Turkey should strengthen its positions in the development of research and new technologies (AR-GE), Turkish Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Faruk Ozlu said in an exclusive article written for Trend.
“The countries supporting these spheres have always ranked first in the world,” the minister said. “This trend has been observed since the 1960s.”
"The competition in the production of technologies with low financial costs intensified by the end of the 1970s, as far as the role of technologies increased,” he said. “The technologies that meet the growing demands of consumers were developing as a result of the change in consumer needs in the 1980s.”
“However, beginning from the 1990s, the growing demand forced the world's leading countries to increase production and bring high-tech products to the world markets, which gave an impetus to the world competition," the minister said.
Ozlu added that important steps were taken within ‘Vision 2023’ government program to transform Turkey into a country capable of competing in research and development of new technologies.
"The Turkish Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology together with the country’s Scientific and Technological Research Council and the Small and Medium Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB) have developed a program to support and stimulate the development of high technologies to ensure successful competition in the world market," the minister said.
The minister stressed that "Technology Development Zones" have been established at Turkish universities within this program.
Currently, 69 Technology Development Zones operate in Turkey and 55 of them do important research work in connection with the development of perspective technologies.
"Currently, over 40,000 specialists work in those zones," the minister said.
“The incentive centers have been created to strengthen the infrastructure and develop the AR-GE sphere,” he said, adding that in general, over 30,000 employees work in those centers.
The minister added that Turkey has always paid special attention to the development of AR-GE technologies.
"So, the costs of the development of AR-GE technologies increased threefold and amounted to 21 billion Turkish liras from 2004 to 2015," the minister said. “The cost of the development of AR-GE reaches one percent of Turkey's GDP, while the number of employees and researchers who work in this sphere, exceeds 122,000 people."
Ozlu added that the share of the private sector in AR-GE sphere reached 24 percent in 2004, but by 2015 this figure increased to 50 percent.
Two percent of a total export volume accounts for the volume of Turkey’s exports of high-tech goods, which is less than in some countries with relatively low volumes of economy, but with a higher share of export of high-tech goods.
"Turkey must become a strong and important country supporting the development of research and new technologies," he said. “Taking into account this fact, we have started to take measures aimed at strengthening the AR-GE sphere."
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