Research themes and prioritisationTop
The Turkish government has achieved significant legal and technical reform in recent years, including the restructuring of energy markets along more competitive and transparent lines. It is now working to identify and use renewable energy resources (RES) and to provide incentives for energy efficiency and new energy technologies.
Despite this progress, the country’s current dependence on fossil fuels, low level of energy efficiency and poor utilisation of available renewable sources underline the importance of energy R&D.
As set out in its main strategy documents relevant to energy, the government will prioritise R&D and innovation in the following areas: support for energy efficiency technologies, electricity production from RES, clean coal technologies, and clean energy production and consumption.
 National Energy R&D and Innovation Strategy of Turkey
 National Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy (2011–2016), Ninth National Development Plan (2007–2013), National Energy R&D and Innovation Strategy of Turkey
Organisation of researchTop
Energy R&D is the responsibility of several ministries and their affiliated institutions.
The Ministry of Development (MoD) is responsible for planning R&D strategies and preparing the Technological Research Investment Budget. This is the main source of government money for national R&D activities conducted through the Turkish Science and Technology Research Institute (TÜBİTAK), universities and other research centres.
TÜBİTAK is the main institution for R&D funding in Turkey, and as such it provides funding and technical support for energy research. The Institute is autonomous and is governed by scientific boards whose members include prominent scholars in Turkish universities, representatives of industry and institutional researchers. Working under the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology (MoSIT), TÜBİTAK supports both industry and academia through its Technology and Innovation Support Division (TEYDEB) and Research Support Programme Division (ARDEB).
ARDEB manages academic R&D support programmes which include renewable energies, clean coal technologies, biomass and energy efficiency.
TEYDEB provides support for industrial R&D through individual programmes on various topics. It aims to increase R&D awareness in industry, and encourages the private sector to invest in R&D and innovation by sharing the risks.
The Energy Institute at TÜBİTAK’s Marmara Research Centre carries out research on fuel cells, coal and biomass combustion and gasification, hydrogen fuel technologies, power electronics and battery technologies.
The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR) is the main body responsible for setting and implementing energy policy and research strategies, especially in renewable energy.
The MENR set up the Research and Development Projects Support Programme (ENAR) which began in June 2010. The General Directorate of Renewable Energy (YEGM) coordinates the programme.
Figure 1: Energy research and funding in Turkish government ministries.
Programmes and budgetsTop
In December 2010 the Supreme Council of Science and Technology (SCST) approved the National Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy (2011–2016).
The Strategy seeks ‘to contribute to new knowledge and develop innovative technologies to improve the quality of life by transforming the former into products, processes, and services for the benefit of the country and humanity’. Energy is one of its nine areas of focus.
Specific spending figures for energy research are not available in Turkey. However, TUBİTAK estimates €42.5 million for R&D in the energy sector over the next 10 years. This estimate is based on figures for the MENR-ENAR programme, which has a planned budget of €21 million up to the end of 2014. The MENR aims to spend T€106 million on R&D by 2015, which would involve a significant increase in annual spending.
The present annual budget for energy R&D is about €7.8 million, or 0.0013 % of Turkey’s GDP.
Table 1: The main energy research programmes in Turkey.
TTGV: Technology Development Foundation of Turkey
* ENAR supports a maximum 80 % of the project budget
** TTGV supports a maximum 50 % of the project budget.
*** The part of the budget related to energy specific research is not available.
Programmes and initiatives
Enerji Sektörü Araştırma-Geliştirme Projeleri Destekleme Programı
ENAR supports energy research in the following areas: energy security; new domestic technologies and their industrial applications; energy sector modelling; and support for converting technological information into useful products, processes, methods, and applications.
TTGV Teknoloji Geliştirme Projeleri Desteği
TTGV supports R&D by companies developing innovative technology-based products and processes. Companies who receive TTGV support keep the intellectual property rights to products and processes developed under the scheme. Investments in infrastructure or production are not supported.
TTGV Çevre Proje Destekleri Programı – Çevre Tekniesleri Desteği
The basic goal of the Environmental Technologies Support Programme is to support useful and economically valuable projects for cleaner production technology. This programme focuses on eco-efficiency (cleaner production), encouraging production processes which minimise consumption of energy, water and raw materials and produce as little waste as possible.
TTGV Çevre Proje Destekleri Programı – Enerji Verimliliği Desteği
The TTGV Environmental Projects Support Programme funds industrial projects in environmental technology (cleaner production/sustainable production), energy efficiency and renewable energy. Support is given for applications that help industry to improve environmental performance, lower production costs and, as a result, increase competitiveness. By giving priority to local technology, the programme indirectly spurs the development of a variety of environmental technologies via local means and resources.
