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Research and Development Policy

Policies to stimulate Science and Technology S&T development directly was formulated for the first time in Turkey in 1961 during the preparation of the First Five Year Development Plan. The First Five-Year Development Plan 1963-1967, had a very courageous target: to use basic and applied research to solve all problems related to development.

The plan did envisage several concrete measures: to promote basic research that would support applied research; to take action to develop research in higher education; to promote private-sector R&D; and to improve R&D productivity; to increase R&D personnel in the public sector three fold, from 465 in 1964 to about 1400 at the end of the plan period, by providing further training to 3000 university graduates abroad at the level of PhD studies; to boost the gross domestic expenditures in R&D GERD to about 0.

6 percent of GDP by 1967, that is to double GERD during the plan period; and to establish an Economic and Social Research Council (Akovali, Mans, 2000:66). ERA (European Research Area) Research in Europe suffers mainly from three weaknesses: insufficient funding, lack of an environment which stimulates research and exploits its results, and finally the fragmented nature of activities and the dispersal of resources (Di Maria, Micelli, 2005: 19). The EU is addressing these difficulties through a specific initiative, the European Research Area ERA, which should allow obtaining the following results:

? The creation of an “internal market” in research, an area of free movement of knowledge, researchers and technology, with the aim of increasing cooperation, stimulating competition and achieving a better allocation of resources. ? A restructuring of the European research fabric, by improved coordination of national research initiatives and policies. ? The development of a European research policy which not only addresses the funding of research activities bit also takes account of all relevant aspects of other EU and national policies.

(Di Maria, Micelli, 2005: 19) The initiative was started by the reception and the adoption by all member states of the Communication of the European Commission (2000) “Towards a European Research Area”. The document defines some of the most negative obstacles for European research activities. The Commission stressed that not only is European expense for research lower than the expense in USA or Japan, being 1. 8% of European GDP, as against 2. 8% in US and 2. 9% in Japan, but that this gap seems to increase on an yearly basis.

Many other problems emerged from the analysis of the European research system: a lower percentage of the European population is employed in research, 2. 8 every thousand of the industrial workforce, as against 6. 7 in US and 6 in Japan; a huge and increasing deficit in the trade balance for high tech products; the lack of skilled and highly educated workforce, comparing the European with the US and Japan (Caloghirou, Vonortas, Ioannides, 2004:167; Banchoff, 2002). The European Research Area initiative mobilizes the public and the private sector in strengthening the European research system through many lines of action.

Some of the proposed lines of action are as below: ? A stock of material resources and facilities optimized at the European level – This objective can be achieved through the networking of centers of excellence in Europe. Lapping centers of excellence should be the first step in order to use ICT and broadband networking to connect them (Di Maria, Micelli, 2005: 20). ? More coherent use of public instruments and resources – National research programs are substantially independent of one another. This prevents them from exploiting synergies between programs.

The EU is called to support the reciprocal opening-up of national research programs and to establish and information system, which allows the exchange of information and access to programs’ details and aims. The opening up of national programs will have to allow a broader participation by centers scattered around Europe. Yet another step consists of the activation of closer relations between European organizations for scientific and technological cooperation for example CERN, EMBI, ESA, ESF etc.

These organization play a fundamental rol in the European research and technology landscape and it would be useful to provide the, with a framework in which they could discuss their respective roles on the European scientific and technological scene as well as their relations with one another and the Union (Di Maria, Micelli, 2005: 20-21). ? More dynamic private investment – an important actor in the development of a European Research Area is the private sector. The involvement of the private sector will be accelerated by a better use of instruments of indirect support to research.

That means fiscal measures would be necessary in order to stimulate private investment in research and development. At a national level there are many successful mechanisms and instruments to promote the involvement of the private sector. Patents are another important instrument that protect the private sector rents from research and development and they need to be reinforced at the European level. To date the European patent system is based on the issue of national patents, which are valid only in the member states in which they are issued which needs to be expanded to cover all of the European territory (Di Maria, Micelli, 2005: 21).

? More abundant and more mobile human resources – Research professional must not only move in an around Europe but also from the academic world to the business world and the reverse in order to improve cooperation between universities, between academic world and the business world, between centers of excellence in different countries. The first step towards a network between research actors in Europe is the mobility of the human capital employed in the field of research in order to develop social networks that are likely to support and strengthen electronic and institutional networks in the future (Di Maria, Micelli, 2005: 21).

