CERN membership ‘missed opportunity’

CERN membership ‘missed opportunity’

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
CERN membership ‘missed opportunity’

A facility at the European Organization for Nuclear Research is seen above. EPA photo

Turkey has missed out on opportunities to improve its technological capacity in the private sector and access to global markets by refusing full membership in the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), according to a report by the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV).

Turkey has avoided changing its observer status to full member because of a high membership fee and claims that Turkish companies did not have the sufficient technological capacity to participate in CERN tenders.

TEPAV has released a report that studied Turkey’s potential competitive power in fiber-optic cables and the optic materials market by comparing Turkey to CERN tender’s bidder countries in regard to their revealed comparative advantage and patent number in certain markets.

TEPAV’s report says that even though Turkey’s comparative advantage in fiber-optic cables and the optic materials sector shows Turkey is in a higher position in this field than China, the United Kingdom and Germany, there are no Turkish companies in CERN tenders.

Turkey applied far less to the European Patent Institute in the information and technology field, according to figures revealed in 2009. On the other hand, the report showed that even though Turkey didn’t join in CERN tenders in fiber-optic cables and the optic materials sector, it applied for patents in the information and technology field much more than Russia, Poland and Lithuania, which participated in CERN tenders. The report claims that being a high-technology country is not obligatory to obtaining CERN tenders.

The companies that cooperate with CERN have many advantages, says the TEPAV report. Some 17 percent of them have the opportunity to enter new markets, 13 percent to create a new research and development unit and 44 percent to improve their technology and international market access.

The TEPAV report points out that Turkey possess required competitive power, and that full membership in CERN will provide technological progress.