Tech-InvesTR Turkey High Technology-Early Stage Investment Fund Signing Ceremony Held

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The Signing Ceremony of new 1514 Venture Capital Support Program, Tech-InvesTR, which is designed to encourage funds to invest in technology-based early-stage initiatives that have the potential to provide added value to the economy, knowledge, technology and products and to develop Turkey's venture capital ecosystem, was held at Grand Hotel Ankara. In his speech at the signing ceremony of Tech-InvesTR, Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Mehmet ŞİMŞEK, thanked those who contributed to the preparation of the High Technology-Early Stage Investment Fund program. Stating that Turkey has a very strong potential, Deputy Prime Minister ŞİMŞEK said: "The whole issue is to strengthen our ecosystem. In recent years, there is an important effort at this point."

Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet ŞİMŞEK : “To Move Turkey Up The Value-Added Chain, A Strong Step Towards Information and Technology Intensive Production”

The signing of the Fund is a reform step that expressed by Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet ŞİMŞEK, said that reforms could be done at the macro level as well as at the micro level. Emphasizing that they will allocate more resources to productive areas subject to commercialization, with more incentive, tax and credit policy in the new period, the Deputy Prime Minister spoke as follows: “We have solved the infrastructure problems of Turkey significantly. We are solving problems such as the physical needs of hospitals, classrooms and the number of universities. Now it's the quality time. Today's signature is a strong step towards increasing the quality, moving Turkey up the value-added chain, and for information and technology intensive production.”

Minister Dr. Faruk ÖZLÜ: "We Will Encourage Venture Capital Funds To Invest In Technology-Based Early Stage Initiatives."

In his speech at the signing ceremony of Tech-InvesTR, Minister of Science, Industry and Technology, Dr. Faruk ÖZLÜ, pointed out that the main objective of the program called "Supporting Venture Capital Program" is to develop the knowledge, technology and product potential that will provide added value to the Turkish economy. Minister Dr. Faruk ÖZLÜ said that “We will encourage venture capital funds to invest in technology-based early-stage initiatives. On one hand we will pair the technology funds, and on the other hand the venture funds and the capital funds with each other.”

Minister Dr. Faruk ÖZLÜ emphasized that the Support Program was designed to invest in “start-up”s, intellectual property-based projects, companies founded by universities in order to commercialize their knowledge and to invest in SMEs, said all of this would increase the capacity of the entrepreneurship and technology transfer ecosystem in Turkey. The Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, gave information about 50 percent of the contributions to the Fund to be supported by the grant from TÜBITAK, said: "Undersecretariat of Treasury, Technology Transfer offices, Technology Development zones, research infrastructures and other private investors will be joined as limited partners to venture capital funds to be established within the scope of the program. The management of the Fund will be carried out by independent fund managers. 50 percent of the contributions that the institutions participating in the funds will pay for early stage technology-based initiatives, will be supported by TÜBITAK in the form of grants. In addition, organizations will be provided with general expense support of up to 10 percent of their contribution. Again in this context, if requested, a pre-payment can be made in return for a collateral up to 20 percent of the total amount that the supported institution committed to the Fund in order to meet the cash needs.”

Minister Dr. Faruk ÖZLÜ stated that within the scope of cooperation, TÜBITAK will open a Call; “TUBITAK will open a Call this year with a budget of approximately 100 million Liras. Within the scope of the call, the grant to be transferred to each institution shall be minimum 2 million TL and maximum 20 million TL.” he said. Underlining that this and other support programs are common on aspects of technology, Minister ÖZLÜ stated that they focused on technology with ministries and affiliated institutions, and they directed all support and incentives to technology-oriented enterprises.

We Will Continue To Change the Structure of TÜBİTAK

The Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Dr. Faruk ÖZLÜ expressed that “We will continue to mobilize for a Turkey that produces high technology and exports the technology produced”. Dr. Faruk ÖZLÜ added that in this period, TÜBİTAK will be much more flexible, solution-oriented and functional institution. We put technological transformation and digital industry at the center of all our policies. We combine our goal of having an advanced industry with our goal of becoming a technology base. He pointed out that producing technology requires strategic mind and action plan. Dr. Faruk ÖZLÜ also stressed that the Ministry will continue to support entrepreneurs. He added that “Our program focusing on transition to high technology in industry, the sector focused programs, localization programs, digital transformation roadmap, automobile project, the product-oriented support of TÜBİTAK and KOSGEB are strategic moves that will bring Turkey to the future. This support program is a product and result of this strategic mind and stance.”

