Digital transformation in the industry requires the provision of innovative products and services and the development of new customer-oriented business models with the help and efficient use of existing resources, knowledge, human capital and technology. The European Union contributes to the digital transformation of SMEs in various sectors with the initiatives it develops and digital innovation centers that allocate approximately 100 million Euros each year, while involving technical universities and research institutions in the solution of education, R&D and financing issues.
Some areas of need in the digital transformation of the necessity of Turkey's strategic importance to the automotive industry is export-oriented machinery and various policy documents specified in the planning and implementation stage, though it is still available. In this sense, it is necessary to establish an R&D ecosystem for digital transformation, to increase human resources capacity, and to strengthen communication between sectoral organizations and academic research institutions.
A Digital Innovation Center is established on the Middle East Technical University (METU) campus in order to contribute to the elimination of these deficiencies. Turkey Machinery Federation (MAKFED) and is aimed at increasing the METU Technopolis partnerships and R & D capacity for the use of digital technology with the cooperation will be developed by academia and industry with this project will be carried out with the support of the automotive sector, representatives of NGOs. This center, which will benefit from the experience and opportunities of METU, which is one of the few information centers that can lead the digital transformation of Turkish industry with its technical capabilities and human capacity for R&D, provides support in meeting the digital transformation needs of SMEs as well as supporting public institutions in this area. creation activities.
Within the scope of the project, a total of 3 laboratories will be established within the Digital Innovation Center, focusing on smart-flexible production systems, artificial intelligence and big data analytics, virtual and augmented reality. In order to improve the capacities of digital transformation services for SMEs, project stakeholder representatives as well as the staff and researchers within the center will be provided with training on the fundamentals of digital technologies and the financing mechanisms offered by the EU in this field. Pilot activities will be implemented to test the efficiency of digital transformation services for SMEs. In this context, events will be held for suppliers, including match-making days, training camps and software competitions. Different levels of digital transformation support will be provided to SMEs, taking into account their current capacities and needs. In addition, SMEs will be provided with training on digitalization programs of the EU, and support will be provided to selected SMEs to access financing opportunities offered through these programs.
It is anticipated that the Digital Innovation Center and its accompanying project activities will contribute to the enterprises it will support to integrate digital technologies into their existing products and processes. Thus, an increase in the competitiveness of SMEs in the machinery and automotive industry and their share in the global value chain is predicted. In addition, through the center, it is expected to train a permanent human resource with high digital technology capabilities for these sectors.
The project includes goals such as prototyping 5 new and innovative products, establishing 4 innovative businesses, and developing 2 eco-innovative products that can be commercialized. In addition, 10 women researchers such as engineers and technicians are expected to be included in R&D projects.
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