The new support programs that will shortly be implemented by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) in line with the 2023 targets has been introduced to the public by Prof. Hasan Mandal, the President of TUBITAK, with the participation of Dr. Faruk Özlü, Minister of Science, Industry and Technology and Prof. Yekta Saraç, President of Higher Education Council (HEC).
Professor Dr. Hasan Mandal, in his opening speech, said that TUBITAK has become the forefront institution with which universities and academia have relation, contributing to the process of determining the national science, technology and innovation policies and generating and implementing the related support programs. Recalling the 2023 targets of Turkey, Prof. Mandal said: "Turkey aims to be one of the top 10 economies. TUBITAK is also trying to fulfill its responsibilities for achieving this mission in a successful and competent manner, within its legal framework and the framework of its mission, and in cooperation with its stakeholders.". Referring to the importance of producing the quality information and the qualified human resources that will produce that kind of information, when we consider the countries that Turkey competes, Prof. Mandal also said: "We look at what kind of support programs the TUBITAK-like institutions in the world have implemented, how they have changed their policies, and what they have renewed. We have held meetings at different times, both in the dimensions of our universities, in the dimensions of R & D centers, as well as in technoparks and entrepreneurs. After our meetings with our researchers, companies, our Science, Industry and Technology Ministers and HEC President, we have created new support programs that we will announce today.”
Prof. Saraç, President of HEC: "Turkey Ranks # 2 in the world in terms of access to the higher education amongst 137 countries "
The Council of Higher Education (YÖK) Dr. Yekta Sarac, in his speech, informed that access to higher education issue is off the agenda of our country, as Turkey ranks at the second place among 137 countries in terms of the access to the higher education. Indicating the World Economic Forum's 2017 Turkey report as the most important indicator for this issue, Prof. Saraç mentioned that there are over 205 higher education institutions and over 46 programs in the Turkish higher education system as of today.
Prof. Saraç pointed out that access to the higher education and the quality of higher education are two related main issues of the higher education field, saying: "Now, today's mandate is to concentrate on the quality in higher education. Thus, we continue to work with an understanding of quality prioritization.".
Stating that Turkey recently carried out reforms in many areas, Prof. Saraç said that intensive work has been done to achieve similar reforms in the areas of education, culture and art, and to achieve human-centered development. Prof. Saraç said, " It is certain that access to the level of human, social and cultural development we want to achieve is only possible through the production of qualified human power and qualified knowledge."
Emphasizing that the most strategic and most important issue in the future is the investments that will be made to the education and human resources at every level within the scope of the need for the human capital that can adapt to the changing structure with the rapid and constantly changing socioeconomic structure and the technological developments, Prof. Saraç said “The major innovations we have undertaken as the new YÖK in recent years, our plans for higher education, our continuing studies and new projects aim to improve the quality-centered growth and all the processes related to it”.
President of TUBITAK Prof. Hasan Mandal: "1.6 Billion Liras was transferred to the Basic Supports”
After the speech of Prof. Saraç, TUBITAK President made a presentation on the “Introducing New TUBITAK's New Support Programs Towards the 2023 Goals". Prof. Mandal stated that about 5 thousand people were employed at TUBITAK and 4 thousand of them worked on strategic and critical technologies for our country.
Stating that the importance of TUBITAK for the future of the country with the great efforts of its employees, Prof. Mandal said: “We have examined how the TUBITAK’s counterpart institutions have developed themselves. Upon consultations, we created new support programs”. Expressing that a total of 1.6 billion TL of resources were transferred in 2017 within the scope of TUBITAK's basic support programs, Prof. Mandal said that the resources allocated for those supports increased significantly. TUBITAK President, stressing that Turkey Ranked # 53 for the Global Competitiveness Index (2017-2018) among 137 countries, said: “Our country needs to strengthen its high technology focus. Support systems are mostly designed with input focus; outputs are not measured well enough. R&D&I activities are very weak. There is no multi-level support system that allows control points to be created via intermediate outputs for large-budget R & D consortium projects. Consulting and mentoring for technology companies needs to be increased.”. Prof. Mandal presented the program titles that the TUBITAK will come up with and provide support in the new period as follows:” Support Program for Center of Excellences, Industrial Innovation Networks Support Program, Industrial Ph.D. Program Support Program, International R & D and Innovation Cooperation Support Program, Support for Venture Capital Ecosystem, Support Program for Technology Based Initiatives”.
In his presentation President of TUBITAK mentioned that the formation of interdisciplinary competence through scholarship programs will be supported, the common mind meetings held with the stakeholders from universities, private sector, public and NGO stakeholders will be continued within the scope of TUBITAK Strategies’ participatory, transparency and flexibility nature and cooperation of TUBITAK Research Centers and Institutions with all science, technology and innovation ecosystem stakeholders, in particular the private sector, will be developed and improved, and there will be a change from a support-based approach to a program-based approach with a focus on specialization.
Minister Ozlu: “TUBITAK fulfills a very important role for the future of our country”
Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Ministry Dr. Faruk Ozlu started his closing speech after TUBITAK President Prof. Dr. Mandal. Minister Ozlu told that he often reminds the leading role of TUBITAK for the development of science and technology in Turkey. Minister Ozlu stated the importance of S&T development not only for today but also for the future, and TUBITAK fulfils a very important mission in Turkey by funding and executing R&D activities. He also emphasized that each person should do his/her own duty in order to take this mission forward. Minister Ozlu also said that industry cannot be thought separated from S&T, and everything we have done today will have a direct effect on our future. Therefore, it is our goal to reach the excellence in S&T development in Turkey in near future. In order to achieve this goal, Minister also stated that all the organizations in Turkey should work together. “Not only to develop a firm policy on S&T but also to enable its sustainable development is very important. We have to bridge science to technology, technology to industry and finally industry to product.” he continued, and finalized his words by stating that they also take the necessary steps in S&T and industry policy level.
New TUBITAK is more flexible, more active, more oriented for problem solving, more inclusive, more productive”
Minister Ozlu stated that the new structure of TUBITAK will allow it to be more flexible, active, oriented for problem solving, inclusive and productive. He said that “TUBITAK is the center and mastermind of our S&T policies. Since 55 years, TUBITAK has been serving to the scientific and technological World of Turkey, and will continue to do this by continuing to be the main stakeholder and most trustworthy partner. Between 1995 and 2002 we have supported the private sector by funding 1159 projects with 490 million TL. Moreover, in the years of 2003-2017 the support become 14 times more and increased to 6,7 billon TL. We, of course don’t think that this support amount is enough. Therefore, we developed a 10,8 billion TL R&D fund within this period. For instance, in 2017 we provided 494 million TL support to private sector. Through Technoenterprising Programme we give opportunity to young people to make their dreams become true. With this programme, we gave support to 2335 technoenterprise firm until this year. Moreover, the support we gave to academia has been risen to 858 million TL 44 times higher than the amount we gave in 2002.” Minister Ozlu stated that by the help of these programmes they plan to tighten the relations between academia and private sector, and finally added that “We will discuss this with the TUBITAK President. I believe that this will suit well to the new structure and new vision of TUBITAK.”
Please click on for the presentation of Prof. Dr. Hasan Mandal, the TUBITAK President.