At the signing ceremony, the Undersecretary of Turkish Treasury Osman ÇELİK stated that “The Tech-InvesTR program will be executed simultaneously by TÜBİTAK and Undersecretariat of Treasury and within the scope of this program, innovation and technology-oriented entrepreneurs and SMEs will be funded by the Treasury through venture capital funds. We anticipate that this resource will be at least 200 million TL and we aim to reach a minimum of 500 million TL in total Fund size." ÇELİK emphasized that this resource would be "lifeblood" for the expansion of innovative and technology-oriented initiatives, and said that this resource would contribute greatly to the entrepreneurship ecosystem by meeting the financing needs of entrepreneurs.

President of TUBITAK Prof. Dr. Hasan MANDAL stated that they have been working with the Undersecretary of Treasury for a long time on the agreement signed today and that this program is a product of cooperation between the two institutions. President of TUBITAK noted that this process lasted nearly two years and with this program one of the near-term objectives of our country, within the scope of 2023, is one step closer to the goal to become one of the 10 largest economies in the world.

President of TÜBİTAK Prof. Dr. Hasan MANDAL: "A Program Peculiar to Turkey"

In his speech at the signing ceremony President of TÜBİTAK Prof. Dr. Hasan MANDAL said that: “When we look at our difficulties or opportunities at the same time, we see that the subject of high-tech products is open to development. We have difficulties in the process of commercialization in the Value Chain of ideas from our key institutions such as Technology Development zones and universities. Some of our human resources are going abroad because they cannot make their own investments in Turkey or some investors from abroad want to come to our country. At this point, some opportunities need to be developed. While noting that the need of many institutions waiting for opportunities to be created in these matters is now the most important contribution of the program that has been signed today, he underlined that this program is peculiar to Turkey.

The Difference In The Process Of Realization Of The Program Is That It Is Not A Top-Down Program. A Program In Which All Stakeholders Are Consulted

In his speech, Prof. Dr. Hasan MANDAL, stated that this program was designed by discussing with the universities' technology transfer offices, technology development zones and how many actors there are in discussing each of them, considering the aspects of all processes that are open to improvement and what is unique to our country. TUBITAK President continued his speech as follows: “The difference in the realization phase of this program is that it is not a top-down program, but a program that is prepared by taking the views of the stakeholders concerned. Therefore, since yesterday, there has been a movement in this issue in both the virtual environment and the social media. The satisfaction of the introduction of this issue as soon as possible and the fact that it is just before the Feast has another significance and another meaning for all of us.”

President of TÜBİTAK Prof. Dr. Hasan MANDAL, emphasizing the concept of cooperation in his speech, said: "Every institution wants to carry out such processes on its own, but we have carried out this process together with our Undersecretariat of Treasury as two institutions. Therefore, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this process once again. By bringing the two institutions together, this program was created in a way that developed from the bottom up.”

President of TUBITAK stating that another important issue is the critical process of developing critical mass in Turkey and noted: "The number of Technology Transfer Offices are about 70, and the number of Technology Development Zones are about 77. This is where our critical masses are located. So they are the main actors of this process. As TÜBİTAK, we will deal with this critical mass while we are contributing to it, and we will act together and thus contribute to the development process of the system. In this way, this structure will also contribute to the scarcity of human resources. While coming to this stage, there were the help of many effort, planning, thought. I would like to express my gratitude firstly to our Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet ŞİMŞEK, our Minister Dr. Faruk ÖZLÜ and our Undersecretary Osman ÇELİK and of course the team that contributed throughout the process. I wish our program to be good for our country and for all of us.”

Following the speeches, Prime Minister Mehmet ŞİMŞEK, Science, Industry and Technology Minister Dr. Faruk ÖZLÜ, Undersecretary of Treasury Osman ÇELİK and TÜBİTAK President Hasan MANDAL signed agreement.

Please click for 2018 Call Text of Tech-InvesTR Venture Capital Support Program.