Building Partnerships: Turkey

DELEGATION  MEMBERS:

Dr. Steven Pueppke, Associate Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies/Director CANR Global and Strategic Initiatives

Dr. Gretchen Neisler, Director, Center for Global Connections in Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources

Dr. Norman Graham, Director, European, Russian and Eurasian Studies/Associate Dean, James Madison College

Dr. Joan Rose, Homer Nowlin Chair in Water Research/Professor, Co-Director of the Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

Dr. Les Bourquin, Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Dr. Pascal Nzokou, Associate Professor, Department of Forestry

Mr. Sean Lawrie, Special Projects Coordinator, Center for Global Connections in Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources

Ms. Nurten Ural, Honorary Consular General, Michigan/Co-Executive Director Turkish Resource Center of North America (TRCNA)

TURKEY VISIT AND NEXT STEPS:

THE MSU TEAM MET WITH THE FOLLOWING UNIVERSITIES AND COMPANIES:

  • TUBITAK Mamara Research Center

    • Met with members of the Food Institute (1 of 7 institutes)
    • Relies on internal and external funding (mostly from EU).  Funding allocation is based on priority of policy as set by TUBITAK
    • Conducts research on advanced and conventional technologies to improve competitiveness of Turkish industry, solves technological problems, and ensures the application of developed technological solutions
    • Focuses on applied research (innovative, partnership, collaborative and tech transfer)
    • Work with industrial entities, defense institutions, universities and other public institutions

    • NEXT STEPS:
      • Looking to collaborate with U.S. universities and institutions on projects (will provide some funding for projects between U.S. and Turkish researchers)
      • Interested in sending MSU faculty to Turkey and vice versa (has 1 year research scholarship program)
      • Inquiry as to whether CANR departments are interested in hosting more visiting scholars from Turkey as well as sending MSU faculty (sabbatical) to TUBITAK (which they have funding for)

  • Marmara University

    • Met with Environmental Engineering Faculty (20 year old department)
    • Main focus areas are on waste water treatment, water treatment, air pollution and environmental pollution in addition to interdisciplinary studies and water quantity.
    • Water management and trans boundary industries are of focus as well
    • Looking to get funding from Turkish Water Institute (former chair is Director) who is funded by Ministry of Water & Forestry

    • Next Steps:
      • Explore possible MOU
      • Strongest MSU CANR collaborators would probably be BAE, ESPP, Fisheries & Wildlife and Water Research Institute
      • Faculty exchange (also MEVLANA)
      • MEVLANA will cover travel costs for MSU faculty to spend time in Turkey (short visits 1 week minimum-2 month maximum)

  • Ulker Company (Northstar)

    • $7 billion in annual sales (owns Godiva chocolates)
    • Heavily involved in wheat and rice flour research in addition to microbial packaging
    • Trying to get EU funds
    • Interested in collaborating with U.S. universities especially to get funding for research
    • Major area of interest is fats and oils (sunflower oil is the most popular oil but 40% is imported) in addition to waste water

    • NEXT STEPS:
      • Explore internship opportunities for MSU CANR students
      • Possible collaboration with MSU Food Science and Human Nutrition (Les) and School of Packaging

  • Istanbul Planting, Landscape Educational Services and Zoo Management Industry and Trade CO.

    • Works with TUBITAK and Turkish universities (accounts for 90% of research projects)
    • Tulips are very important and popular (used as natural food color). 
    • Water is an issue due to salinity issues
    • Currently have no international partnerships
    • Willing to host MSU CANR students as interns
    • Willing to send their employees to the U.S.

