Türkiye Innovation Week, Which Will Sail To New Horizons, Begins


The 8th Türkiye Innovation Week, organized by Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) since 2012 with the coordination of the Ministry of Commerce and held online on December 25-26 due to the pandemic this year, started with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and 6 ministries. In the 8th Türkiye Innovation Week which will sail to new horizons, it was presented the world-famous speakers, industry giants, owners of groundbreaking technological inventions, innovation stakeholders, success stories, innovation-oriented projects and, panels in which will be handled innovation in a multifaceted way. The event, which was attended by Instagram Co-Founder Mike Krieger and futurist scientist Ray Kurzweil, who specializes in the technologies of the future, was brought together with millions of people using special technology methods.

Emphasizing the importance of innovation and Türkiye Innovation Week in his speech at the opening ceremony, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle said, “We will reach a much wider audience this year in our Türkiye Innovation Week, which we carried out on the virtual platform by signing a principle in the world. Innovation is already a tradition, fact, and a necessity of this geography. As Gazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk stated that “Success on the road to civilization depends on innovation”. As we have always said, exports will rise with innovation, Türkiye will rise with exports. Export is our future; innovation is our assurance. There are no obstacles that can stand in the way of innovation.”

The 8th Türkiye Innovation Week, organized by the Exporters Assembly which is representative of 61 exporter associations, 27 sectors, and 100,000 exporters, since 2012 with the coordination of the Ministry of Commerce to contribute to the development of the innovation culture, was presented online from www.turkiyeinovasyonhaftasi.com address on December 25-26 due to this year's pandemic. The 8th Türkiye Innovation Week, which contributed greatly to the settlement and development of the concept of innovation in Türkiye, started with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar, Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of Youth and Sports Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli and TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle. 

Gülle: We will reach millions of people

TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle, in his opening speech, noted that they made traditional the Türkiye Innovation Week of Turkish Exporters Assembly is an organization that covers all sectors, effective in all areas, from education to art, from science to health, from economics to international relations, from communication to trade diplomacy. Emphasizing that they held Türkiye Innovation Week last year with a record attendance of more than 50,000, Gülle said that they will reach millions of people this year during the Türkiye Innovation Week, which they carried out on the virtual platform by signing a first in the world.

“We are taking confident steps towards the 100th-anniversary goals of our Republic”

Stating that Türkiye has become the inspiration of many geographies, the heart of Eurasia, the focal point of global trade, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle said, “As our President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated; We are living in a period that will enter the pages of economic history in the global economy. The exports family is looking to the future with confidence and taking confident steps towards the 100th-anniversary goals of our Republic. We believe that the New Reform Period, which is started with a great vision, will carry our country to our national goals. As part of the new Reform Period, we are ready to take all our duties and responsibilities in this new period. We are excited to share our 8th year on this journey with the dreams of supporting our country's innovation-based export growth, improving the innovation awareness of our companies, and presenting this development with an interactive platform. There are no obstacles that can stand in the way of innovation.”

“We fly our flag in 223 countries”

Signing that as the Turkish Exporters Assembly, they completed their digital transformation long before this period and overcome the obstacles of the process one by one, Gülle said, “Our digital transformation move has won the appreciation of the relevant international evaluation organizations. We have overcome the worry that there will be no exports without a physical delegation, the idea that the product cannot be purchased through the virtual trade delegations without being seen in place, and the opinion that solutions cannot be produced with virtual fairs without coming together in a physical environment, by holding virtual meetings. With the support of our Ministry of Commerce, we became a pioneer in this field in our country by carrying out 45 virtual trade delegations in 43 countries. We have displayed our “Made in Türkiye” brand in all corners of the world with our virtual fairs with our strategic sectors. We have overcome all the difficulties of the pandemic process with our unity and togetherness, the support of our government, and the dedication of our 100 thousand exporters. Happily, we broke the monthly exports record of our Republic's history again during this period. We have achieved numerous successes in sectoral terms in this period. In the third quarter of the year, we became one of the 4 countries in the world that increased its exports. Our exporters fly our flag in 223 countries by working day and night.”

