Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary field and a sector using living materials and containing the research, development and production processes of relevant products with economic value.




Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary field and a sector using living materials and containing the research, development and production processes of relevant products with economic value. It covers all studies performed by using DNA technology in order to develop plants, animals and microorganisms, and to obtain materials or products which cannot be found naturally or found very rarely. The high economic value of these products increases the importance of the relevant studies.


Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary field which contains the research, development and production processes of products with economic value by the using living materials. Due to recent developments in genetic techniques; the transfer of genetic materials between organisms and the existence of organisms which are suitable for the production and  optimization of new metabolites with commercial importance have accelerated the applications in this field.


As the biotechnology aims to understand, intervene, change and direct the functions of human, animal and plant cells; various techniques and processes are used in this field. Thus, it is possible to produce new products which are not produced by microorganisms which are genetically manipulated in order to gain the desired specifications. The importance of these products with high economic value increases the importance of the related studies. Developments in biotechnology and molecular biology are very important for the fields such as environment & energy and food production.


Biotechnology is also defined as the methods which are used to apply genetic modification on plants, animals and microorganisms or to obtain new organisms through applying technology in natural sciences in order to treat living creatures or to develop products for industrial use. The biotechnology where natural sciences such as cell and tissue biology culture, molecular biology, microbiology, physiology and biochemistry are used mutually with the engineering branches such as genetics, machinery, electronics and computers; covers all studies performed by using DNA technology in order to develop plants, animals and microorganisms, and to obtain materials or products which cannot be found naturally or found very rarely.


Biotechnology, which differs from other technologies through creating its own demand as it transforms basic inventions into useful commercial products in a short time, has a very wide activity field such as protein and hormone production for human health; production of vitamins, antibodies and antibiotics; purification of organism enzymes and biomolecules which live in difficult conditions and their usage in industry; production of new vegetable and fruit; elimination of harmful genes in humans; production of vaccines, pesticides, medicinal plants; even the production of artificial organs and tissues to replace damaged or non-functioning organs and tissues. The global market shares of biotechnological products are as follows; 77% in food industry, 12% in antibiotics industry, 7% in medicine and 3% in agriculture.


The biotechnological applications which covers many fields in our daily life, are classified with sub-sectors by considering fields of activity through assigning the colors codes such as “Red” (health and diagnosis), “blue” (water and sea), “yellow” (food and nutrition), “green” (agriculture and environment), “brown” (irrigation and desert), “white” (industry and R&D), “gray” (fermentation and bioprocess), “gold” (bioinformatics and nano-biotechnology), “black” (bio-terrorism and bio-crime).


The vision of Turkey is determined as “to take place among the leading countries of the world through increasing the technological knowledge level and value added production in the field of biotechnology” through taking opinions of the responsible and related public institutions beside the universities and non-governmental organizations which bear responsibilities within the scope of Turkey’s Biotechnology Strategy and Action Plan; and the general purpose is determined as  “to improve our R&D and innovation ecosystem capacity in biotechnology field, to make our country an attraction center which develops technology and which produces innovative, value added and suitable products towards global competition”.


The below given three sub-objectives are determined in the strategy for the “health biotechnology”, “agricultural biotechnology” and “industrial biotechnology” fields: 1) To develop a health biotechnology sector which develops, produces and exports high value-added and innovative products such as bioactive molecules, drugs, systems, tissues and organs; which is qualified and compatible with international standards and which has qualified researchers, technological infrastructure and which has reached international competitive capacity, which is integrated with the world  and which complies with regulations and ethical rules.   2) To develop and produce innovative products and to create and industrial scale structure which adopts green production through efficient use of genetic resources of Turkey created by the bio-diversity and the recyclable resources. 3) To become a country which focus on R&D studies in order to develop biotechnological techniques and practices through considering the risks in terms of environment and human health in the agricultural sector and which applies the biosafety criterion effectively regarding the produced products through utilizing advanced technology by considering international developments.


The objectives within the scope of the action plan are as follows respectively; “To Perform Legal and Administrative Arrangements”, “To Improve Technical Infrastructure”, “To Improve Production Infrastructure”, “To Improve Health Biotechnology Sector”, “To Improve Industrial Biotechnology Sector”, “To Improve Agricultural Biotechnology Sector”.


Even many European countries – same like Turkey – has kept the distance against  the biotechnology for a long time because of the negative reputation of GMOs, the “Bio-economy” which represents trade activities on biological systems in the free market is ascending in Europe.   Bio-economy is based on mainly agriculture and animal farming sectors beside chemistry, health, medicine, cosmetics, energy and many other sectors. The current volume of the bio-economy in Europe is over 1.5 trillion Euros.


According to the “Biotechnology Sector Innovation System” report of Turkey Technology Development Foundation; as the USA lead the global biotechnology, volume of bio-economy  is 100 billion $ as the share of agriculture is 76 billion $ in USA, the volume of bio-economy  in Canada 87 billion $. Israel, Ireland, South Korea, China, Singapore and India have taken a competitive position in this field within last years. While the yearly growth rate of biotechnological sector was calculated as 17% in developed countries since the beginning of the century, this figure has reached 36% in developing Asian countries. Venture capital funds are allocated towards “Biotechnology” which is determined as a strategic sector in these countries,  and the programs towards training qualified specialists are featured and legal arrangements are applied to facilitate for such trainings.