    • NEXT STEPS:
      • Look into placing MSU CANR interns
      • Look into bring employees to MSU (possible short course program “Urban Forestry”)
      • MSU CANR departments of interest School of Planning, Design and Construction, Forestry, Horticulture (MSU is renewing its Urban Forestry program)
      • Possibly send MSU faculty (MEVLANA Program)

  • Istanbul Technical University

    • Switched to U.S. higher education system
    • Currently has relationships (dual degree programs) with 8 U.S. universities including University of Buffalo, SUNY, Montana State, Southern Illinois
    • Funding ($55 million) comes from Ministry of Development, TUBITAK, ISTKA, TARBIL, EU and SANTEZ
    • Met with representative of Food Engineering
    • Main interests are food microbiology, essential oils, anti-microbial packaging, dairy, hazelnut paste and phenolates
    • Met with representative of ITU Ari Technopark

    • NEXT STEPS:
      • Joan and Norm currently have an ongoing project (PIRE project) with ITU
      • MSU and ITU are both working on microtoxins
      • Student mobility with MSU CANR

  • Istanbul University 

    • Met with Dean of Forestry Faculty and heads of forestry departments
    • Very interested in creating a new English program (as currently all instruction is in Turkish) with U.S. and also a U.K. university
    • Also very interested in hosting guest lecturers (MEVLANA) and faculty exchanges
    • 3 departments
      1. Forest Engineering
      2. Forest Industrial Engineering
      3. Landscape Architecture

    • NEXT STEPS:

      • Follow up with Dr. Ahmet Yesil (Dean of Forestry Faculty)
      • Work with IU on developing an English program Create possible short course program at
      • MSU for IU Forestry Faculty
      • Student exchanges and study abroad
      • Add an amendment to current MOU with IU

  • Yildiz Technical University

    • Met with Food Engineering Department
    • Very enthusiastic about collaborating with MSU on research
    • There could be an MOU with SPDC in existence and if so then can amend to include collaboration with Food Engineering Faculty at Yildiz
    • Currently doing work on biosensors and food safety work with rapid testing and smart packaging
    • Also working on food microbiology and functional foods

      • NEXT STEPS:
        • Possibly work on creating/amending MOU
        • Possibly connect Yildiz with Kirk Dolan of BAE/FSHN
        • Reach out to MSU School of Packaging as well

  • Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock

    • Responsible for research and development
    • Have a budget of approximately $85 million
    • Receive TUBITAK funding and also work with TIKA, FAO, EU, CGR Institutes, ICARDA and IFPRI
    • Main focus is to increase yield and quality as well as improve sustainability
    • More important areas are sunflowers, Black Sea turbot, potato, kiwi, wheat, lemon, layer hens, solar irrigation and animal vaccines
    • Food security is a top priority (wheat is main food security crop)
    • Turkish government encourages private sector collaboration and they acknowledge the need for extension and outreach services

      • NEXT STEPS:
        • Encourage MSU faculty to travel to Turkey through MEVLANA program as well as TUBITAK funding
        • Bring researchers to MSU for short courses, visiting scholars as well as various programs available through TUBITAK (up to one year) and MEVLANA
        • See if MSU can help create and implement an effective outreach and extension program in Turkey (along with Turkish universities)

  • Middle East Technical University

    • Due to a misunderstanding our time at METU was very brief and mainly consisted of a quick campus tour.  The delegation was not able to meet with any high level administrators or faculty representatives
    • Modeled on U.S. land grant system
    • METU appears to have a strong study abroad program and has a history of sending its students for international study abroad programs
    • Have an existing relationship with University of Michigan

      • NEXT STEPS:
        • Could be study abroad opportunities for MSU and METU students?
        • Need to visit METU again on another trip

  • Ministry of Science and Technology

    • Works on many programs in Africa (Kenya and Somalia)
    • Looking for possible partnership with MSU in Africa
    • Wants to do more work with U.S. partners (high priority to Turkish Americans working in universities) (especially those with access to World Bank)
    • Partnerships can be formed and funded by TUBITAK
    • Receives a lot funding from EU
    • Some current areas of interest are ICT, energy and nanotechnology
    • Food safety and security issues are very important as well

      • NEXT STEPS:
        • Encourage their researchers to visit MSU on MEVLANA or TUBITAK funding
        • MSU departments BAE &FSHN
        • Look into doing collaborative work in Africa (Gretchen meeting with representatives at the Turkish Embassy in Zimbabwe at the end of March 2014)