“Innovation is a tradition of this geography”

Gülle continued: "Every step we take today in the fields of value-added production, sustainability, branding, and innovation will be the guarantee of “Türkiye Rising with Exports”. When we started InovaLİG, one of the important projects we carried out in the field of innovation, in 2014, 460 companies had participated. Thanks to increasing interest in our program and our innovation-oriented efforts with each passing year, 1,236 companies joined us in 2019 by saying “We are also in InovaLİG”. There is our innovative company, which has been included in the list of the world's top 100 defense industry companies, among the InovaLİG Champions. The participation of our companies in InovaLİG from 65 provinces in 7 regions from Edirne to Ağrı, Şırnak to Konya, Rize to Sivas shows that the culture of innovation has spread to all corners of our country. Innovation is already a tradition, fact, and a necessity of this geography. As Gazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk stated, "Success on the road to civilization depends on innovation.” With the power, we receive from our tradition, we are building the future together. We are getting closer to our goal of “Türkiye Giving Foreign Trade Surplus”.

With our intensive work in the fields of innovation and entrepreneurship, we have made important progress in the development of this ecosystem in our country. The end of this road is full of many achievements that are waiting to be achieved in all areas. There is still a long way to go. However, I believe that we will build “Innovative Türkiye” together by working more strongly for this. As we have always said, exports will rise with innovation, Türkiye will rise with exports. Innovation is the solution, innovation is value, innovation is breakthrough, innovation is heroism in a pinch, innovation is export. Export is our future; innovation is our assurance.”

“We are always with young people”

Addressing the young people in his speech Gülle said, “We need to be aware that the level of prosperity and wealth of society can only be possible with entrepreneurship and innovation. As Albert Einstein said, 'You can't get different results by doing the same thing all the time.' Do not be afraid of innovation, making mistakes, losing. Do not weaken, just come up with ideas and get into action. As representatives of the export family, we will always continue to be your supporters in success and failure.”

Krieger: Instagram's story began in a café

Instagram Co-Founder Mike Krieger was a speaker on the first day of Türkiye Innovation Week which will reach millions around the world. Krieger also shared his story stretching from Brazil to Silicon Valley, how Instagram has changed from a team of just two to a multibillion-dollar company, and his ideas about today's most interesting trends and technologies also. Krieger told: “Actually I had a plot point leading to Instagram in a café where I met with Kevin Systrom during the Mayfield Fellows Program. According to me, every entrepreneurial journey starts with finding the right partner. Instagram also was an impressive journey. Kevin and I met again at the café, and we became friends very quickly. And soon we decided to merge and work on a startup company. After 11 years, we are still very close friends, and we are still working on projects together. Not all merged co-founders do not work like this. We always have each other's backs and complementary abilities. I always joke, 'We both do not want each other's jobs.” We both trust each other completely.”

Technologies that excite Krieger

Krieger, who also shares the areas of technology that excite him, said, “The first is artificial learning and personalization. It is no secret that artificial learning is an exciting new area of technology. The idea of personalizing what excites me especially from the areas inside. On Instagram, we were able to take a product that was the same for everyone and make it public. How we receive news, how we obtain medicines, and all these different areas are personal areas where we can combine the power of data. This is based on the basic idea of human-computer interaction. How can we make computers and software more usable for every individual? Secondly, instead of seeing software and hardware as two completely different areas in the software world, I am excited about the intersecting of two of them. As I mentioned earlier, the software can be used to create innovations in healthcare and medicine. Finally, it is no secret that this year is about completely changing our working cycles.”

Expressing that many companies rethink their methods, Krieger said, “Covid-19 has forced many companies to rethink the way they do business. But I believe that change has only just begun.”

Dr. Öz: The vaccine can also be used to treat cancer in the future

In the Innovation Week, the famous Heart Surgeon Prof. Dr. Mehmet Öz explained how it has been fighting with the coronavirus and the virus, the point reached in the fight against the virus, the vaccine studies, how the vaccine will change our lives, the studies to be taken to prevent the virus from being affected and the measures to be taken, and how the innovation gained importance in the pandemic process.

Dr. Öz, “Turkish-born Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin developed the COVID-19 vaccine using genetic technology. This new approach can be used to treat cancer in the future. If I need to mention the working system of the mRNA vaccine; Specially conducted mRNA, the genetic molecule, is injected into cells and allows low doses of coronavirus proteins to be produced in the body. The immune system also produces antibodies to these proteins and protects the person against the virus. I mean, we are destroying the virus before it affects us. The 95 percent success that has been seen so far, if you ask me, is the most promising development since the beginning of the pandemic” he said.

