Developing research

What is the scale of R&D centers in Turkey: where are they and which areas have the most?

Dunya Executive - - COVER PAGE - By Ibrahim Ekinci

The scale of R&D centers - and where they exist in Turkey laid bare

1 How many R&D centers are there in Turkey?

There are almost 800 research infrastructure R&D centers, technocities, laboratories or research centers in private, public sectors and universities. According to Ministry of Development data, 16 of these are thematic and 38 new centers about to be established at universities. By the end of 2016, the establishment of at least one central research laboratories had been completed in 57 universities, with 38 more under construction.

2 Which sectors shine out?

A total of 543 R&D institutions have been established by the private sector. According to the ministry, the automotive and automotive supplier industry has the largest number of R&D centers: 85, 68 of which work in the sub-industry and 17 in automotive. The machinery and equipment sector takes second place with 63 centers, followed by the software sector, with 41 centers.

3 How many projects are held in these centers?

According to Ministry of Industry data, 15,590 projects have been studied or are being studied at 500 R&D centers. These centers have received 148,000 patents and filed applications for another 5,147.

4 Which universities stand out?

The research infrastructure at universities mainly lies in the fields of healthcare, aviation and space, information and communication, machinery-manufacturing, defense and nano-technology. The 185 centers about which the Ministry of Development shares information do not equally represent 183 universities. There are 10 research centers or laboratories at Middle East Techical University, eight at Istanbul Technical University and five at Bogazici University. By the end of 2016, 57 universities had established a central research laboratory, with installation ongoing at 38. There are also 76 thematic research centers at universities, with 16 new such centers being built. According to the ministry’s data close to 90 universities in Turkey will enter 2018 without a research laboratory.

5 How much do universities contribute to R&D?

A total of 4,510 companies are operating in the Technology Development Regions. Some 75 companies in the technocities are either foreign or foreign-partnered. Ac- cording to Ministry of Industry data, 1,497 companies have been founded by academicians in these centers and about 9,000 projects are being built in these regions. The export of technocities, which provide TL 47 billion in turnover, totals $2.6 billion.

6 How many technocities exist in Turkey?

The number of Technology Development Regions, which were established to provide new products and production methods for technological production by bringing together industrialists, researchers and universities, has reached 66. Of these, 54 are in operation and 12 under construction. Of these, Ankara comprises eight such regions, Istanbul seven, Kocaeli four and Izmir four. Such regions also exist in Erzurum, Gaziantep, Elazig, Sivas, Diyarbakir, Malatya, Urfa, Kahramanmaras, Van, Hatay and Batman.

7 How is R&D performance in the public sector?

Public institutions account for 16 research centers. These mainly belong to The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) and the Ministry of Agriculture. The Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center, the Agricultural Research and Training Center, the Livestock Research and Training Center, the Agricultural Research Institute, the Plant Breeding and Generation Avoidance Center, the Climate Durability, Quality and Biotechnology Laboratories and the Seed Gene Bank are in operation. TAEK has a nuclear research and proton accelerator plant. TUBITAK has six research centers. A total of 54% of companies working in these regions are working on software, computer and communication technologies.

8 How much resources are allocated to R&D?

Total R&D expenditure increased to TL 20.6 billion in 2015, accounting for a share of GDP of 1.06%. The number of full time equivalent R&D personnel exceeded 120,000. The private sector’s share in national R&D spending is 50%.

9 To what extent are R&D investments supported?

Within the context of investment programs, two types of research infrastructure support are provided. Thematic research laboratories specialize in a particular scientific field. By the end of 2016, 99 thematic research laboratory projects were completed in state and foundation universities, with 62 projects under construction and 33 projects completed in various public institutions and organizations, including TUBITAK institutes, with 45 being built.

10 What are the regional differences?

According to geographical distribution data from the Ministry of Industry, 500 R&D centers are located in 34 cities. The majority (168) are based in Istanbul, with 58 in Kocaeli, 55 in Ankara, 53 in Bursa, 43 in Izmir and 18 in Tekirdag. Some 47 cities don’t have an R&D center. The Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia region is particularly poor in R&D, with only one center in Malatya. Southeastern provinces have five centers in Gaziantep and one in Adiyaman.

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