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The month of November brought new money into Turkey from the Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB investment, worth EUR 175 million, comes to support two of the biggest national programmes that fund R&D within the country – the Academic Research Funding Programme and the Industrial R&D and Innovation Programme. Both programmes are implemented by TÜBITAK – the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey.
The two programmes supported by the new investment have different, but highly complementary goals. The Academic Research Funding Programme is to provide “project-based grants for fundamental research carried out by universities and by public as well as private research centres”. In turn, the Industrial R&D and Innovation Programme aims to facilitate “collaboration between industry and universities in order to boost the global competitiveness of Turkish private companies and further support the development of an entrepreneurship culture”.
The overall objective of the EIB finance is to help strengthen the knowledge economy of Turkey, by providing support for the science system and for the research an innovation capacity of the country. In total, the EIB has made available since 2008 over EUR 1.4 billion for Turkey, for projects fostering the knowledge economy and R&D. Turkey is nevertheless only one of the many European countries that have benefitted from EIB support in recent years, specifically in the field of education (see also ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, May 2012).