Supporting innovative R&D activities by Turkish universities and companies

Science is the most reliable guide for civilisation, for life, for success in the world - Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Founder of the Turkish Republic (1924)

R&D activities in Turkey

R&D activities play an important role in the overall economic development of a country, in particular, given the added value it produces and in terms of fostering global competition. In Turkey, the uptake of scientific and technological activities started in the 1960s. However, the development of know-how, licenses and patents began to impact economic growth much later – from around the late 2000s.

Expanding incentives for R&D activities

The Turkish government has been proactive and exponentially increasing the incentives for R&D activities in the last two decades. The goal of these incentives is to accelerate sustainable regional development and reduce intra-regional development disparities. This is done by supporting professionals in developing strategies for the region, giving technical support, providing cooperation and coordination tools, carrying out monitoring and evaluation and undertaking promotion and communication activities.

Related agencies supporting innovation

The following governmental agencies support R&D and innovation investments in the public and private sector including universities, institutes, start-ups, SMEs and corporates:

  • TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey)
  • KOSGEB (Small and Medium Industry Development Organization)
  • Ministry of Science, Industry, Technology

TUBITAK, founded in 1963, is the leading organisation for management, funding and conducting national and international R&D activities in Turkey. In addition, development agencies (currently 26 in Turkey) provide financial and technical support to public and non-governmental actors in the region in order to improve cooperation between public institutions, non-governmental organizations and the private sector and to ensure effective use of local resources.

As a direct result of the incentives and increased support in Turkey, the number of R&D centres has grown from 20 in 2000 to 1227 in 2019. Moreover, funding to support R&D activities increased by 21.6% reaching in excess of 13 billion Turkish liras ($ 2.49 billion) in 2018 and 38 billion Turkish liras ($ 6.5 billion) in 2019 – this corresponds to 0.96 % of the Turkish GDP.

The dynamic and innovative R&D ecosystem of Turkey

Although R&D activities comprise a relatively minor share of the total GDP, growth in the sector has risen rapidly as a result of the new government incentives. The number of people working in R&D has tripled in the last 15 years with the number of women in R&D reaching 55.9% in last 5 years alone. The dynamic and innovative ecosystem in Turkey boasts a pool of highly qualified leading researchers, R&D staff, graduates and entrepreneurs. Coupled with ambition and a strong desire to actively partake on a global level across multiple fields, makes Turkey a strong R&D partner.

The EU funding for Turkey and our support

As of 2003, Turkey has been an active participant in the European Commission Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP6) as an associated country, having the same conditions of access to actions and funding from the EC as those accorded to legal entities from EU countries. There have been over 1,000 participants from Turkish institutions in 950 projects with around € 200 million of EU funding under FP7 (2007-2013). This number also consists of highly prestigious projects awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) and ambitious researchers under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) instrument.

Up to now, Turkish universities and companies have made increasing contributions and achieved success in being awarded EU grants. In fact, Turkey is ranked the 4th best with a success rate of 10% amongst the 16 associated countries, after Switzerland, Norway and Israel during both FP7 and under Horizon 2020 (2014-2020).

Collaboration with Hezelburcht

As of July 2019, Hezelburcht has been working with multiple Turkish universities and companies to support them in successfully obtaining European funding under several grant instruments (EIC, ERC, H2020). Hezelburcht was carefully screened and awarded the seal of approval by TUBITAK to support Turkish participants with their EU grant applications. We are proud of this collaboration which contributes to the realisation of pioneering and cutting-edge research and innovation.

Hezelburcht has extensive knowledge of European grant programmes and has supported various organisations and universities in applying for European funding. If you have any questions concerning the EU grants and our support, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Connect with our Consultant Yasemin Kaya Uncuoglu for more information.

Get in touch with our specialists!
Or call us directly: 088 495 20 00

European Research Council | ERC Grants
Related grant European Research Council | ERC Grants
The ERC stimulates investigator-driven frontier research in Europe through competitive funding acros...Read more


Get in touch with our specialists for more information about the possibilities!

More information?

Please contact us!



Get in touch with our specialists!