The Turkish government spent almost TL 10.7 billion ($2.93 billion) to support research and development (R&D) activities in 2017, the national statistical body announced yesterday.
In 2017, the country's R&D expenditures increased 17.5 percent compared to previous year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
"According to this result, the central government budget expenditures on R&D accounted for 0.34 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and 1.4 percent of the central government budget expenditure in 2017," the statement added. The country's indirect support for R&D activities also grew by 35 percent, reaching TL 2.9 billion.
The largest share of expenditures, around 41.2 percent, on R&D was used by general university funds. It was followed by defense with 28.5 percent and industrial production and technology with 7.7 percent. According to provisional results based on initial budget appropriations, Turkey has allocated TL 12.95 billion on R&D for the 2018 budget year.
Turkey has 942 R&D centers that employ over 49,000 personnel in more than 25,000 projects, according to the technology ministry. The R&D centers that employ 15 or more people are supported by the government with tax exemptions and incentives.
The country also has around 230 design centers that work to develop, improve, and diversify private sector products to boost the country's international competitive edge. Similarly, design centers with more than 10 staffers are also backed by the government.