Excitement for Turkey Innovation Week Increases Incrementally

The activities within the scope of “Turkey Innovation Week” which was organized by the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) this year for the fourth time were performed in Istanbul Congress Center on the date of December 3-4-5.

Mehmet Büyükekşi, the Chairman of TIM, stating “Unlimited innovation, unlimited potential” also said about the innovative thinking: “If we become the source of inspiration for just one person in these activities, if we lead just one person to think differently, then we believe that we have become successful”.

Maurits van Oranje-Nassau, the Prince of the Netherlands which is the partner country of Turkey Innovation Week, called attention to three important factors for the innovation, and he explained them as a perfect idea, a distinguished team and a highly-qualified ecosystem. 

“Turkey Innovation Week” organized for the fourth time by the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) presenting a new vision in innovation, design and branding in Turkey was held with the slogan of “Unlimited innovation, unlimited potential”.

Mehmet Büyükekşi, the Chairman of TIM, started his opening speech by stating: “An Indian guru said: 'You are not necessarily supposed to change the world, just change yourself, then you will start to reform the world because you are a part of it. If only one person changes himself/herself, this alteration will reach thousands of people.' By this way, if we manage to become the source of inspiration for just one person in these activities, if we lead just one person to think differently, then we will believe that we have become successful. Later on, he mentioned their objectives of change on course for innovation. 

The activities lasting for 3 days in Istanbul Congress Center were carried out with the participation of numerous renowned national and international innovation leaders and with the contribution of the Ministry of Economy, the organization of TIM, the sponsorship of Arçelik A.Ş., TEB, Sabancı Holding, Turkish Airlines and Turkcell, and the support of the Netherlands, partner country. Students, academicians, entrepreneurs and the representatives of business world showed great interest in Turkey Innovation Week on the first day.

 “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”.

Chairman of TIM Büyükekşi reminded Einstein's following remarks: “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”, and he leaded the way for the young generation by stating: “Innovative people make more mistakes than less creative individuals because they have many ideas in their heads to pursue. Our young people should not be afraid of making mistakes, and they should not forget that innovation can only become possible with patience”.

Büyükekşi also said that they would maintain their efforts till the end in order that innovation culture could spread out, and he kept on by addressing the young people: 

 “As the young generation, you will carry Turkey into the future. We will export the technology, the innovation and the future to the outer world with the help of the dynamism of our young people. We will also produce technology. We will not be contented only with following the trends. We will set new trends, as well”.

Think differently, create difference

Büyükekşi underlined that the innovation did not only consist of nanotechnology, futurism and technology. He also remarked: “Innovation means adding values. If you can add value to a product, a process or an idea, then you can make innovation. If we manage to catch a sparkle in the imaginary world of only one person among you, if we could spread the seeds of innovative idea, if we could open the road for innovative initiatives, then we will able to reach our objective. I especially address our young people: leave behind the people saying that 'you cannot do', just focus on your inner voice. Be different, think differently, and create difference”. 

Innovation tips from the Prince of the Netherlands

Maurits van Oranje-Nassau, the Prince of the Netherlands, participating in the activities stated in his speech: “there factors come into question for a successful innovation. Everything starts with big ideas and groundbreaking technologies. These elements are mostly the outcome of the investments in research and development made throughout many years. And the second factor is the cooperation. For a successful innovation, you need a perfect idea and a skillful team to put it into practice. The third key factor of the success is the money, in other words, a highly-qualified ecosystem. You are required to have enough seeds, a field and fertilizers in order that the crops can grow up. In this context, the fertilizer is the initiative capital. And this capital should be well-structured and abundant”.

 TIM -Shell Eco-marathon awards are given

In another stage of the activities, Turkey awards were given to their owners in Shell Eco-marathon competition. The marathon which was organized for the first time this year with the cooperation of Shell Turkey, Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) and Uludağ Automotive Industry Exporters' Association (OIB) was performed in order to encourage the engineers of the future to design and produce energy-efficient automobiles. “Energy Technologies Team” from Karadeniz Technical University ranked first in Turkey in the competition. The team from KTU received the award from Mehmet Büyükekşi, the Chairman of TIM, Ahmet Erdem, the Chairman of Shell Turkey and Ömer Burhanoğlu, the Chairman of TIM Automotive Sector Group. The vehicle designed by “Energy Technologies Team” ranked first in Shell Eco-Marathon by going 144 km with 1kWs electricity which costs approximately 0.50 TRY. Moreover, Gediz University received “Innovation Award, Ankara University “Design Award”, Yıldız Technical University “Security Award”, Terakki Schools “Team Spirit Award”, and Konya Diltaş High School “Promising Team”.

