Middle East Technical University (ODTU)
ODTU is a rather prestigious and well-respected international university in the region. With more than 1700 foreign students, its profoundness in education and research as well as its extensive cooperation with international links, it is a pioneer among Turkish Universities. All the bachelor programs at the Faculty of Engineering are accredited by Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the accreditation body of the United States. ODTU is one of the competitive universities in Turkey. There are 5 faculties with 40 bachelor programs, 5 institutes with 104 masters and 66 PhD programs and a School of Foreign Languages that teaches English.
ODTU TEKNOKENT Ecosystem
ODTU TEKNOKENT, which pioneers in the incorporation of ODTU’s research capacity and know-how with the entrepreneurs’ innovative qualifications, supports the development of Turkey’s technological infrastructure. ODTU TEKNOKENT is not only among the successful technoparks around the World, but as a contributor to the internationalization of its tenant companies, it has also become a successful model; and is continuously working towards the development and extension of this model.
Qualified Human Resource
ODTU aims to reintegrate its students into the society as open-minded individuals that are equipped with leadership skills and endowed with continuous learning and self-perpetuation habits and possess humanitarian and ethical values. Each year, more than one third of every 1000 students that have the highest grade point in the University Entrance Examination choose ODTU. Owing to this intensive demand, most of the departments can accept only the top 3% of the 1.5 million students that take the University Entrance Examination. More than 40% of ODTU graduates continue for post-graduate studies. Of the 26.500 students, 16.700 do bachelor’s degree, 5.400 do master’s degree, and 3.000 do PhD. There are 2.500 academicians and each year more than 1.700 students with various academic degrees from 94 different countries attend ODTU.
Research and Technology Development Infrastructure
ODTU is one of Turkey’s most developed universities in terms of its laboratory and research center facilities. ODTU TEKNOKENT tenant companies can benefit from around 365 laboratories and 40 research centers.
Entrepreneurship Activities and Incubation Centers
Among the projects and programs that are intended to support technology-based entrepreneurship can be listed “New Businesses New Ideas Acceleration Program” that is organized since 2005; the pre-incubation center ATOM (Animation Technologies and Gaming Center) where students can realize their ideas and projects in the field of gaming software and animation technologies; the “METUTECH-BAN” (Teknokent Technology Investors Association) that intends to mediate the relations between investors and technology-based entrepreneurs in need of early stage financing. Besides, with “Growth Circuit Business Accelerator Program”, targeting companies which have just come out of incubation and can stand within the market; know-how, network and experience that is necessary for young companies to become successful in the international market are provided.
“ODTU – TTO Technology Transfer Office” that is established within the framework of ODTU TEKNOKENT, is a structure that is intended both to facilitate university-industry collaboration and to support technology-based entrepreneurship. During the commercialization of the knowledge generated in academia, from patenting to incorporation, both the financial and managerial processes are executed by ODTU TEKNOKENT, on behalf of the academicians. Moreover, the intensity of university-industry collaboration can be demonstrated with the joint projects and knowledge-sharing activities that have been realized between ODTU TEKNOKENT’s tenant companies and the University.
B2B and Clusters (Defence and ICT)
With the objective of intensifying collaboration among 330 tenant companies located in ODTU TEKNOKENT, two separate clusters, namely defence industry and ICT-telecommunication clusters were initiated. Within the context of Teknokent Defence Industry Cluster and Teknokent ICT-Telecommunication Cluster, significant work is being carried out. Likewise, within the scope of enhancing collaboration among tenant companies involved in advanced materials and medical sector, studies are carried out to initiate an advance material and health cluster.
Cooperation with International Networks
With the support and contribution of projects funded by the Turkish Ministry of Economy to develop international competitiveness, ODTU TEKNOKENT’s tenant companies are encouraged to open up to the international markets. To this end, knowledge and experience sharing sessions with companies like Microsoft, GE, Intel, with actors located in the Silicon Valley and with University of California and Berkeley were realized; moreover, through protocols undersigned, the know-how and knowledge accumulated in these sessions were shared with other countries that are willing to establish technoparks and entrepreneurship ecosystems. Additionally, in order to extend the boundaries of this ecosystem, together with T-Jump SF Acceleration Center established in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, liaison offices were also established. The “EEN-Anatolia” project that is currently carried out, also acts as an enabler of internationalization in technology.
Incentives and Support Mechanisms
Within the scope of Technology Development Zones Law No. 4691, companies operating in ODTU TEKNOKENT can benefit from income tax exemption for R&D personnel and corporate tax exemption for R&D activities, as well as other incentives for academic staff working in these companies. Foreign investors and companies are also eligible for these incentives for their activities within the zone.