Some patently good news
Turkish innovators have been slow to realize the potential of a patent. For years we have been lagging far behind the western world. But things are getting better. According to the World Intellectual Property Organizations 2015 report based on intellectual property filings in 2014, Turkey ranked 24th in patent filings, seventh in trademark filings and sixth in industrial design filings. In 2018, we have climbed to 22nd in patent filings, while slipping to 10th in trademark filings and staying at sixth in industrial design filings. And we have done it in a state of economic and political turmoil.
Of course, we should also consider the quality of the applications along with the quantity before we begin celebrating. It is impossible for me to check all the applications, but two recent pieces of news give me hope about the future.
First is a new invention by Sabancı University students and scholars. Thanks to a research effort backed by TÜBİTAK, Sabancı University mechatronics engineering graduate student Doğukan Kaygusuz; molecular biology, genetics and bioengineering graduate student Sümeyra Vural and Meltem Elitaş, faculty of engineering and natural sciences, Sabancı University Nanotechnology Research and Application Center researcher Stuart Lucas and Yeditepe University academic Ali Özhan Aytekin managed to design and manufacture a household version of a biosensor. The team has applied for a patent. They claim that the device can identify if the food that you are consuming is a genetically modified organism (GMO) in less than 30 minutes. The device can also be used in any situation where you need a DNA inspection such as blood diseases, infection or identity controls. It has a dystopian ring to it as well, but I am sure that these devices will be very popular. I think that if they will be widely available, the quality of the food that we consume will have to be increased.
The second piece of good news came from Arçelik as they celebrate their innovation heroes. They have recognized 518 of their employees who have participated in projects that lead to innovations and patent applications. Among those 518, researcher Yusuf Koç got the Innovator of the Year Award with his 11 projects. Arçelik rose to become the 67th company in terms of number of patent filings globally. At the event, they also announced that they have developed a washing machine that will prevent microfibers from contaminating the water.
Both the GMO detection device and the technology to prevent microfibers from contaminating our water sources are globally important projects. I wish both teams all the luck.
We began to hear more about UiPath since they have hired Tansu Yeğen as their country manager for Turkey. He is now the European vice president for the company.
UiPath, an enterprise RPA software company, has concluded a partnership with five Turkish universities belonging to Bahçeşehir Uğur Institutions for its Academic Alliance program. This initiative aims to educate 200,000 students in RPA and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
UiPath will provide the universities with an RPA curriculum for both technical and non-technical students, guidelines and learning materials for educators and access to laboratory work. To enable the universities to promote the curriculum to students, UiPath will also make promotional materials available.
I am sure that these types of cooperation will increase both the quantity and the quality of the inventions made by Turkish people.
Note: Yesterday, the 17th of July, was World Emoji Day. Apple announced that they will release 59 new emojis, and the yawn is one of them. I had always thought that since the new generation is bored so easily with everything, the yawn would be very popular. I believe that we will see that emoji in all sorts of communications.