 “Extraordinary Women” are strongly applauded in the Innovation Week 

3 extraordinary women gathered in “Extraordinary Women” panel organized within the scope of “Turkey Innovation Week”. In the panel moderated by Şelale Kadak, columnist in Sabah Newspaper, 3 crazy female inventors from Turkey were strongly applauded due to their contributions to the science.

Canan Dağdeviren, known as “Crazy Turkish girl” by the Americans and inventing the “Wearable Pacemaker”, mentioned the important inventions that she introduced in the scientific world. Canan Dağdeviren ranked among 30 scientists under the age of 35 announced in Forbes published in the USA. Canan Dağdeviren also became famous with her scientific studies in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and she was the first Turkish scientist selected as a young academy member of Harvard University.

Canan Dağdeviren made a speech in Turkey Innovation Week, and she said that the wearable pacemaker, which excited the scientific world enormously, was her childhood dream. She also stated: “Wearable Pacemaker transforms heartbeat energy into electric power. The heart does not feel the device which is hundred times thinner than the hair”.

Robots in many parts of daily life

Binnur Görer, Workout Trainer and Inventor of Humanoid Robots, was another scientist giving speech in the panel and appreciated by the audience. She explained the roles of the robots in our daily life and their future. Görer said that she made research in the section of artificial intelligence within the scope of computer engineering, and she continued as follows:

 “We use robotic applications in the fields of Education, Home Service, Search and Rescue, and Elderly Care. Robots can make contribution to the success of our children by teaching them lessons. Again, the Home Service robots can help you to control your house when you are on vacation. They can also assist the elders to make exercises. Search and Rescue robots may become useful assistants in specific situations which are of vital importance during disasters”.

Application opening the gates of cinema for the blind

In the panel organized within the scope of Turkey Innovation Week, Duygu Kayaman, Project Leader of Young Guru Academy (YGA), stated that she strived to eliminate the problems encountered by the blind in social life by means of the Dream Companion system. Karaman explained that the system was working in Shopping Malls and cinemas, and she remarked: “The Dream Companion System possesses 150 000 users, today. When the blind people go to shopping malls, they can receive necessary information about the shops in front of them by means of this system. They can also understand the films was if they were watching it through the system which can be used in every cinema in Turkey”.

 Cancer will be diagnosed by swallowing Nano pills

 Dave Blank, Chief Scientific Ambassador of the University of Twente, emphasized that significant innovations were realized in the field of nanotechnology in these days. Blank underlined that very small objects could be produced by means of nanotechnology, and he stated: “the name of nanotechnology excites us to a great extent because we can reach very small dimensions which help us to examine the most significant resources of the life such as DNA, red blood cells etc. through nanotechnology”.

TIM “Social Innovation Awards” are given to their owners

TIM “Social Innovation Awards” are given to Cemil Cihan Özalevli with his project entitled “a principle together” using the method of “taking 1 TRY from 100 000 people instead of taking 100 000 TRY from just one person”, to “Science Kit” project carried out with the cooperation of YGA-Arçelik, and “My Dream Companion” project carried out with the cooperation of YGA-Turkcell. Mehmet Büyükekşi, the Chairman of TIM, gave the awards to their owners.

The second day of Turkey Innovation Week started with the greeting of INTEL robot saying “good morning”. Moreover, the owners of successful projects in Robotic Technologies Competition were awarded during the activities, and a protocol was concluded between Turkey and the Netherlands for a cooperation in innovation.

Click to see the photos on the first day.

  'To the Future with my Robot”

Mehmet Büyükekşi, the Chairman of TIM, and Akif Çağatay Kılıç, the Minister of Youth and Sports gave the awards to the successful projects chosen out of 21 finalist projects in the Robotic Technologies Competition which was organized with the cooperation of TIM and INTEL. In the general category, Shining Team ranked first with their project of “Wheelchair Moving through Brain Signals”, Entrepreneurs from METU ranked second with their project of “Activity Robot for Scirobot Patients”, and TAKEV Robot Club ranked third with their project of “Sensor Glasses for the Blind”. In the category of Young Inventors, Eray Aktokluk ranked first with his “Bionic Arm Robot Making Needlework”, Tekno Maçka Team ranked second with their project of “Autonomous Bionic Arm Robot”, and the students of Sinop Ayancık Vocational and Technical High School ranked third with their project of “Robotic Software Hovercraft Moving in the Water and on the Ground”.

