrial products.

Turkish Institute of Management Sciences TÜBİTAK (TUSSIDE) carries out training, consultancy, research and publications in the field of administrative sciences.

TÜBİTAK National Academic Network and Information Center (ULAKBİM) aims to provide computing facilities such as computer networks, high-performance computing and storage solutions, data and cloud services, as well as library and information services , to meet the needs of universities and research institutes, and to increase the efficiency and productivity of their users.

TÜBİTAK Bursa Test and Analysis Laboratory (BUTAL) provides innovative and quality testing/analysis, research and training services to its customers and contributes to a safer and healthier world by building lasting relationships with its stakeholders.

TÜBİTAK National Observatory (TUG) promotes the development of observational research capabilities, aiming to be one of the pioneer institutions in astronomy and space science.

TÜBİTAK Rail Transport Technologies Institute (RUTE) develops new technologies for safe, fast and efficient rail transport and conducts R&D projects.

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