Turkey’s Technopolises with Projects

Written by TR Dergisi

A number of national projects with global impact are carried out at technopolises that are Turkey’s dynamic force.

Technopolis can be defined as a research / business development ecosystem where research-development, innovation activities are carried out in the same physical environment and academic, economical and social structures are approached concomitantly through information and technology transfer. Established mainly by universities, there are many examples to technopolises established in collaboration with university-research institutes, industrial organizations and even foundations and chambers of industry. Technopolis concept initially emerged in the mid-1980s, and the first examples, “technology centres” called “TEKMER” were brought to public attention in the 1990s. The legal framework in this context was reinforced in 2001 when the law no 4691 came into effect, and in the ongoing process, specialized technopolises were established across Turkey, not only on national but also on an international scale. The number of technopolises and technoparks has increased significantly, and they provide employment opportunities to more than 50 thousand people with a total of nearly 5 thousand companies under their roofs. The added value created by the technopolis concept is extremely high. In addition to contributing to national economy, they also play a pioneering role in development of start-up ecosystems. In technopolises, software, computer, and communication technologies are developed for many electronics, machinery, agriculture, medical, energy, chemistry, food, defence, and automotive industries.


Turkey’s first technopolis in Ankara, Middle East Technical University (METU) Technopolis has a total of 125 thousand squaremeters of covered area. More than 300 companies in the technopolis, carry out R&D operations and nearly 6 thousand people are employed here. Technopolis that sold 10 billion Lira worth of technology in 2016, also contributed to Turkish economy by making 1 billion 100 million dollars worth of export. One of the world-famous projects emerged from METU Technopolis is Udemy…


The e-learning initiative founded by three students at METU Technopolis continues its activities today in Silicon Valley, the technology base of USA. Udemy, one of the most valuable initiatives born in a technopolis in Turkey, is a global brand with a value over $ 1 billion, and with expert instructors, it offers online education with more than 40 thousand lectures to the whole world.


Yıldız Technopark is located in Davutpaşa and İkitelli campuses of Yıldız Technical University in Istanbul, and it hosts 250 R&D brands. There are over 50 incubators and more than 5000 employees in the technopark, which stands out with this data. The primary objective of Yıldız Technopark that opens its doors to all industries, is for large-scale companies, start-ups, incubators and pre-incubator companies to carry out their operations efficiently under the same roof. Yıldız Technopark attracts attention with HTMSS that exports technology to NASA.


Yıldız Technopark, frequently mentioned for its global initiatives, is also a source of pride with HTMSS company that has developed the artificial skin with a sense of touch for NASA. In addition, the MIOPS Smart device for cameras produced by MIOPS initiative, is one of the innovative equipment preferred by professional photographers all over the world.


Bosphorus University Technopark established in 2010, offers an inspiring atmosphere as well as well-rounded technological facilities to a large number of companies operating in industries such as earthquake engineering, medical, communication technology, software, design and chemistry. Companies can benefit from services such as laboratory, meeting room, lounge, infrastructure as well as academic and technical infrastructure advantages.


One of the remarkable companies at Boğaziçi University Technopark is REC International Engineering. At the end of the collaboration with Kandilli Observatory, critical maps such as earthquake risk and micro zoning were created for the region including Abu Dhabi Emirate, and as a result, the high technology that enables determination of earthquake risk and possible losses in a considerable part of friendly country United Arab Emirates, was provided.


One of the first technopolises in Turkey is Istanbul Technical University (ITU) ARI Technopolis. It was established in 2002, and it has become a base for investments and projects that have attracted attention over the last 15 years. Known with the slogan “Forward Together”, nearly 300 companies continue their operations in Technopolis, and around 7 thousand people are employed here. ITU ARI Technopolis, where thousands of projects are realized, more than 200 being patented, is also home to ITU Seed which is the 8th best incubator in Europe and the 18th best in the world according to the ranking by UBI Global Incubation Centres.


It is possible to see many successful companies including P1M1, Arneca, Agito, Verifone, Argela, Ingenico Group, Matrix, Atos, ETC Base Software, Innova, Mavi İz, and Cosa. There are numerous success stories, and one is Hitit Computer Services. Established in 1994, the brand provides a next generation of airline, airport / travel software products and services, and among its software solutions is Crane DCS (Departure Control System) used in 210 different airports around the world, which is a pride of joy for domestic and national technology.


Sakarya Technopolis launched its activities in 2010. There are 3 buildings on an area of 50 thousand square-metres and more than 50 companies are located here. Mainly companies in automotive, machine manufacturing, food processing machinery technologies, informatics, next generation web technologies, and electronic automation industries are located here.


Built on a total area of 620 thousand square-metres, TUBITAK Marmara Technopark is one of the leading technology/ R&D bases of Turkey with 67 companies within its structure. Thousands of people are employed in TUBITAK’s Gebze campus, and operations are carried out with an advanced transfer office, pre-incubation centres and departments that provide various technical infrastructures.


The technopark consists of two blocks built on an area of 4 thousand 250 square-metres, and is the pearl of South-eastern Anatolia Region with regard to technology and R&D. There are nearly 60 companies in the technopark established by collaboration of Gaziantep University, Gaziantep University Foundation, Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce, Gaziantep Chamber of Industry and Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality. In addition to being exempt from all taxes until 2023, the initiatives are also provided with various funds and grants.


Established in 2008 by contributions of ATAP, Anadolu University, Eskişehir Chamber of Industry, and many companies and foundations, more than 80 companies carry out operations in the research park. Companies mainly operate in software, space and aeronautics, defence, design, advanced materials, biotechnology, and medical industries.

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