Horizon 2020: the Turkish challenge

Reblogged from Science on the Net

Political relations between Europe and Turkey have never been easy and even in scientific research, often over the parts, the inclusion of the Turkish Government into international dynamics represented a special case. One example of this particularity is the fact that the final agreement that allows Turkey to be among the beneficiaries of Horizon 2020 was only signed in June. “Turkey is a much valued partner. Its dynamic business environment is a perfect test bed for the development of innovative products and services – making cooperation a win-win for researchers and enterprises on both sides,” wrote the UE press release.

But what is exactly the Turkey’s potential within a project like Horizon 2020?  Actually, Turkey has been associated to EU research framework programmes since 2003 and, under the last European programme between 2007 and 2013, more than one thousand participations from Turkish public and private institutions in some 950 projects received almost €200 million in EU funding.

However, its current level of investment in R&D is less than 1 percent of GDP, below the EU average that is of 2 percent and the target it has set itself for 2023.

The element that attracted the European attention were probably the Turkish small and medium-sized enterprises. In an economic landscape as difficult as that of the last few years, they have been one of the hangers in the country, as well as in the whole European community, which for years invested its capital in Turkey.

Therefore, it seems that, once again, the field on which the game is played is the economic one and it is not a coincidence that today there are those who talk about the BRICS + T, thus including Turkey in the group of economically emerging countries, along with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

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BRIC e Turchia: le economie emergenti toccano l’Africa

Reblogged from datajournalism.it

Perché l’Africa dovrebbe scegliere proprio noi come partner privilegiato? Ci eravamo lasciati con questa domanda, nelloscorso articolo, dopo aver scoperto le crescenti rotte commerciali tra l’Italia e i paesi dell’Africa Subsahariana nonché gli investimenti italiani in quelle zone. Una prima risposta, che veniva dagli stessi esperti che hanno curato il dossier, faceva riferimento alla qualità del Made in Italy come una delle strade maestre per raggiungere l’obiettivo. Tuttavia la domanda non può essere elusa rimanendo chiusi nel nostro bozzolo italiano. Lo scenario entro cui i rapporti tra il nostro paese e l’Africa si collocano è uno scenario globale, e i suoi protagonisti cambiano.

Secondo dati del Fondo Monetario Internazionale riportati in un dossier ISPI, negli ultimi vent’anni la quota dei Paesi cosiddetti BRIC – Brasile, Russia, India e Cina – nel commercio dell’Africa Subsahariana è passata da circa il 3% del 1990 al 20% del mercato nel 2012. La presenza dei BRIC – termine coniato nel 2001 da Goldman Sachs per definire le nazioni che secondo le loro stime avrebbero dominato la scena economica mondiale nei 50 anni a venire – rappresenta dunque uno dei parametri più interessanti da considerare per comprendere un po’ di più quali sono i giocatori di questa partita a sud del Sahara. Insieme a un quinto attore, non meno emergente: la Turchia, il cui valore degli scambi commerciali è passato negli ultimi 10 anni da 2 a 17 miliardi di dollari.

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