“It will be a part of our lives in the future”

Dr. Öz continued; “Actually we have all learned how important hygiene is in our lives. Washing our hands, wearing masks during the pandemic period were the simplest and most effective measures we could take. Good filter and ventilation systems that eliminate viruses and UV light technology will be part of our lives in the future. Airlines now use technology that eliminates COVID-19 by 99 percent on planes, airlines say. The U.S. Department of Defense conducted minimal security tests. More than 300 tests involving 38 hours of flight and 45 hours of ground service were conducted over the six months. They used specially programmed mannequins to repel 180 million fluorescent parts. That is the same as thousands of coughs that will not be possible in real life. Research has shown that; When you sit in your seat wearing a mask, the infected particles pass through the area where 0.003 percent of the environment is inhaled. That is an incredibly small amount. During the flight, almost 100 percent of these parts were cleaned thanks to air filters within six minutes. In the future, the same technologies can be used in offices and homes.”

Bozdağ: We are filming the series for foreign countries

“Innovation in Service Export”, one of the panels on the first day, took place with the participation of guests from the health, education, series-film, IT, and building sectors. The panel included Screenwriter and Producer Mehmet Bozdağ, AÇE Group of Companies Chairman Erkan Çelik, Akinon Co-Founder and Chairman Ahmet Emre Sarı and Suryapı Chairman Altan Elmas. Bozdağ, “We made filming series to abroad during the pandemic process. We made a series and sent it to Uzbekistan. Our work continues on a series for a Middle Eastern country.” he said. Elmas said, “Our goal as a sector was $10 billion. However, the process of the pandemic has caused us to deviate from this goal. The early catching and early recovering of the Far East countries including China, Vietnam, and Taiwan reflected positively on us in April and May.” Çelik also stated that Türkiye has come to a very important place with its important studies, infrastructure, hospitals, capacity, and doctors in the field of health in recent years. Ahmet Emre Sarı said, “When we look at the overall growth rates of the general IT sector in 2018-19 and the growth rates of companies in technology development regions, we see that a transformation process has begun.”

Innovation has been talked about in every aspect

The Türkiye Innovation Week included the inspiring speeches and inspiring experiences of influential names who made their name in the world with their innovative steps; panels where different aspects of innovation are discussed by experts in the field; entrepreneurs who carry the sectors forward with innovative developments, innovative ideas and global perspectives in areas such as economy, health, health, exports, R&D, service exports, education, sports, social media; Innovation-oriented, creative and productive projects of the young generation, which is the value of Türkiye; an online platform where innovation is talked about in every aspect, innovative and stimulating talkers with using the possibilities of technology; and innovative investments and training programs were included in order to make innovation and new normal, innovative ideas come true during covid-19, which affected the whole world and directed life towards a different perspective with a whole new normal.

Panels are organizing in 12 different themes

Türkiye Innovation Week included 63 local and 7 foreign speakers, including world-famous names. 19 successful projects from TİM-TEB Enterprise House, 15 projects from InovaLİG, InoSuit, and InovaTİM told their success stories. In the Türkiye Innovation Week, one of the most important meetings of the innovation ecosystem, it is being held 12 panels on the themes of New Generation National Economy and Innovation, Innovation in Digital, Innovation in Service Exports, Innovation in Exports, Innovation in Education, Innovation in Health, Innovation in Sports, Innovation in Social Media and Social Life, Innovation in Media, Innovation in Aesthetic Surgery, Cyber Security and Innovation, Innovation in Art.

The activity was filmed by innovative methods

Special technological methods such as green boxes were used during the 8th Türkiye Innovation Week. For 15-days of shooting, 10 green box studios were rented in 5 countries. The event's editing work took 13 days. In İstanbul only, 100 hours were shot for 74 talkers. The images that resulted from all the shots reached 10 tera-byte. BKM Mutfak players also took part in the event with their sketches.

