From February 25 5o March 1, A-4U delegation visited Turkey with the aim of encouraging bilateral collaboration between Turkish institutions and A-4U members in teaching, research, and technology transfer. The delegation included Vice-Rectors of International Relations and Strategic Projects, directors of Science and Technology Parks of A-4U universities, as well as the director of A-4U office in Brussels (OPERA), and A-4U coordinator of international relations.
The visit centred on Ankara and Istanbul, and included meetings at the following universities: Middle East Technical University, Bilkent University, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Bosphorus University, Sabanci University, Koç University, Istanbul University, and Istanbul Technical University. Discussions focused on proposals of collaboration in student and staff exchange, development of joint programmes, internships for A-4U students in Turkish companies, as well as joint participation in research projects in the framework of EU programme Horizon 2020. In addition, A-4U promoted its English-taught undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and Spanish language teaching for Turkish students.
The delegation also met with top representatives of YOK (Council of Higher Education), TUBITAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey), KOSGEB (Small and Medium Industry Development Organisation), permanent EU Delegation to Turkey, Instituto Cervantes, Spanish Embassy, Marmara Research Centre, and Science and Technology Parks of Bilkent University, Metutech, Istanbul Technopark and ARI Technopark.
During the visit, representatives of A-4U Science and Technology Parks had an opportunity to find out about activities of their Turkish counterparts, and advance in the design of collaborative actions to bring together industry and research and consolidate new technology-based businesses through soft landing actions for Spanish and Turkish companies interested in internationalisation.
Lluís Quintana, Vice-Rector for International Relations at UAB and spokesperson on behalf of A-4U, said: “With more than 50% of its population being less than 30 years old, Turkey is a young country, and boasts a large number of university students. During our visit to universities, R&D agencies, and science and technology parks, we had an opportunity to explore possibilities for collaboration in a range of areas, starting from student exchange and promotion of the Spanish language to joint participation in EU research projects under Horizon 2020, and exchange of good practice in technology transfer and support of technology-based entrepreneurs, thus encompassing the three missions of the university that coincide with those of A-4U”.