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Turkey spent $6 billion for R&D last year

Staff writer |
Spending in research and development in Turkey increased by 13.4 percent reaching 14.8 billion Turkish liras ($6.6 billion) last year compared with the previous year, the Turkish Statistics Institute said.

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R&D spending still constituted only 0.95 percent of Turkey's Gross Domestic Product in 2013, up from 0.92 percent in 2012. The government is making a real effort in R&D, providing incentives in critical areas for growth.

The government is trying to increase pharmaceutical R&D in Turkey, and in 2012 it introduced a new investment incentives program that had four basic schemes to increase foreign investment. Government investment in defense R&D is one of its largest investments, at nearly $1 billion annually.

The European Investment Bank has loaned €55 million to Turkey's Tofas, a joint venture of Fiat and Turkey's Koc Holding for extended R&D. Altogether, the company is investing more than €1 billion in research as it works to create a Turkish car brand.

The government itself has 26.6 percent of the total R&D spending, up from 21.1 percent in 2012. But companies have the largest share of the R&D spending, with 48.9 percent last year, up from 46.8 percent in 2012.

General Electric, for example, is opening a Healthcare Life Sciences Technology laboratory in Istanbul. So it's not surprising that R&D is employing an increasing number of people in the country.

In terms of full-time employment, 112, 969 people worked in the R&D sector in 2013, an increase of 7.5 percent compared with 105,122 people in 2012.

According to the data, 51.7 percent of R&D personnel were employed by business enterprises, while 37.7 percent worked at universities. Universities in the country financed 20.4 percent of R&D projects in 2013, down from 21.1 percent in 2012.

Turkey has a goal of reaching $500 billion in exports volume in 2023, the centennial year of the founding of modern Turkey.

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