Turkey’s RandD outlays rise but still below target

Research and development (RD) investments as a percentage of Turkeyand’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose from 0.95 percent in 2013 to 1.01 percent in 2014, yet the ratio lags far below the government goal of 3 percent for the year 2023.
RD expenditures grew by 18.8 percent year-on-year in 2014 to reach a total of TL 17.6 billion, the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) said on Tuesday.
The government aims to push the RD ratio to GDP up to 3 percent in 2023, the governmentand’s target date for seeing Turkey among the top 10 economies of the world by GDP. The RD investments totaled 0.59 percent of GDP in 2005.
Regarding the distribution of RD expenditures, commercial entities have the largest share, with 49.8 percent. Universities accounted for 40.5 percent of spending on RD, and the share going to public institutions was 9.7 percent. As for the financing of RD projects, commercial enterprises were responsible for 50.9 percent of all RD investments last year, while 26.3 percent were financed by the government and another 18.4 percent by universities. The remaining portion was financed by other national and foreign funds, TurkStat said.
While commercial enterprises made most of their RD investments in the manufacturing industry, universities most often invested in medical sciences RD. The governmentand’s RD investments were principally in industrial production and technology.
Geographically, the west Anatolia region, which includes the provinces of Ankara, Konya and Karaman, had the largest share of RD investment.
Even though Turkey recorded an 18.8 percent increase in RD investments last year, it was ranked among worst in terms of investment in RD by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Turkish Confederation of Employers Associations (TiSK) said in a report in July.
Evaluating the OECDand’s and”Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2014and” survey, TiSK said Turkey is among the five worst countries in the OECD in terms of RD, innovation and the level of technology available in the country.
The government has played a limited role in encouraging the financing and direction of aancements in science, technology and industry, the TiSK report said, adding: and”There is a vast gap between the current levels of RD in science and technology and the national goals. Turkey is in need of a boost in this area.and”

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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