Marine Biotechnology in Turkey
Overarching science strategies, plans and policies
There is currently no national marine biotechnology policy or strategy in turkey. Nevertheless, Marine Biotechnology is addressed as part of the overarching long term science and technology vision (Vision 2023) and strategy (National Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy). The Strategy has fundamental strategic objectives that give support to develop cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral research-technology and innovation which suits perfectly to marine/maritime and biotechnology research. The Strategy has also three priority themes; food, energy and water (not implicitly including marine) that might have direct and indirect links to marine research and innovation.
Furthermore a National Marine Research Strategy is being drafted by the National Hydrography and Oceanography Committee, whose members include marine stakeholders. Work on this draft document is well advanced at the time of publication of this report.
- Vision 2023 is TÜBİTAK’s long term vision for science and technology which details the priorities, important issues to consider and possible mechanisms to address them.
- The Turkish Science & Technology Strategy for the period 2011-2016 is described in the National Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy. 
Research funding schemes and programmes
Until 2012, the Turkish national funding agency TÜBİTAK has funded all kind of research topics with a bottom-up approach. Projects are being funded according to scientific excellence based on peer review and panel evaluation. Thus, there is not any research priority or theme-specific calls/programmes under TÜBITAK. However, the through competitive calls some marine biotechnology related projects also received funded. In 2012, TÜBİTAK also organised a few specific calls dedicated to national Turkish research priorities such as energy plants, seeds, automotive etc. These did not include marine biotechnology as such but as long as it meets the national evaluation criteria, marine biotechnology related projects can still be funded within the open calls for competitive research funding.
Research priorities for marine biotechnology research
There is currently no specific priority list for marine biotechnology. Projects funded as part of TUBITAK’s up up to now are more concentrated on using/exploiting/improving marine organisms for environmental purposes (ex: like remediation or energy source).
Infrastructures and coordination and support capacities / initiatives
- In 2012, Turkey operates 6 local/coastal vessels from 16m to 31,27 m; 3 regional vessels from 36m to 40,36m; 2 oceanic of 55,75m and 87m (MTA Sismik I, Cesme) registered at the European Research Vessels Infobase ;
- In 2012, Turkey maintains about 3 large marine research equipments registered in the European large Exchangeable instruments database ;
- Key aquaculture experimental and research facilities in Turkey include
- Experimental facilities (Dokuz Eylul University)
- Marine and freshwater hatchery ( Ministry of Agriculture and Rural affairs)
- Dokuz Eylül University, Institute of Marine Sciences and Technology, Turkey has Institutes of Marine Chemistry and Living Marine Resources that are involved in Bioprospecting and biodiscovery .
- Ege University is a partner in the EU-funded project MAREX (marine bioactives). It has a Research and Application Center for Underwater, working on mariculture; the faculties of Engineering and Fisheries have aspects of aquaculture and marine biotechnology, including study of algae and cyanobacteria in extreme environments .
- The Technical University of Istanbul was a partner in the EU-funded project COLORSPORE, which aimed to find new natural carotenoids from, among other organisms, marine Bacillus species.
- The Dutch company Porifarma has a sponge-growing and research facility on the Turkish coast.
Major observations, trends and future prospects
While it does not exist yet, according to informal information from the TUBITAK’s National Funding Department, a specific call for marine biotechnology research is something that could be considered in the future.
This draft country profile is based on available online information sources and contributions from various country experts and stakeholders. It does not aim nor claim to be complete or final, but should be considered as a dynamic and living information resource that will be elaborated, updated and improved as more information becomes available, including further inputs from experts and stakeholders.
The information on this page is based on information initially compiled by the European Marine Board as part of the CSA MarineBiotech Project activities (2011-2013).