Turkey holding EUREKA Programme chairmanship since July of last year handed over EUREKA Chairmanship to Norway as of 20th of June 2013.
“EUREKA is a critical platform which supports international strategic partnerships formed by businesses, research centres and universities carrying out market-oriented research projects,” EUREKA Chairman Okan KARA stated. “Turkey was one of the founding members of EUREKA in 1985. Though not actively taking part in the program until 2006, Turkey has been drawing a lot of attention in recent years with both increase in number of involved projects and critical technologies developed by Turkish companies through the programme,” Okan KARA added.
Throughout the Turkish EUREKA Chairmanship, Turkey moved up to 4th place from 11th among 42 countries
“Every company should think to benefit from the global cooperation and collaboration opportunities in which one of the opportunities is EUREKA Programme whose main agenda is to enhance the global cooperation in the scope of high technology product and processes” Okan Kara, former EUREKA Chairman, stated. “Turkey undertook the EUREKA Chairmanship; it is aimed to become very active towards the number of projects and ranked in top 10 EUREKA countries. As today with a great success, Turkey became the 4th country with respect to project number among the EUREKA Member countries. Turkey was ranked as 28th country in 2007, 11th country in 2012. Turkey is ranked in the 4th place after Germany, France and Spain with 48 projects. Hence Turkey is considered to be the “Shining Star” of the EUREKA Programme,” he continued.
"In the period 2010-2012, 120 Turkish company took part in 42 projects with a total budget 50 Million Euros and more than half of these companies are SMEs which followed by large enterprises and universities. The rising technology area in Turkey is information and communication technologies which is followed by environment and biotechnology,” he added.
Creating tenfold value-added
“TUBITAK is responsible for the coordination of EUREKA Programme in Turkey and TUBITAK aims to increase the number of Turkish companies participated in the programme through organizing international brokerage events, information days and supporting Turkish companies for the development of project proposals” former Head of EUREKA Executive Group, Okan KARA stated. Okan KARA draws attention to the importance of the programme with an analysis showing that 1 million Euros public funding to a EUREKA Project creates 10 million Euros value-added. “Besides, this programme provides crucial technology transfer and international cooperation opportunities to the companies intending to run in the high-tech race,” he said.
Turkey has determined the R&D agenda of EUREKA Programme
“During the EUREKA Chairmanship period, Turkish Chairmanship determined the R&D agenda of EUREKA Programme and developed strategies to adopt the programme for the future challenges” Okan KARA emphasized. “We endeavoured in order to turn the chairmanship into an opportunity for Turkish industry and SMEs through organizing so many international events in the scope of annual work programme. By this means, member states were aware of the R&D capabilities and potential of Turkish companies as well as increasing awareness of Turkish companies about the programme,” he added.
What is EUREKA
EUREKA is a Europe-wide, bottom-up initiative which was established to enhance Europe’s competitiveness by supporting businesses, research centres and universities which carry out pan-European, close-to-market research projects. EUREKA offers flexible and decentralized support for innovative and close to market research and development projects by facilitating access to national public and private funding schemes.
Over the 27 years since the foundation of EUREKA in 1985, more than 4000 projects and nearly 30 million Euro R&D volume have been created. Also participation of SMEs has significantly increased and has risen to 50% level of total participation.
Many important Turkish companies including Turkcell Technology, Turk Telekom and TUPRAS are board members of clusters focused on specific technology areas.