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Turkey Accelerate Open Science with New Horizon Europe Agreements


Turkey signed three agreements with the EU Commission
for 2021-2027: the EU research and innovation program Horizon Europe, Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps (ESC)

written by Gultekin Gurdal, Library Director, Izmir Institute of Technology and OpenAIRE Executive Board Member

As a European Union candidate, Turkey has been participating in the technology and innovation programmes of the EU for nearly 20 years. With projects implemented within the scope of these programmes, the level of cooperation with the European innovation and research ecosystem is constantly increasing. 

Participating in the Horizon 2020 Programme, Turkey realized 812 projects with 1190 Turkish partners. Under the newly signed Horizon Europe Programme, universities, researchers, public institutions, industrial organizations, SMEs and non-profit organizations will have access to € 95.5 billion funding.  This will have a direct impact on the research and innovation efficiency in Turkey and will further support open access, open science, and research data studies in Turkey. 

OpenAIRE projects have also significantly impacted the establishment of essential infrastructures according to international standards. Among these infrastructures are Dergipark, Harman, and Aperta:

  • Dergipark provides academic journals published in Turkey with free online hosting services and an editorial workflow management system. It contains over 2000 journals.
  • Harman is the national harvester system. It contains more than 2 million records from 156 institutions.
  • Aperta is a data and publication repository for all researchers.

These infrastructures, which are among the prominent data providers of OpenAIRE, were established by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK). TUBITAK aims to develop Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) policies and help create the necessary infrastructures for implementing these policies. Another impact area of OpenAIRE projects is that they lead to a significant increase in the number of open access and open science policies of universities, leading to important stakeholders, such as Turkey's largest funder, TUBITAK, to adopt open science policies. Thanks to OpenAIRE, open access and open science studies could be carried out simultaneously with the other European countries. 

In 2018, OpenAIRE established a legal entity called OpenAIRE A.M.K.Ε. IZTECH was among the founding members and the board of directors recognizing the importance of open science and showing its will to follow closely and carry out open science practices in Turkey, setting as a first target the compilation of a National Open Science Policy.

The new Horizon Europe agreement and OpenAIRE's practices will be the determining factors in open science, research data and open data studies in Turkey, facilitating the country's integration with the Open Science Cloud while enabling Turkey to benefit more from the services and facilities of OpenAIRE.

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