By Gokhan Ergocun
ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkey’s largest technology and aviation event Teknofest hosted an international start-up summit on Wednesday.
The Take-Off summit included several panels in different fields such as startup cooperation, digital transformation, new generation automobiles, and technology education.
From Turkey and foreign countries, top officials and experts gave speeches during the summit.
Selcuk Bayraktar, the chief technology officer of Turkey’s leading defense firm Baykar, said Turkey can produce some unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can be manufactured by a few countries in the world.
He added that regarding the usage of UAVs worldwide, the Turkish Armed Forces stands out as the security force that has been able to adapt and use the most advanced UAV platforms globally.
The Turkish Armed Forces will also have another strategic leverage with Baykar’s unmanned fighter jet, he asserted.
Bayraktar also mentioned the firm’s another UAV project named Bayraktar TB3, and said it will make its maiden flight in 2022 and be completed in 2023.
Touching on autonomy technologies, he said we need to build better vehicles with autonomy, but it may cause serious safety problems, like in the case of Boeing.
Boeing faced huge difficulties related to its 737 Max model which crashed twice in a short period due to problems in its Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System.
While these planes were designed as the safest vehicles, they suddenly became unsafe, Bayraktar added.
Mehmet Fatih Kacir, the deputy minister of industry and technology, said while there were around 20,000 research and development personnel in Turkey in 2000, it has reached 200,000 now.
There is a research and development army behind Turkey's success, he added.
Kacir also said Turkey opened new software schools, named ECOLE 42, for training students with innovative methods.
On Teknofest, he said the event has been developing year-by-year and it will be much better within 5-10 years.
Gurcan Karakas, the CEO of Turkey’s first indigenous automobile company TOGG, said the financial power is not important any more in the new generation automobile technologies, as companies that focus on creative, collaborative and user-oriented products will be successful.
Data, he said, is as valuable as oil today, and urged firms to focus on the data-driven business system, but stressed that no company can do this alone. "We need to cooperate with startups in a collective way."
TOGG cares about being national and original, he also underscored, as “it makes you free.”
The six-day technology festival, which started on Tuesday, hosts various activities including competitions, summits and seminars.