Nowadays, simple mechanical mechanisms are being replaced by complex systems described as "smart", and the production and use of products produced with smart technology is becoming more widespread in the world every year. Industry is one of the leading sectors in this transformation and smart technologies are starting to gain weight in agricultural machinery.
Konya, has a different significance in agricultural machinery in Turkey. This is our province, agricultural machinery in Turkey (excluding tractors), about 65% of its production, while exports accounting for some 45% approximately. SMEs operating in the field of agricultural machinery production in Konya mainly produce conventional agricultural machinery.
However, with the Precision Agriculture (Precision Agriculture), which started to be pronounced in the late 90s, and Agriculture 4.0 (Agriculture 4.0) platforms that have emerged in the last few years, agricultural machines have started to undergo a transformation. New generation agricultural machines can work with much higher efficiency. Therefore, it has become a necessity for the producers in the region to keep up with this transformation in order to maintain their competitiveness, especially on a global scale.
KTO Karatay University, the beneficiary of the project, conducted a detailed demand analysis study for the producers in the region. According to the results of this analysis; (a) lack of qualified staff, (b) insufficient R&D capacity, (c) and inadequacy at the university-industry cooperation level in the region have emerged as the biggest problems in front of the sector's transition to smart technologies.
With the intention of answering all these problems, the Smart Technologies Design, Development and Prototyping Center Project was developed. The long-term goal of the project is to transform the agricultural machinery manufacturers in the region into smart agricultural machinery producers. Within the framework of the mentioned transformation, the center will have high-tech devices and qualified personnel that most of the SMEs cannot obtain with their own means. In this context, it will provide a perfect infrastructure in projects to be developed for the use of smart technologies in agricultural machinery. Electronic and mechanical high-tech prototyping devices, precision measuring devices and sensitive sensors that will enable tests in field conditions will be used in the center for the benefit of SMEs.
The center will also contribute to increase the R&D capacity of SMEs for smart technologies by carrying out joint R&D projects with SMEs for smart agricultural machines and organizing special training programs for needs. It is also aimed to obtain national and international patents through joint projects to be developed.
During the project, approximately 4 international fairs are planned to be visited, as well as network and cooperation visits with companies in similar sectors abroad.
The project is expected to contribute to the development of university-industry cooperation. The aim of the center is to work with a model in which the industry supports the academy to a certain extent, rather than a model in which the academy supports the industry. In line with this purpose, emphasis will be placed on determining project ideas together with SMEs, thus minimizing the risk of the product to be idle and not creating economic value.
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