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    Turkey needs to increase its ‘readiness’ for future of production

    Selin Arslanhan Memiş19 February 2018 - Okunma Sayısı: 1346

    One of today’s most important tasks for Turkey is to increase its level of ‘readiness’ for the future of production, as startups might be used as transformation tools.

    New technologies have not only changed the way in which manufacturing and R&D is carried out but also corporate behavior and business models.

    Last month, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published a report on “readiness” in terms of the future of production. The report uses a benchmarking framework and a dataset as a way of understanding the current level of “readiness” in countries across the world.

    Two different components shape the assessment: “Structure of production” and “drivers of production.” “Structure of production” indicates the countries’ current production baseline, while “drivers of production” comprise the key enablers in the countries regarding the adoption and diffusion of new technologies to accelerate the transformation of production.

    The index evaluates the “readiness” of 100 countries on a scale of 0 to 10 on the basis of these two components. The report demarcates 25 leading countries with the highest levels of “readiness” regarding the future of production and as you might guess, Turkey is not one of them. Apart from China and Malaysia, the top 25 are high-income countries.

    Turkey is the 32nd country in the “structure of production” ranking. The current level of production in Turkey is not so bad but unfortunately, Turkey is not ready for the transformation of production systems.

    It is the 57th country with a below-average score in the “drivers of production” ranking. This shows that Turkey’s level of “readiness” for the adoption and diffusion of new technologies is problematic.

    Turkey needs to think more about new innovative tools to accelerate transformation.

    The world has changed with the arrival of new technologies. Looking at the Fortune 500 list, we see that 52 percent of the companies in the list have disappeared in the last 15 years. The ones that could not adapt either disappeared or changed shape.

    New technologies have not only changed the way in which manufacturing and R&D is carried out, but also corporate behaviors and business models.

    Companies have begun to access innovation through technology startups, as a more cost-effective choice and because of necessity.

    Almost everywhere in the world, technology startups shine out as the actors that monitor scientific and technological transformation and, due to their structure, adapt to this change in the fastest way possible. As the utilization of technological transformation opportunities is essential for companies to survive and protect their competitive edge, the same is true for countries as well.

    As a direct result of the global technological transformation, technology and innovation have become key driving forces of economic growth.

    Currently, many developing economies are striving to upgrade their technological capacities in order to enhance their productivity levels.

    The Turkish economy has made significant progress since the 1980s. However, Turkey’s main challenges today are to transform its production systems and to improve its share of high technology exports.

    Increasing the sophistication of production and exports is key for Turkey’s economic development for the upcoming period.

    At this point, technology startups offer an opportunity to accelerate the technological transformation and to increase competitiveness in the new world.

    In this changing world, the chance for Turkey to undergo a transformation in the coming period depends on technology startups.

    Technology startups offer a unique opportunity for the transformation of the Turkish economy. To be able to harness this opportunity, it is necessary to first recognize, and then to redefine localization and local value in the context of the 21st century ecosystem.

    It is essential to know and redefine what Turkey should expect from companies and what values these companies can create for Turkey.

    One of today’s most important tasks is to increase our level of “readiness” for the future of production. This means creating an environment and design incentives/interfaces to use domestic and foreign companies in order to solve existing problems in the startup ecosystem.

    It is time to think about using technology startups as a transformation tool in Turkey.

    This commentary was published in Hürriyet Daily News on 19.02.2018

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