This new ecosystem, which is still considered in infancy period, currently offers a huge market on this scale – which has no matured competition and provides many new opportunities – as it creates new markets with the volume of tens of billion dollars for SMEs, main contractors and technology companies, and continues to grow through many technological developments and private sector initiatives.


Our country has no specific road map in the field of Biotechnology even though a Biotechnology Specialization Commission was established within the scope of the 7th Development Plan. It is very hard to find proper market data. If we assume that the industrial biotechnology consists of companies which develop products from biological raw materials by using enzymatic/microbial transformations techniques; we can say that our bio-economy has grown regarding the enzymes, bread yeast, starter cultures, green chemicals, biomaterials, bio-preparations, biofuels, vaccines, natural intermediates, environmental technologies etc. In recent years, studies related with this sector have been increasing especially in universities and the biotechnology initiatives have increased significantly through the increasing interest of the private sector. It is very important for Turkey to support the existing and new initiatives through preparing a strong program and road map in order to increase the it’s’ share in the world bio-economy.


BRAINS² TÜRKİYE Biotechnology Program will analyze which Biotechnology fields would provide highest potential for future growth and which benefits can be gained from this growth by the Turkish Biotechnology sector, through considering Turkey’s available strength and potential both in academic and industrial sectors.

To develop social awareness towards Biotechnology    

  • To increase the awareness of youth about the professions of future and to forward them towards these professions 
  • To increase awareness about biotechnology
  • To develop forecasting approaches for sub-branches of such professions 


Planning the Workforces and Professions of Future

  • Detailed assessment of the workforce and professions of future towards finding out the skills required for these professions 
  • To determine the professions for biotechnology industry and to plan alternative education and employment fields for the people who want to be qualified for this profession 
  • To develop the occupational skills of the people who will develop and support products/services by using the “biotechnology” which will be needed by the labor market in the near future.  


Focusing on the Use of Biotechnology in Defense and Security Fields 

  • To establish a center where institutions and individuals from all over the country can apply for the implementation of education and information activities towards “Biotechnology”  
  • As the center to be established will have a crucial importance for achieving the development in a better way, it shall be established as an institute where orienting and sector based trainings can be provided. 
  • To provide R&D funds and facilities for primary topics determined for researchers in this center which will be supported by the government or authorities.  


Focusing on Usage of Biotechnology in Education

  • To lead the establishment of a biotechnology -focused “data collection policy” for the stakeholders in education  
  • To contribute the development of products/services which will support the teachers at preparation, process and evaluation of Biotechnology-themed content during the teaching activities.  
  • To collect data about the individual learning for personalization of education on every aspect of the development of Biotechnology


To Arrange Trainings to Train Experts in Biotechnology

  • To provide trainings in order to ensure development of products/services (for experts in physics, chemistry, computer, electronics, machinery, biomedical engineering and information technologies) by using Biotechnology
  • To provide trainings on topics for training assistant and intermediate personnel required for the development of tools and materials which will be used by the specialists in the sub-fields of biotechnology.  
  • To create awareness among the researchers in universities about the biotechnology applications 
  • To contribute arrangement of the curriculum to include sector-based use of biotechnology applications especially at the undergraduate degree of the universities.    
  • To provide trainings for researchers from different disciplines (health, law, education, fine arts, etc.) to ensure them to use Biotechnology and outcomes in their researches.  
  • To arrange informative studies on Biotechnology application areas  
  • To provide trainings for entrepreneurs about the Biotechnology applications    


Sectorial Review and Classification of Global Biotechnology Market 

  • To divide the global Biotechnology market into sectors, and to determine the market potential for the future through analyzing the related global markets and customers 
  • To analyze and classify the R&D, education, application, software, hardware, production, service etc. sub-sectors in the Biotechnology market mainly for the Agriculture and Food Processing [Plant Breeding Technology, Animal Breeding Technology, Functional Food Products, Food Diagnosis and Safety], Wood Processing and Pulp Production [Enzymes in Pulp and Paper Industry], Chemical Industry [Bio Based Chemicals], Environmental Technologies [Bio-remediation], Energy Industry [Bio-energy], Health Care [Therapeutic Products, Diagnosis, Drug Invention Technologies, Bio-processing], National Security [Bio Defense].   


Analysis of Turkish companies that will lead the sector and product matching 

  • To determine in which sectors of this market Turkey would be a significant actor
  • To determine the leading companies for these sectors 
  • To determine the competent universities and institutions regarding R&D studies towards these sectors
  • To determine the required certificates and processes for the market 
  • To determine the products which can be produced by these companies 
  • To match the products and leading companies which are determined for these sectors   


Informative Studies for Adaptation of the Biotechnology in the Social Life and Industry 

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