14th Meeting of Supreme Council of S&T in Turkey and Implications for TASSA

The Supreme Council of Science and Technology in Turkey (Bilim ve Teknoloji Yuksek Kurulu, BTYK) held its 14th meeting under the chairmanship of Prime Minister R.T. Erdogan on September 12, 2006. The meeting was hosted by TUBITAK's Space Technology Research Institute on the campus of Middle East Technical University. The Council was briefed on progress in the implementation of the 2006 TUBITAK program, including the developments in the National Space and National Defense Research Programs. Performance measurement indicators for the Turkish national science and technology (S&T) system were reviewed, in comparison with indicators for other countries. Improvement in Turkey's standing in S&T in terms of these indicators was noted with satisfaction. The Council also reviewed Turkey's participation in EU's Framework Program. More details (in Turkish) about the meeting can be found at http://www.tubitak.gov.tr/haberler/remote/detail.php?id=206

TASSA-TUBITAK workshops held in 2005 and 2006 were among the highlights of international cooperation activities in S&T between Turkey and the United States. The U.S. Secretary of State's S&T advisor George Atkinson's visit to Turkey (arranged through TASSA) was also noted as a significant development in strengthening international cooperation.

The Council took a key decision to develop a National S&T and Innovation Strategy for 2007-2010 to be coordinated by TUBITAK. Turkey's vision is to be able to compete successfully in the international arena in S&T and innovation and be recognized as an influential actor internationally in these areas. This will require, among others, improving Turkey's science and technology, and innovation capacity, developing and fostering existing networks and linkages, such as those with TASSA. The Council also recognized the need to have a S&T Attach appointed to key embassies abroad (a measure actively promoted by TASSA and supported by the Turkish Embassy in Washington).

The Council's discussions and decisions reflect that: (1) TASSA and its contributions to strengthening S&T capacity are well recognized and appreciated at the highest policy levels in Turkey; (2) the formulation of a new science and technology, and innovation strategy could be viewed as an opportunity for TASSA to provide continuing support to the development of S&T policy in Turkey.