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In recent years the Turkish government has been on a

road to transforming the country’s economy into a knowl-

edge-based system. The focus in such a concept is on

developing smart products with a high added value. This

aim was again confirmed at a conference about Smart

Industry and Industry 4.0 developments in the country,

organized by the voluntary civil society organization of

entrepreneurs and representatives of the business com-

munity in Turkey TUSIAD. According to recent statistics

though, the current share of high added value high tech-

nology products in its export is only 4%. An emerging

economy such as Turkey reasonably believes that Smart

Industry implementations and developments would con-

siderably increase the share of high technology prod-

ucts in the total volume of production.

An in-depth study shows potential in

four main fields

Together with the Boston Consulting Group, TUSIAD

conducted a study on Smart Manufacturing which distin-

guishes four opportunities for the country in this regard:

efficiency, growth, investment and workforce. “With a full

application of Industry 4.0 concepts, the Turkish produc-

tion industry is expected to save up to 50 billion Turkish

Lira, whereas efficiency savings are expected to be

around 4-7% with an expected productivity growth of be-

tween 5-15%”, the study says in relation to the opportu-

nities for increasing efficiency. As far as growth is con-

cerned, with a full integration of the Turkish economy

using Industry 4.0 concepts into the global value chain,

Turkey can gain a competitive advantage that can lead

up to 3% of yearly additional growth of industrial produc-

tion, thereby adding 1% to Turkey’s GDP, which trans-

lates to about 150-200 billion Turkish Liras in additional

revenue, researchers calculated.

“For investment to be optimized and for that to happen

in the next ten years, yearly investments of about 10-15

billion Turkish Liras (in current prices and based upon

current economic growth) need to be made (which

amounts to 1 to 1,5 % of manufacturer’s revenue). This

can be a challenge, since Turkish investors generally

expect a short return on investment”, the study contin-

ues. Experts from TUSIAD and the Boston Consulting

Group (BCG) also assume that if the abovementioned

happens, the structure of the workforce needs to change.

Industry 4.0 requires a highly educated workforce,

whereas currently vocational education levels are quite


Smart Manufacturing in Turkey

The transition of the Turkish industry

Researchers conclude that in order to achieve suc-

cessful change in the abovementioned fields, Turkey

needs to develop a roadmap that will form the basis for

the implementation of Smart Industry applications in the

Turkish industry. In addition, the country’s workforce

needs to be prepared for the requirements of the smart


In February 2016 the Higher Council of Science and

Technology (BTYK) decided to establish a coordination

unit that will develop a strategic agenda and roadmap

for Industry 4.0 in Turkey. “In order to reach perfection in

critical and pioneering technologies, in particular regard-

ing smart industry, cyber-physical systems, artificial in-

telligence, sensors, robot technology, the Internet of

Things, big data, cyber security and cloud computing it

has been decided to increase R&D efforts in these

fields”, Fikri Isik, then Minister of Science, Industry and

Technology, said.

BTYK summarized that the transition of the Turkish in-

dustry towards increasing the international competitive-

ness in technology production relies on three main pillars:

- developing an implementation and monitoring model

for smart manufacturing in coordination with all stake-


- increasing goal-oriented R&D efforts in critical and pio-

neering technology areas (cyberphysical systems, artifi-

cial intelligence, sensors, robotics, internet of things, big

data, cyber security etc.);

- designing support mechanisms for manufacturing in-

frastructures to develop critical and pioneering technolo-


Key and pioneering technologies in In-

telligent Manufacturing Systems

In the light of BTYK’s guidelines, in the second half of

2016 the Scientific and Technological Research Council

of Turkey TUBITAK started investigating which are the

key and pioneering technologies that serve Intelligent

Manufacturing Systems through different thematic studies

and events. The research campaign included drawing in-

ternational and national reports up and reviewing them in

order to outline definitions and concepts, technology

groups and scopes of intelligent production systems. As

part of the project, a comprehensive questionnaire was

applied to approximately one thousand companies that

received research and development support from relevant

TUBITAK related technologies. Às a result of the study

technology-based national strategic targets, critical prod-

ucts and technologies, R&D issues and sectoral applica-

tions were determined; strategic targets, critical products

and technologies, R&D issues, technological maturity lev-

els, competence, added value of localization and com-

mercialization potential were audited.

Awareness and trends

“The awareness amongst Turkish companies regarding

Industry 4.0 developments is relatively low. 22% of the

companies have extensive knowledge, 59% has general

knowledge and 19% have no knowledge about such de-

velopments. Awareness is highest in the electronics, soft-

ware and materials sector and in general 50% of firms

expect to integrate related technologies within 3 to 5

years”, the study conducted by TUBITAK says.

Regarding the level of digital maturity, the Turkish in-

dustry is placed between the second and the third indus-

trial revolution and the most mature sectors are the ma-

terials sector (rubbers and plastics), computers, electron-

ics and optical devices as well as the automotive and

white goods sector, the research shows. “The three tech-

nologies that will provide the most added value accord-

ing to Turkish firms, are automation and control systems,

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