Exports of Aegean's first technopark hit $60M
Established in 2002, Technopark Izmir started operations in Izmir Institute of Technology (IYTE) in 2004, becoming Turkey's fourth innovation center.
Yusuf Baran, Rector of IYTE and head of Technopark Izmir, told Anadolu Agency that the center today hosts 154 R&D companies under its umbrella with a total turnover of 600 million Turkish liras (around $103 million).
"We are continuing our activities as a technopark where light in weight but heavy in value products are obtained with the acquisition of knowledge-based high technology," Baran said.
Noting that a vast majority of the companies in the technopark were founded by IYTE academicians or undergraduate students, Baran said that over half of them began their commercial life in the technology development area.
He also pointed out that the technopark supports companies and entrepreneurs in matters such as training and consultancy.
"We continue training and consultancy services for our young entrepreneurs in the region to set up their own high-tech companies and continue their activities," he added.
Baran stressed that the technopark continues the trainings on the branding and internationalization of high technology companies in the Izmir region as a part of a €3 million (around $3.3 million) project recently funded by the EU.
To strengthen the technopark, the center has increased the number of full-time R&D personnel by 15% in the last eight months, Baran said.
He added that the technopark aims to grow up to 35% by adding three new units into operation, which are respectively specialized in the defense, renewable energy systems and production fields.
As a part of Turkey's national technology move, technoparks play important role in increasing the technology and innovation capability in the country.
Turkey's technoparks made $4.1 billion worth of exports since their establishment in 2001 through last July, data from the country's Industry and Technology Ministry said last week.
Numbering only two in 2001, the amount of technoparks shot up to 84 across 56 provinces, according to the data compiled by Anadolu Agency.
Technoparks gather entrepreneurs, researchers and academics to support the country's high-tech production.
Around 55,000 people -- more than 80% being research and development personnel -- are employed by some 5,400 firms in the parks.
Over 32,000 projects have been completed so far in the technoparks, while 9,106 are currently ongoing.
A plurality -- 41% -- of firms in technoparks work in computer programming, while the rest are active in several fields including natural sciences, biotechnology, manufacturing, and energy.