GAZIANTEP, Turkey

With its solid technology infrastructure and great potential at its bag, Turkey is going to be racing to the top within 10 years, the deputy technology and industry minister expressed his strong belief during Teknofest, Turkey’s largest aerospace and technology event.

The National Technology Move under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has boosted Turkey’s technology infrastructure and environment, Mehmet Fatih Kacir told Anadolu Agency in Gaziantep, a southern city hosting four-day event through Sunday.

The National Technology Move refers to the transformation of Turkey’s technology industry through local and unique concepts created by its own people. The term was first used in 2017.

He also hailed Teknofest as an important event for Turkey’s technological targets.

Turkey has over 80 technoparks — special technology development zones — and over 6,000 firms are performing research and development (R&D) activities in these zones, Kacir elaborated.

So far, more than 30,000 R&D projects have been completed and there are 10,000 ongoing projects, he said.

Turkey has also around 1,500 R&D and design centers while the number of R&D personnel increased by over three times to 180,000 in last 13 years, he also said.

Kacir stated these R&D activities started to bear fruits, first in the defense sector.

“Now is the time to extend the success to other areas, such as energy, transportation, and health.”

Touching on Turkey’s medical ventilator production during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said technology and industry firms gathered to produce these devices, which were created by a start-up company.

With the medical ventilators playing key role in the COVID-19 treatment, Turkish technology firm BIOSYS’ medical ventilator was developed and entered the mass production phase with help of the Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle producer Baykar, defense giant Aselsan and major appliances manufacturer Arcelik.

Turning to the COVID-19 vaccine efforts, Kacir said Turkey is not just an “observer” of global work.

Turkey has joined the efforts with eight ongoing projects, and some of them passed trials on animals and entered into the clinical trials.

“We hope to see results in the first quarter of 2021,” he said.

Therefore, Turkey is now on the way to become a country developing and exporting high technology, he said.

He also recalled that Turkey, which can meet its own needs in every field, is working to produce its own electric train and electric car.

“We achieve similar successes in health, we will see great success stories in pharmaceuticals and medical devices in the upcoming period,” Kacir stressed.

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