Turkey spends $2bln on R&D activities in 2014

Turkey spends $2bln on R&D activities in 2014

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
The Turkish government spent slightly less on research and development (R&D) last year compared with the previous year, according to a report from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜIK) on June 18.

Allocation for R&D activities fell 3.73 percent to $2 billion, the report said.

The amount was 0.32 percent of gross domestic product in 2014.  It amounted to 1.12 percent of the government budget expenditure last year, down from 1.28 percent the previous year.

The report said for the budgetary year of 2015, there has been $2.15 billion initially appropriated for R&D.

The total amount of indirect R&D support (tax incentives, exemptions, reductions in R&D workers’ taxes and social security contributions) was $500 million last year.

“The amount of resources allocated to R&D does not have any absolute value,” Mehmet Bayındır, director of National Nanatechnology Research Center (UNAM) at Bilkent University, said. “What is important is how effectively these resources are used. Unfortunately, a significant portion of R&D investment in Turkey is wasted.”

“In order to increase growth, Turkey should reconsider its R&D policy without losing time. Even increasing it to 5 percent of the country’s GDP, in the current ecosystem will not have any positive effect on R&D,” Bayındır said.