Making evaluations after TÜBİTAK’s 60th anniversary, Mandal said that the institution, which was established to support Turkey’s scientific studies, started to meet the country’s critical and strategic needs over time.

Emphasizing that the institution followed similar countries and institutions 60 years ago, but now it has become an “exemplary model”, Mandal made the following assessments:

“Turkey is now a country that is taken as an example. Now we are a country that is followed, not following the developments in other countries. In the past, investments were made with countries focused on trade or construction, now technology is spoken. Now diplomacy in the world, ‘what type of technologies can we develop together?’ or ‘Which technologies can we transfer to you?’ “Turkey now uses technology as a tool of diplomacy at the point of positioning itself. We also need to institutionalize to make technology a tool of diplomacy for our country. Our goal is to see Turkey’s power as a country that designs and develops technology during our President’s visits abroad. TÜBİTAK will strive to bring technology to the main axis in the Century of Turkey.”

Mandal pointed out that they have a diplomacy with Turkey based on a “win-win” strategy with countries that are equivalent or in a relatively better situation in the field of technology today.

Stating that there are also countries where Turkey has developed the identity of being a “role model”, Mandal said, “When we look at the countries in Malaysia, Indonesia or the Gulf region, we see that we have more to give than we will receive. This is an area of ​​opportunity for us. In addition, we want to bring aid to geographies where Turkey has extended a helping hand and which are still underdeveloped in terms of technology. We do this not by donations, but by teaching and developing the technologies they need on site. We try to generate income models with the technologies we have developed.”

“TEKNOFEST increased our visibility and responsibility”

Mentioning the support they give to young people as TÜBİTAK, Mandal stated that they are trying to include young people in the research and entrepreneurship ecosystem at an early age.

Noting that this covers an audience from primary school to undergraduate, Mandal asked young people to consider how much that university can involve them in research projects when choosing a university.

President Mandal underlined that students who write their own projects at the undergraduate level directly deposit the amount of support into their bank accounts, and said:

“Every year we include 10 thousand students in this program. We enable them to write and carry out their own projects. We also want them to do an internship with an experienced researcher. The student does not have to graduate to be a good researcher or entrepreneur. We have started to make our high school students work as interns in projects at the university, as well as those who are ranked higher in our research projects. At the secondary school level, we have try-and-do technology workshops. We have established technology workshops in each province. It has increased from one thousand to 1 million. We are waiting for our friends to TEKNOFESTs that we will organize in Ankara and Izmir this year.”

“We gained our self-confidence through the defense industry”

Mandal stated that the defense industry is their locomotive and that they have reached a very successful point in a short period of 10 years.

Stating that TÜBİTAK currently has 12 centers and institute status and has more than 5 thousand researchers, Mandal said that the task given to TÜBİTAK is to develop technology for the determined product.

President Mandal concluded his speech as follows:

“We have gained our self-confidence through the defense industry. Therefore, we are also working to develop solutions for the chip, air-to-air missiles, chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear-type threats that we need in the defense industry in the future. These are technologies that we cannot transfer from anywhere for the security of our country. We have to do it ourselves. If a country is getting stronger, its threats are increasing, cryptocurrencies are increasing. It bears the BITAK logo, but the NATO country can use our products.In the field of cyber security, BİLGEM and our SAGE laboratories, where large ammunition can be tested under different conditions, are accredited by NATO. Thus, NATO countries come to our country to test the products and ammunition they have developed using our infrastructure and technologies. At this level, there are 50 centers in NATO. 2 of them belong to us. We need to transform these technologies obtained in defense into horizontal technology and use them in fields such as health, agriculture and the environment.”

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