Turkey’s largest aviation and technology event, Teknofest, has received around 100,000 applications from 84 countries, a senior Turkish official said Wednesday.

Around 20,200 teams have applied for the competitions in 21 different categories including biotechnology innovation, agriculture, environment and energy, transportation, education, helicopter design and jet engine design, said Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank.

Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, Teknofest has attracted higher participation than previous years, Varank told Anadolu Agency.

The four-day Teknofest festival will start on Thursday in the southeastern province of Gaziantep and end Sunday.

Varank said the event’s organizers would distribute awards worth over 3 million Turkish liras ($390,000) among the competitors.

This year, the event will host fewer visitors and will be broadcast live through social media platforms due to the pandemic, he added.

Last year’s Teknofest, organized by the Turkish Technology Team Foundation, hosted over 1.7 million people at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport.

Previously held only in Istanbul, the annual event will from now on be held one year in Istanbul, and one year in another city in Turkey, Varank said.

Anadolu Agency has been the global communication partner of the event since 2018, including this year.

The annual event was scheduled for April, but was postponed due to the pandemic.

* Writing and contributions by Gokhan Ergocun from Istanbul

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