Innovation champions received their awards

Innovation champions for 2019 were also announced at Innovation Week. Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli also attended the Innovative Innovation Competition and Innovation Week Strategic Partners award ceremony. Arçelik Inc. in the innovation strategy category in large-scale companies; Brisa Bridgestone Sabancı Tire Industry and Trade Inc. in Innovation Organization and Culture; Sun Textile Industry and Trade Inc. in Innovation Cycle; and Havelsan Air Electronics Industry and Trade Inc. in Innovation Resources, and Estaş Eccentric Industry and Trade Inc. in Innovation Outcomes won the championship.

On the SME scale, Barida Makina Industry Trade Ltd. Inc in the Innovation Strategy category; Alotech Communication Technologies Trade Inc. in Innovation Organization and Culture category; Veribilim Software Computer Industry Trade Ltd. Inc in Innovation Cycle; Ulak Communication Inc. in Innovation Resources; and Line Technology Electronic Design and Production Inc. in Innovation Outcomes category were the champions. R&D Leadership Special Award was given to Arçelik, Entrepreneurship Special Award was given to TEB, International Success Special Award to THY, and Technology Development Special Award was given to Turkcell.

The event will continue Saturday with its famous guests

Türkiye Innovation Week will continue Saturday with the participation of important names. Futurist scientist Ray Kurzweil, who specializes in the technologies of the future, will be among the talkers. TOGG - Türkiye's Automobile Enterprise Group CEO Mehmet Gürcan Karakaş will tell the latest developments about the domestic car project, and Head of Defense Industry Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir will explain the studies on the defense industry in detail. Temel Kotil, General Manager of TUSAŞ, one of the panel speakers, will give details from satellite projects, fifth-generation fighter jet project and will also give information about when the aircraft will start an engine. There will also be life stories on Saturday that inspire everyone. One of them will be 19-year-old Elif Eda Güneş, who was born and raised in a small village of Yozgat, who develops artificial intelligence, who sent a project to the company that designed the reconnaissance vehicle sent to Mars and joined this team. Selin Alara Örnek, 14, a young inventor who won international awards with the robots she made with his software and hardware, will also speak at the event.

Which panels and speakers will be on Saturday?

Success Stories in Innovation: InovaLİG, InoSuit, InovaTİM

President of the Presidency Digital Transformation Office Dr. Ali Taha Koç

NASA / JPL, Astrophysicist Dr. Umut Yıldız

Uipath Europe Vice President Tansu Yeğen

Eirini Zafeiratou, Director of Public Policy for Amazon Europe and Türkiye

Secretary-General of the Institute of Corporate Affairs Dr. Ceyhun Emre Doğru

Turkcell Executive Vice President - Information and Communication Technologies Serkan Öztürk

Author and Global Thought Leader Elise Quevedo

Media Artist, Designer Refik Anadol

Silicon Valley, Cooch Intelligence Technologies CEO Emrah Gültekin


Moderator: Hakan Çelik, Journalist

Osman Okyay, Vice President of Kale Group and Head of Technical Department


Moderator: Prof. Dr. Emre ALKİN, TİM Economic Advisor

Ali Kibar, Chairman of the Executive Board at Kibar Holding

Fatih Kemal Ebiçlioglu, Chairman of Koç Holding Durable Consumption Group

Murat Kolbaşı, Chairman of the Executive Board at Arzum Electrical Appliances

Süleyman Orakçıoğlu, Chairman of the Executive Board at Orka Holding

Prof. Dr. Temel Kotil, Member of the Board at TUSAŞ, General Manager


Moderator: Metehan Demir, Journalist

Ali Riza Ersoy, Founder of ION Academy

Canan Özsoy, Chairman of the Executive Board at General Electric Türkiye, CEO

Dr. Çağatay Karabat, International Business Development Team Leader of TÜBİTAK BİLGEM

Yiğit Kulabaş, Co-Founder of Redesign Business, Academician, Author


Moderator: Uğur Şeke, General Manager of Digital Office İstanbul

Emrah Yayıcı, Managing Partner of Explori.io and Artbiztech, Speaker and Author

Hasan Kızıl, Life Repairman

Kıvanç Talu, Var Böyle Tipler



Moderator: Okay Karacan, PlaySpor Editor-in-Chief, Football, and F1 Commentator

Alper Afşin Özdemir, Founding President of the Turkish Esports Federation

Arda Coşkun, Sports Psychologist, Academician

Bora Koçyiğit, Blaze Esports Founder, Entrepreneur