Boosting participation in the European Research Area
Since 2002, Turkey has been part of the European Research Area, engaging in EU-wide research and innovation activity under the Framework Programmes. However, Turkish participation rates were extremely low compared to western European countries, as was the degree of involvement of industry and SMEs. Clearly, more effort was required to increase research and technological development activities between Turkey and other European countries.
The project’s aims and core activities
The aim of this project was to boost the participation of Turkish researchers in the 7th Framework Programme (2007–2013).
This objective required raising the profile of the National Coordination Office (UKO) of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), the agency responsible for coordinating Turkey’s involvement in the European Research Area.
To this end, the UKO established a network of 50 influential figures, from universities, professional chambers, and other relevant backgrounds across the country, to reach out to and inform their colleagues about the Framework Programme. Information workshops guided researchers on necessary steps to submit applications.
The UKO also targeted 100 small- and medium-sized businesses for one-to-one consultations in order to encourage their participation in research programmes.
In addition, it supported a number of brokerage and networking events to encourage transnational projects between the Turkish and EU research communities. An online match-making tool also facilitated this goal of bringing expertise together. The UKO carried out a publicity campaign to increase awareness of the Framework Programme.