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Nanotechnology Education and Research
Turkey is located in Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia, and covers an area of 783,562 km2. The population of Turkey was 79,749,461 as of July 2012.
Turkey mostly follows a free-market economy with growing importance in its industry and service sectors. The country’s well-managed financial markets and banking system helped the country overcome the global financial crisis in a quicker manner than many neighbouring countries. The GDP of Turkey in 2011 was $1.075 trillion.
Turkey has an organisations committed to promoting and exploring nanoscience. A brief introduction to this organisation is provided below:
NanoLandTurkey - is the first and only central resource for nanotechnology products and services in Turkey. Through this portal, consumers and researchers can utilise all the emerging technological services.
Nanotechnology is a wide ranging field that encompasses many different applications and industries. Provided below are a few nano-based companies based in Turkey and a brief introduction to each of them:
ENTEKNO Industrial Technological and Nanomaterials Inc. - ENTEKNO is a dynamic, innovative spin-off company founded in March 2008 at the Eskisehir Technological Development Region to perform high quality research and hence, to develop and commercialize novel functional, environmentally friendly advanced materials including nanomaterials- and materials systems for sustainable growth.
Grafen - Grafen Chemical Industries (GCI) is a leader in the fabrication and application of carbon nanomaterials, a novel family of materials with unique and outstanding electrical, mechanical, chemical and thermal properties. Products offered by GCI include advanced carbon nanomaterials, particularly graphene and carbon nanotubes, as well as cutting-edge technologies based on carbon based nanodevices.
In addition to nanomaterial manufacturing, GCI focuses on industrial organic electronics, high performance materials and green chemistry. In these areas, GCI has developed electrically conductive plastics, electromagnetic shielding paints, nanocomposite ballistic protection textiles, low-permeability active packaging films, phytochemical antimicrobials, self-cleaning coatings and toxic waste management processes.
Nano109 - Nano109 is an innovative company that specializes in providing nanofiber products. Their current product focus is on the Fineweb™ range of high performance nanofiber-based air filtration products for cleanrooms and other demanding applications.
SAMPAŞ - SAMPAŞ is a group of companies that was founded in 1981 in Turkey. As its last subsidiary, SAMPAŞ Nanotechnology is one of the few companies focusing on commercialization of custom designed nano- and green technology solutions. The main industrial sectors of interest include: ceramics, glass, packaging, construction, renewable energy, waste management, plastics, textiles, and automotive industries.
INOVENSO - INOVENSO specializes in the synthesis of nanofibers by electrospinning. Run as a consultancy under the Nano Fiber Membrane Group (NanoFMG) for nearly 4 years, the company has now branched into commercial activities under the name of INOVENSO LTD structure commercially. INOVENSO LTD aims to become a bridge from academia to industry, maintaining its R&D activities thanks to it's established links to research institutions. INOVENSO's work is grouped under two main areas - Industrial Nanofiber Production Machines and Laboratory Scale Nanofiber Production Equipment.
Nanotechnology Education and Research
Turkey is home to a number of universities offering research and educational opportunities in nanotechnology. Given below is a list of universities in Turkey and the nanotechnology-related academic courses or research opportunities that they offer.
National Nanotechnology Research Center - is a part of the Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology affiliated to the Bilkent University. Their mission is to train experts through a multidisciplinary graduate program and develop new and high technologies based on nanoscience to strengthen the competitiveness of Turkish products in international markets and hence to contribute to the improvement of living standards in Turkey. Apart from research opportunities, the center also offers graduate programs in Materials Science and Nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology Research and Application Center - is an initiative of the Sabanci University, and is an International Center of Excellence providing highly effective multidisciplinary research programs.
Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences - is a part of the Middle East Technical University. It offers a Micro and Nanotechnology program with the following core subjects:
Nanophotonics, Optoelectronics, Micro and Nanoelectronics, Nanomagnetism
Micro and Nanofabrication and Characterization
Nanobiotechnology and BioMEMS
Modelling and Computations
Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)
Nanobiotechnology Research Group - is promoted by the Yeditepe University. The research work conducted by this group involves understanding the nature of nanometer sized materials and development of the techniques and approaches to bring them into desired 2D or 3D structures such as self-assembly. This is then applied to Nanomedicine and Nanotoxicology.
Nano-Medicine and Advanced Technologies Research and Application Center- is a part of the Gazi University and provides many research opportunities.
Hacettepe University – offers Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine (NNT) MSc and PhD graduate programmes.
Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Research and Application Center - is a part of the Faculty of Engineering at the Zirve University. It provides various research opportunities for students.
BioNanoTechnology R&D Center - is an initiative of the Fatih University
Nanoscience and Technology Research and Application Centre (NTRAC) - is a part of the Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University (COMU), and provides undergraduate and graduate student programmes, as well as opportunities in multidisciplinary science and technology for talented young scientists research for the benefit of the country.
TOBB University of Economics and Technology - hosts the Department of Materials Science and Nanotechnology
In July 2012, Turkish Science minister, Nihat Ergün was one of the keynote speakers at the 2012 Gebze Nanotechnology Workshop. The main focus of his speech was to encourage funding for the research and development of nanotechnology, which he believes is the key to the success of the Turkish technology industry in the coming years. He explained further that the country was already developing sophisticated Turkish nanotechnology programs and funding would help speed up the process. His speech was in line with the government’s economic plan of becoming a top 10 economy by 2023.
While the Turkish economy has performed well over the last 10 years and Turkey emerged from the global financial crisis essentially unscathed, their economy has been described as vulnerable due to the potential effects of corruption and an inefficient judicial system. That said the government is backing science and technology development with increased funding levels, and R&D spending has increased from 0.54% of GDP in 2001 to 0.86% of GDP in 2011. Furthermore, they have stated the intention to increase this to 3% by 2023.
In a detailed analysis by Elsevier that looked at research outputs, Turkey ranked 18th out of the worlds top 20 countries based on research articles published between 2006 and 2010 making them a serious competitor. When the rate of growth was examined, Turkey came in at number 4 beating out China and India according to the Elsevier study. In a separate study carried out by Turkey's top scientific body Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), they ranked second only to China. The quality of research was assessed by analysing citation numbers, and again Turkey ranked very well with almost half of all papers cited between 2006 and 2010. Strength areas from this analysis included chemistry, engineering and medicine, all areas that relate to and can involve nanotechnology.
If this trend continues and the government follows through on its commitment to extra funding of research and development, Turkey could well become a force to reckoned with in the field of nanotechnology.
The Heritage Foundation - Turkey
Turkey's scientific research output is booming - but what about the quality?
Turkey holds the second top spot in R&D spending growth