Turkey’s First Steel Test and Research Center (ÇETAM) Was Opened at ITU
Nov 25, 2016

Steel Test and Research Center (ÇETAM) was opened in ITU Ayazaga Campus on 24 December 2016. ÇETAM project, in which Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) and Materials Testing and Innovation Laboratories Inc. (MATIL) are involved as partners, will be overseen by the Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Development.

ÇETAM is expected to present a good example of university-industry cooperation and contribute significantly to the development of Turkish steel industry. Among those who attended the opening ceremony of ÇETAM were Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin, ITU Rector Prof. Mehmet Karaca; Namık Kemal Ekinci, chairperson of Turkish Steel Exporters’ Association; Mustafa Çikrikçioglu, Deputy Chairperson of Turkish Exporters Assembly; and representatives from steel industry.

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In his speech at the opening ceremony, Istanbul Mayor and President of Istanbul Development Agency Vasip Şahin stated that he was happy to see time and financial resources turning into such a fruitful project.

Mayor Şahin: “We are very pleased with the outcomes of the project”

“This centre will play a significant role both in steel industry and other sectors. Such successful investments will push us into a more ambitious direction. The mission of all development agencies is to promote investment and economic activities in their local districts. As Istanbul Development Agency, we have a challenging task since Istanbul is the locomotive of Turkey. Such a project is new to us, and it has been like a trial, but we are very pleased with the outcomes.

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Such investments will significantly contribute to the sector. We believe we are on the right path. This project has well surpassed our expectations and horizon. Our national development will gain momentum if the private sector also displays such a dynamic performance. Responsibility to remove the barriers lies in us as official bodies. We are the 8th largest steel exporter in the world and 2nd in Europe. But would it suffice to take us to 2023 goals? We are not competitors but fellows. Serving the country for an industrialist can be seen as serving the interests of his company. It means expanding one’s business. And the more the industrialists profit, the more the country thrives,” said Sahin.

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ITU Rector Prof. Karaca: “Steel industry will gain momentum with the centre”

ITU Rector Prof. Karaca briefly informed the guests about ÇETAM. “ÇETAM is not only a test centre, but it is an R&D centre as well. Activities in the centre will contribute to R&D and testing procedures involving steel and similar materials. As most of us know, steel has a high share in Turkey’s exports. Before exporting steel, samples have to be sent abroad for a number of tests, and it can be exported once it receives the approval of the centre. We came up with the idea of opening this centre to save both time and money. The centre is expected to carry out all the export-related tests and save investors time. Test services here will be of great use for various sectors ranging from steel industry to construction and related industries. There is another building next to ÇETAM, which we are planning to put it into the service of ÇETAM and expand the centre.

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In his speech at the opening ceremony, Namik Kemal Ekinci, Chairperson of Turkish Steel Exporters’ Association, pointed to the significant role ÇETAM will play in steel industry, which is Turkey’s leading industry.

“Liquid steel production will contribute to increased production and exports. We aim to increase value added steel production and forestall the type of steel production that does not meet the required standards. With the establishment of this centre, we no longer have to send our products abroad for testing. It will be a significant time and labor gain for us. The activities in the centre will not be limited to testing; vocational training will be provided on steel science and technologies,” said Ekinci.

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TIM Deputy Chair Mustafa Çikrikçioglu defined ÇETAM as an asset to steel sector. “Istanbul Development Agency has generously contributed to the establishment of ÇETAM. Certification was a necessity for export. This centre will address a crucial need. It will help us on our path to 2023 goals and in terms of producing value added steel. Unit price for steel in our country is 550 dollars while it is above 2500 dollars in Sweden. We aim to reach average Swedish prices. I thank very much to Istanbul Development Agency, members of Turkish Steel Exporters’ Association, and Istanbul Technical University, who have contributed to the flourishing of steel sector. Turkey needs public-private and university partnerships. This centre will make great contributions to the steel sector,” said Çikrikçioglu.

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Stars of Steel Industry Awarded

After the opening ceremony, top steel exporters were given awards by the Steel Exporters’ Association. In the ceremony that took place in Suleyman Demirel Cultural Centre, 39 top-exporting companies received 48 awards in 16 product categories. Companies in the first 10 in all categories were given 154 certificates. Habaş, İçdaş, and Diler are the companies that achieved highest export figures in all product categories.

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What are ÇETAM’s goals?

ÇETAM, based in ITU Ayazaga Campus, primarily aims to help the national steel sector to gain a competitive edge in international markets by providing characterization tests and certification services for products and materials. The aim of these services is to help firms overcome non-tariff technical barriers such as export certification and test requirements, which are frequently encountered problems in steel industry. Removal of such barriers and the Centre’s provision of technical infrastructure support for R&D and innovation work are expected to facilitate an upward trend in steel exports.

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The Centre primarily aims to serve steel manufacturers, suppliers, exporters, and importers as well as raw material and semi-material suppliers in steel industry based in Istanbul and its surrounding. Another target group of the Centre is the firms that use steel as derivative. The foremost expectations of Turkish steel industry with the establishment of ÇETAM are the foundation of a centre for tests, analysis, and certification for the steel sector, reduced product development and test costs, increasing the global competitiveness of Turkish steel industry, provision of accreditation and certification for assessment of appropriate sale procedures for steel products, increased service quality in the sector via training of employees, benefitting from university-industry cooperation, and strengthened infrastructure for R&D and innovative activities in the sector.

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