Review by Christos T. Panagopoulos –
The Turkish government aims to increase its federal budget allocation to research and development (R&D) to 3%, valuing at approximately $60 billion, by 2023, Technology Minister Nihat Ergün said yesterday.
Despite Turkey’s fiscal conservatism in light of recent global crises, it did not reduce its budget allocation to R&D, instead raising its allocation, Ergün said during Information Economy Global Forum organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Turkish Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, in Istanbul.
Ergün stated that the generation of an “information economy” would be the most accurate and long-term solution in relation to the latest economic developments that have impacted upon the global economy. He noted that only innovation-based production can create added-value production and that it could assist in counteracting the global economic lull, which occurred as result of current production and consumption habits. All economies should be transformed on the basis of an axis of information and innovation in order to provide permanent and sustainable growth, he added.
The minister stressed that countries should not include information and technology funding as part of any budgetary cuts. “Cuts in R&D, along with the other items, may contribute to financial recovery in the short-term, however, countries need to protect their R&D and innovation targets in the medium and long term. Unfortunately, there have been many countries that have made the mistake of reducing their R&D budgets”, he said.
The federal budget allocation to R&D has doubled in the last 11 years, reaching almost 1 percent, he said. Turkey’s revenue rose from $230 billion to $800 billion in the last decade, he said. “We aim to raise government revenue to $2 trillion by 2023 and R&D expenditure share to 3 percent. By way of this target, we’ll become a country that will be spending $60 billion on R&D projects by 2023”, he said.
Ergün said Turkey had been reformed to create an atmosphere conducive to high production activity and a value-adding economy. He noted that their goal was to reach $500 billion in exports by 2023 and become one of the ten largest economies in the world. “We need radical changes to achieve these goals, we know that we can have competitive power due to R&D activities, innovation and branding”, he said.