One dimension of European Research Area which has been moving forward is the the idea of benchmarking policies for science and innovation. Such studies have migrated from the industrial domain to public policy. The intention is to identify and spread best practice. Notwithstanding the problems involved in public policy transfer, a practice often ignores cultural and framework conditions which may eclipse or distort the policy in question, there is opportunity here to raise the general level.

The Era document lso sets out the goal of promotion of common social and ethical values in scientific and technological matters. The ERA document makes explicit reference to the need for greater consistency in the level of strategic intelligence available to European policymakers where there is a possibility of an integration of evaluation with methods of foresight and technology assessment (Shapira, Kuhlmann, 2003:68). Non-EU Technological Contribution European cooperation on R&D goes beyond the EU with the Eureka, European Research Coordinating Agency programme.

President Mitterrand of France launched the Eureka in 1985 in response to President Regan’s Star Wars or Strategic Defense Initiative SDI. This was scheduled to spend $ 26 billion on advanced electronic, nuclear and space technology and threatened to siphon off the best European intellectual talent in these areas. Eureka began with then twelve members of the European Community, plus the EFTA countries Spain, Turkey, and the European Commission, as an intergovernmental organization with a secretariat in Paris; today it has thirty six members.

In the early 1990s Eureka represented a total research effort only marginally smaller than the Framework programme, discussed next. This is no longer true today partly because of the expansion of the EU research budget, but also because Eureka has become less important. In 2006, there were 700 projects running with a budget of EUR 1. 7 billion and 2760 organizations involved (El-Agraa, 2007:272). The purpose is to promote, through public subsidies, any near market R&D project involving firms in more than one member country. It possesses no central allocative function.

Projects are generated in member states and circulated among members to see if other firms of government might like to join. The Eureka secretariat simply keeps track of what is going on. It has no policy as such and therefore fits the definition of a general or macroeconomic industrial policy. However, projects are organized in cluster (groups of projects in a strategically important area e. g. ICT) and umbrellas (thematic networks specializing in a particular technology e. g. laser and optical technology) (El-Agraa, 2007:272). TUBITAK

An outcome of the Five year plan was the establishment of the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey TUBITAK, in 1963, with a mission to organize and support basic and applied research. TUBITAK is the main body in charge of implementing Turkey’s S&T policy and it conducts a lot of R&D in its own right in several research institutes under its own jurisdiction. TUBUTAK supports, coordinates, and carries out R&D activities for the benefit of the Turkish economy and society, in accordance with the general targets set in the various plans and policies of the government.

TUBITAK reports directly to the prime minister’s office, thus avoiding bureaucratic constraints (Parker, Kreimer, Munasinghe, 1995:52-53). Objectives listed in its charter are as below: 1. Conduct or support pure and applied research in all sciences, and establish institutions towards this end; 2. Assist the executive branch in formulating national policy aimed at achieving the above objective; 3. Identify and make available to the public the methods and principles of the educational process required for these objectives; 4. Serve as central coordinating body for related international agreements

(Parker, Kreimer, Munasinghe, 1995:53) Research groups within TUBITAK are: Basic Sciences, Medicine, Engineering, Veterinary Science, Agriculture and Forestry, Marine Sciences and Environment, Construction Technologies, and Training of Scientists. Its three principal centers are the Marmara Scientific and Industrial Research center, the Defense Industries Research and Development Center, and the Ankara Electronics Research and Development Center. The research groups channel funding, and the centers conduct in-house research (Parker, Kreimer, Munasinghe, 1995:53)

A systematic attempt to design a well functioning S&T was undertaken by TUBITAK in 1983 and outcome of this effort was published by the Ministry of State as Turkish Science Policy 1983-2003. As an outcome of this effort, the Supreme Council for Science and Technology BTYK was set up, consisting of the Prime Minister, the cabinet ministers most closely involved in S&T and the Under-Secretary for State Planning organization, the Chairman of the Higher Council and the Chairman of the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (Akovali, Mans, 2000:67). TUBITAK continues to be the central agency in S&T system in Turkey.

Its headquarters employing about 500 people has Research Grants Committees, Science Fellowship Committees, Divisions for Science and Technology Policy and Technology Assessment. In addition, it has units providing services and specialized affiliates research centers and institutions such as MAM, SAGE, BILTEN, SAGEM, UME and others. Another important function of TUBITAK is the publishing of scientific journals. It publishes a popular monthly science magazine with a circulation of about 80,000 and 12 professional periodicals that publish original scientific articles in various fields (Akovali, Mans, 2000:73-74).

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