 Significant Cooperation between Turkey and the Netherlands

Another important event of the second day was the signing ceremony for “Turkey – Netherlands Innovation Platform” concluded in order to provide technology transfer between Turkey and the Netherlands. Mehmet Büyükekşi, the Chairman of TIM, and Cornelis van Rij, the Ambassador of the Netherlands, witnessed the signature of the agreement concluded by Prof. Dr. Orkun Hasekioğlu, Vice Chairman of TUBITAK, and Jasper Wesseling, Deputy Director-General for Enterprise and Innovation, Ministry of Economic Affairs. Important messages were given within the scope of the cooperation made so as to establish a common innovation platform between the two countries. It is aimed to increase the efficiency of certain sectors such as energy and logistics as well as the entrepreneur companies by means of this cooperation made for innovation between Turkey and the Netherlands.

 Everything is human-based

Akif Çağatay Kılıç, the Minister of Youth and Sports, participating in the activities also emphasized that they started the young entrepreneurs program in Turkey, and he mentioned the competition of robots. Kılıç stated: “Robots can do anything to be done with the help of people. Accordingly, human is always in the center of any effort. For this reason, the contribution to the self-development of people is of vital importance. An effort does not make sense in a place where no human is present. Therefore, everything displayed in Innovation week is related to people”, and he wanted young people to take this path.

  'Innovative' clues from business world and scientific world

 'Turkey Innovation Week' welcomed many famous guests such as Ali Koç, Hüsnü Özyeğin, Easton LaChappelle (the Miracle Boy), Chris Hadfield, Astronaut of the International Space Station. 

Ali Koç underlined that Turkish people possessed entrepreneurial spirit, and that they could reach this position today with the help of his grandfather Vehbi Koç's entrepreneurial spirit. He also stated: “As Turkey, we need to create brands firstly in the region, then in the world. We are on the right track, but there is a long way to go. At this point, the approach of the public is quite important. The figures are not so pleasant. We are in the 58th place among 141 countries in Global Innovation Index. Three years ago, we were in the 74th place. This is the indication showing that we are on the right track”.

 The robot which is the most similar to the human structure is about to be developed

Ali Koç also mentioned a project that they developed for the disabled, and he remarked: “The biggest problem encountered in the robotic hands developed today is the existence of 25 sensors in a hand. This means that robotic hands can hold something but they cannot tie shoelaces or fishing lines. We have made an investment in the USA in order to develop a robotic hand which will give a tactile sensation that will be the most similar to a human hand. At this moment, we can place 24 sensors in one centimeter-square. If we can manage it, this means that we have invented a robotic hand giving a sense of touch which is the closest to the sense of a human hand”.

 Obama shakes hands with the robotic arm designed by the Miracle Boy

Easton Lachapelle, the miracle boy leading the technogical world at the age of 17, was the guest of Turkey Innovation Week. Barack Obama, the President of the United States, invited Easton Lachapelle, who changed the human world with the robotic hands and arms that he invented, to the White House, and he shaked hands with the robotic arm. Lachapelle narrated his successes starting from his first journey to the scientific world and extending to the establishment of the company of Unlimited Tomorrow, and he expressed that he was always in the search for new projects.

 Glance to the world from the space

The man who waved hand to the world from the space enlivened the Turkey Innovation Week. The speech of Chris Hadfield, the Astronaut of the International Space Station, and the blast-off of the space vehicle were watched with great interest in the Turkey Innovation Week. Hadfield emphasized that the fantasies about innovation could be realized, and he stated: “There was no astronaut in Canada. There was no space program, as well. I watched the film entitled Space Odyssey when I was 9 years old. My imagination improved to the great extent, and I decided to be an astronaut. I have become the first person from Canada who walked in the space. I turned around the world ten times. I dived to the deep ocean. I flied F 18. Nothing is like walking in the space. When you look at the world from that point, you feel like as if you are holding 7 billion people in your hand”.

Kaan Terzioğlu, the Director-General of Turkcell, depicted the innovation within the scope of the activities, and Charles Adler, the Founder of Kickstarter, advised the audience to go after their passions, not the money.

Innovation was tried to be depicted on the third day of the Turkey Innovation Week in order to make a change. This concept was depicted as taking decisions at early stage, completing the innovation and gaining a place in the market as soon as possible. Other participants of the activities gave valuable messages to the young people in order that they could become innovative.

Decision-makers and exercisers open up new horizons

Kaan Terzioğlu, the Director-General of Turkcell remarked in the activities that enhancing the productivity of Turkey could only become possible through application and innovation. He also stated: “If we want to keep our life standard at today's level in 2050, a fivefold increase should be provided on this level. And this might be possible through innovation, our decisions and our exercises. Some people asked famous painter Abidin Dino: “Could you depict the happiness?”. So I thought to depict the innovation. An innovation starts to form a value as soon as it takes a place in the market. Therefore, the ones taking early decisions, making early innovations and entering into the market as soon as possible become one step ahead. The people understanding the innovation, decision-makers and exercisers open up new horizons for us”.

