ITU Perspectives on the Future of Industry at Fortune Turkey - Industry 4.0 Conference
Sep 30, 2016

The concept of “Industry 4.0” basically aims to bring together information technologies and industry, and its underlying philosophy is developing next generation hardware and software, device-based Internet, low-cost but secure hardware and achieving all these with the least energy possible. It is projected that through this technology, in the future, smart factories will be established, 3-D design products will proliferate and diversify, and the IT sector will be transformed in accordance with these developments.

Drawing closer to its goal of becoming “Turkey’s first third-generation university”, ITU is distinguished for its perspectives on “Industry 4.0”. In his speech at Fortune Turkey Industry 4.0 Conference held in Istanbul, September 28, as the invited speaker, ITU Rector Prof. Mehmet Karaca shared with the participants his views on what industry 4.0 meant for Turkey’s future.


The Conference opened with the speech of Cüneyt Toros, the Editorial Director of Fortune Turkey, and among the speakers were Ali Rıza Ersoy, an ITU graduate and Vice President of Siemens Turkey; Mert Başarır, Türk Telekom CMO; Hakan Göl, Deloitte Turkey Director; Gökalp Çak, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Netlog Logistics; Bülent Özayaz, Vice President of Verifone Turkey, Southern Europe, and Russia; and Murat Sungur, Chairperson of Sustainability Academy. One of the main issues discussed in the conference were how Industry 4.0 will shape the future of Turkey and in what ways it could contribute to human-centered transformation, efficiency, and work ecosystem.

Prof. Mehmet Karaca: “University could contribute more to Industry”

ITU Rector started his speech by explaining that Industry 4.0 will exert the most influence on productivity and efficiency in information technologies and R&D and then talked about the contributions of Technical University, throughout its 243-year history, to Turkey’s industrial development, citing İTÜ ARI Teknokent as an example. Prof. Karaca stated that the past four years at ITU witnessed the opening of new fields and initiation of new projects and stressed that the university supports all entrepreneurs who have bright and innovative ideas, irrespective of their university background. Such a university climate, according to Karaca, will help Turkey better prepare for Industry 4.0 process.

Indicating that, as a corollary of university-industry cooperation at the university and its entrepreneurship ecosystem, the core mission of Technical University is to guide entrepreneurs into the right domain, Prof. Karaca stated that various ITU projects inspired by the notion of “knowledge economy” will continue. Karaca noted that in order to ensure continuity and prepare for Industry 4.0, syllabi at ITU are regularly updated in line with worldwide developments.

While commenting on the magnitude of the contribution academia could make to industry, Prof. Karaca expressed his belief that PhD students in Turkey should be encouraged to work on industrial issues. That 80 percent of PhD students abroad carry out their studies in the R&D departments of public institutions or private companies, according to Karaca, is a telling indicator for future directions in Turkey despite today’s reverse trend in the country. “80 percent of PhD students in Turkey choose to continue their career in academia while only 20 percent do R&D and innovation-based work. Reversing this trend would mean further contribution to the industry. Here lies an enormous potential, and this is one of the most crucial factors that could shape the future of our country,” Karaca commented on the issue while concluding his speech.