TTGV Advanced Technology Projects Support Programme
TTGV İleri Teknoloji Projeleri Desteği (ITEP)
Under the Advanced Technology Projects Support Programme (ITEP), projects that have the potential to provide added value in various areas are supported from the TTGV’s own funds. Focus areas are:
- Technologies for the generation, storage and distribution of renewable energy;
- Advanced technologies for adapting to climate change;
- High-added-value bio-products made from agricultural waste, and technologies related to their production; and
- Advanced materials technology and precision manufacturing techniques.
Sanayi Tezleri Programı (SAN-TEZ)
The Industrial Thesis Support Programme (SAN-TEZ) run by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology encourages innovation in the private sector by helping graduate students working on MS and PhD degrees. Running since 2007, SAN-TEZ stimulates co-operation between firms and universities by supporting projects likely to lead to new, technology-based products and processes. In particular it seeks to build on university research to create innovative products and processes that address the needs of industry.
National govermment departmentsTop
The Ministry of Development guides Turkey’s development at the macro level, coordinating policies and strategic development. The Ministry ensures the efficient and effective use of public resources.
The MoD provides both institutional and project-based funding for universities and public R&D centres. As part of its budget the Ministry oversees the personnel and infrastructure needs of universities and public R&D centres.
Enerji ve Tabii Kaynaklar Bakanlığı
The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources helps to define targets and policies related to energy and natural resources in ways that serves the country best, taking into account security, the welfare of the people and the strength of the economy. The Ministry ensures that energy and natural resources are studied, developed, harvested and consumed in ways that are compatible with national targets and policies.
The Ministry of Economy (MoE) invests in all development projects that meet the appropriate conditions. Support to at least a set minimum value is provided within the framework of the General Investment Incentives Scheme.
The sectors to be supported in each province are determined in accordance with their potential benefits and economies of scale. The intensity of support also depends on the development level of the region concerned. The minimum investment amount is defined separately for each sector and each region.
The Ministry also provides Investment Incentive Certificates for the agriculture, mining, manufacturing, services and energy sectors.
National research programme management agenciesTop
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştırma Kurumu (TÜBİTAK)
The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) is the leading agency for the management, funding and conduct of research in Turkey. It was established in 1963 with a mission to advance science and technology, conduct research and support Turkish researchers. The Council is an autonomous institution and is governed by a scientific board whose members include scholars from universities and representatives from industry and other research institutions.
TÜBİTAK is responsible for promoting, developing, organising, conducting and coordinating R&D in line with national targets and priorities.
TÜBİTAK acts as an advisory agency to the Turkish government on science and research issues, and is the secretariat of the Supreme Council for Science and Technology (SCST), the country’s highest science and technology policy-making body.
TUBITAK MAM Energy Institute (EI)
TÜBİTAK MAM Enerji Enstitüsü (EI)
The mission statement of the Energy Institute in Marmara is ‘to contribute to the global competitiveness and sustainable development of Turkey by developing new, advanced energy technologies and energy conservation measures.’ The strategic objectives established to fulfil this mission are:
- A broad and deep understanding of technology;
- Technology development, including design and prototyping; and
- Knowledge transfer to industrial producers and decision-makers.
Yenilenebilir Enerji Genel Müdürlüğü (YEGM)
YEGM was formed in 2011 as a successor to the former General Directorate of Electrical Power Resources Survey and Development Administration (EIE). YEGM is responsible for policies and activities in renewable energy and energy efficiency. YEGM coordinates the ENAR programme.
Ulusal Bor Araştırma Enstitüsü (BOREN)
BOREN was established under the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources to widen the economic potential of boron, which is mined in Turkey, by developing new applications for this element. BOREN provides technical support and sponsorship to public and private organisations which use boron products, helping them to solve problems relating to processing, quality and environmental issues, and supports boron R&D in universities as well as the private sector.
Funding organisations at national levelTop
The 26 regional development agencies play a vital role in the structural transformation and sustainable development of the regions in Turkey. By improving cooperation among local actors, development agencies promote the effective use of resources and so increase the effectiveness of regional development efforts.
Regional development agencies provide technical support for planning studies by local authorities; improve cooperation between the public and private sector and NGOs; and ensure effective use of resources and R&D strategies.
Development agencies provide funding for R&D in energy efficiency, clean production and renewable energy. Industry, universities and NGOs all benefit from their funds.
Türkiye Teknoloji Geliştirme Vakfı (TTGV)
The Technology Development Foundation of Turkey is a non-profit foundation which combines 24 private-sector organisations, five public institutions, 11 umbrella organisations and 15 individuals into one institution.
The private and public sectors come together within TTGV to increase the international competitiveness of the Turkish private sector through R&D. TTGV is the first and only public-private partnership to support R&D and innovation in Turkey.