Analysis of Research and Development (R&D) Activities of Foreign Firms in the Turkish Economy


Project Title  

Analysis of reseach and development (R&D) activities of foreign firms in the Turkish Economy

(Turkce bilgi notu icin tiklayiniz)


YASED, International Investors Association of Turkey  

METU-TEKPOL, Middle East Technical University Science and Technology Policies Research Center

Funded by 

YASED, International Investors Association of Turkey  

Project Leaders         

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Erkan ERDIL (METU TEKPOL)

Assoc Prof. Dr. Mehmet Teoman PAMUKCU (METU-TEKPOL)

Proje Team

PhD. Emek KEPENEK, PhDc. Yelda ERDEN, PhDc.  H. Tolga GOKSIDAN,

Time Span 

January 2010- October 2010

Summary of the Project


The main objective of this research project is to analyze research and development (R&D) activities of foreign firms in the Turkish Economy. The ultimate goal is to formulate policy recommendations as to how to increase R&D investments of foreign firms in Turkey and to determine how these activities could be integrated with and embedded within the Turkish National Innovation System. This report contains three sections.

In the first section, based on the available literature in the field of economics related to the analysis of internationalization of R&D activities of multinational companies (MNCs) in the last 20 years, an attempt is conducted to examine how developing countries can be part of this internationalization process and which roles they can play in this process. First, qualitative and quantitative transformations of R&D activities of MNCs in last two decades are examined. Second, the quality of increasing R&D activities of foreign firms abroad is also analyzed. Third, we try to identify those factors that lead MNCs to outsource part of their R&D investments to developing countries. The literature review enables us to identify pull as well as push factors in this domain.

In the second section, using statistical data at the sector level the profiles of foreign firms that are conducting R&D activities in Turkish economy are examined. By using data from TURKSTAT Structural Business Statistics and R&D Surveys for 2003-2007 as the basis of the analysis, those sectors where MNCs are most active and where their share in total R&D expenditures is high are examined. In addition, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce- Biggest 500 Firms (ISO 500) List and their performance indicators are included into the analysis for the last decade (2000-2010). Lastly, data from OECD and UNCTAD are used to make international comparisons at the sector- and macro-level about the extent of internationalization of R&D activities. This statistical analysis aim at finding out the place of Turkey in the world in the R&D realm.

In the third section, findings based on face-to-face interviews conducted with a number firm directors that are member of YASED (International Investors Association of Turkey) are presented and analyzed. Later, based on a SWOT analysis conducted with firm representatives, further evidence and information about the R&D activities of these firms and their R&D visions / plans are identified and examined. The sample selected for the interviews includes firms that are members of YASED R&D Group, so that both R&D performers and those not conducting any R&D in Turkey but have a high potential to do so are examined in our study. The firms selected for the interviews are from the following sectors: pharmaceuticals, electronics, ICT and automotive. These interviews were conducted with the high level managers, including R&D Directors, in MNCs and enabled us to position Turkey in the R&D arena. Also, the SWOT analysis was instrumental in identifying opportunities and threats perceived as such by foreign MNCs operating in Turkey)


Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Research and Development (R&D), Internationalization of R&D , Multinational Companies, Innovation, Innovation Policies, National Innovation System, , Innovation Clusters, Adaptive R&D, Developing Countries, BRICs, Informatics, Drugs, Automotive, Electrical and Electronics


(in Turkish)

First Section

Second Section

Third Section