Innovation is a game, play it

Dale Daugherty, the Creator of Marker Faire and the Founder of Make Magazine, advised the audience in his conference entitled “Be curious, Decide and Do it” to move beyond the thoughts and to realize them. Dale Daugherty stated: “Don't say that 'I cannot do it' or 'I cannot afford it'. Meet new people, create financial resources and do it. In fact, we are the people who can do something”. He also mentioned his activities in Maker movement as follows:

 “We should see ourselves as producers, that is one of the most basic points. In Maker movement, you enjoy doing something. You can reach the capacity of producing your personal products for the market. There are certain communities sharing their ideas and projects via Internet. Meet them and find a way to reach their resources and opportunities. These fields enable people to do something. These studies can also be defined as an experimental game. Mistakes are made in this game, people become unsuccessful, but they can also gain experience. If the school system punishes the failures, then this situation triggers serious problems. Creative skills should be encouraged. Innovation is a game, play it”.

A system helping the ideas to find their own economies

Charles Adler, the Founder of Kickstarter, participating in the Turkey Innovation Week, explained how to eliminate the obstacles preventing the creative ideas of the young from being put into practice. Adler said that Kickstarter brought the people having ideas together with potential customers, and he stated: “when you introduce a work which is slightly out of the norms, these ideas are not appreciated as they deserve. Our main objective is to present these ideas to the world. We wanted to eliminate the barriers between the creator and the potential customer”.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of the Republic of Turkey, participated in the last day activities of the Turkey Innovation Week, and he reminded their objectives planned for 2023. He also underlined that the politics and the implementations which brought Turkey to its current position were of great importance. Erdoğan also emphasized that the objective could not be accomplished with these policies. He continued as follows: “We should keep going by raising the levels and developing new policies for our objectives. Of course, we should also continue to produce. We have to produce high-technology products having qualified brands. For this reason, we should give importance to the education and the training.

Erdoğan said that Turkey should take more confident and decisive steps in terms of R&D, and he drew attention to the importance of the innovation at this point. Erdoğan also underlined that the expenses made for R&D from national income should be raised to 3%. Moreover, Erdoğan stressed the importance of raising the rate of high-technological products to 10% and the rate of medium technological products to 50%. He added: “it is important for us to accomplish this goal for the sustainability. Otherwise, we cannot reach the objective of gaining 500 billion dollars. Therefore, we should develop the innovation culture both institutionally and individually”.

If we educate the young generation, then we can take all steps in innovation

Mustafa Elitaş, the Minister of Economy, said that the potential of the young generation should be developed for the Turkey's improvement in the field of innovation. Elitaş emphasized that Turkey did not have enough resources such as oil, natural gas and gold mine, but that it had a young, productive and hardworking population. He stated: “approximately 12 million of the total population in Turkey consist of the young people between the ages of 15 and 24. We saw the sparkle in the eyes of the students, their intelligences and their excitements in Turkey Innovation Week. If we take this potential in the young further, we can take all steps in the innovation and we can reach all destinations. Transformation of the inventions of young people into economic profit is the duty of the state and the business world. Mevlana said: “it's the effort what makes people fly”. If we don't learn anything from each other, if we do not cooperate, we cannot make innovation”.

World Innovation champions are selected in the Innovation Week

President Erdoğan, Minister of Economy Elitaş and Chairman of TIM Büyükekşi gave the “International IMP³rove Awards” which were organized as a part of the activities performed in Turkey Innovation Week and by which the world innovation champions were selected. “International IMP³rove Awards” which were given this year in İstanbul for the first time consisted of two categories, namely the Category of Large Companies and the Category of SME. Grupo Fleury, Labris, Arçelik, Action, Fidko, Solwa, Tarkett, PICC, Cosberg, Rosenbauer which were among the companies getting to the finals in two categories competed with each other. Tarkett from France became the champion of the category of Large Companies while Cosberg from Italy became the champion of the category of SME. Ali Koç, Member of the Board of Directors of Koç Holding received the achievement award from Büyükekşi on behalf of Arçelik representing Turkey in the finalist category of large companies.

In InovaLIG Award Ceremony which was organized by TIM for the second time this year, the champions were awarded in 5 different categories. Kordsa Global became champion in Innovation Strategy Category, IETT in Innovation Organization and Culture Category, Insurance Information and Monitoring Center in Innovation Cycle Category, MIR Ar-Ge in Innovation Resources Category, and Teklas in Innovation Outcomes Category. 

Turkey Innovation Week was successfully completed in Istanbul, and a new record has been broken with approximately 50 000 audience participating in the activities.