  • Ministry of Forestry and Waterworks

    • 6 areas (Forestry, Desertification, National Parks & Nature Conservation, Water Management, Water Affairs and Turkey Water Institute)
    • Current Forestry research areas are Forestry Seeds & Breeding (largest), Soil & Energy and Tree Species (fastest growing area and is used for forestation and landscape purposes as well as furniture and building)
    • Interested in biofuels and biomass but is not economical for them to pursue right now
    • Need for forest floor (soil)

    • NEXT STEPS:
      • Possible collaboration with MSU Forestry
      • Were very interested in Carbon

  • Chamber of Agricultural Engineers

    • Half government entity, half non-government entity (government mandates membership which is mandatory)
    • Primarily responsible for training and capacity development
    • Also acts as a lobbyist
    • Acts as a representative to CGIAR
    • No GMO for human consumption is allowed in Turkey

    • NEXT STEPS:
      • Not much opportunity for collaboration especially given anti-GMO Stance

  • Tubitak (Ankara- Main Office)

    • TUBITAK is the secretary for the Supreme Council
    • 6 main functions of TUBITAKAim is to increase research expenditures by investing $1 billion in funding
      • Science and technology policy formulation
      • Performing R & D
      • Funding innovation
      • Human resources development
      • Science & society (journals, centers, publications)
      • International science and technology cooperation
    • Receive approximately 5,000 proposals and about 1,200 are actually funded
    • Average scope of projects is 48 months and average funding is $180,000 for 3 year projects (projects can go up to 5 years)
    • Have a current action plan for work in U.S. and the topics include energy, biomedical health, agriculture, education, engineering, sustainability, food and technology
    • Will fund organized workshops, exchange of scientists and joint projects

      • Program 2215- Graduate Scholar Program
      • Program 2216- Research Fellowship
      • Program 2219- Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship
      • Program 2214- Research Fellowship for Ph.D. Studies
      • Program 2214b- Joint Ph.D. Program

      • NEXT STEPS:
        • Update CANR faculty on funding opportunities that exist to both bring Turkish scholars/researchers to MSU as well as sending MSU faculty to Turkey
        • Help connect MSU faculty to Turkish researchers for possible funding of a joint project
        • Inform CANR graduate program’s leadership of desire to send and fund scholars to attend U.S. universities for post-graduate degree(s)

  • Ankara University

    • Currently have MOU’s with 5 universities in the U.S. and 18 with European universities
    • Very active with Mevlana Exchange Program
    • Mevlana Program provides for higher education opportunities in non-Eurasian countries for undergraduates (min. 2.5 GPA), graduate students (min. 3.0 GPA) (basic level of Turkish for both) and academics (no language requirement/program will cover travel costs and per diems/program can last 1-3 weeks)

    • NEXT STEPS:
      • Explore student mobility (especially through Mevlana Program)
      • Make MSU CANR faculty aware of Mevlana Program
      • Reach out to MSU Vet. Med. for possible opportunities with Ankara University

  • EGE University

    • Met with Faculty of Fisheries and some from Agriculture (work closely together)
    • Main areas of interest are Marine Biology, Freshwater Biology, Fisheries, Fresh Water, Aquaculture and Processing

    • NEXT STEPS:
      • Joan Rose and Norm Graham have existing relationships with Ege
      • MSU Fisheries & Wildlife as well as MSU Water Institute
      • Mevlana program

  • International Agriculture Research and Education Center & Agean Directorate of Agriculture Research Studies

    • IARTC provides training and research
    • Main aim is to create multi-disciplinary customer driven projects
    • Analyze agricultural problems at national and international level
    • Has a good relationship with FAO (regional office in Ankara)
    • Some partners include Water Users Association and Izmir Development Agency
    • Main focus regions are Eurasia, Middle East and Balkan region
    • Doing work with Organic Farming, IPM, Irrigation, Food Safety & Additives, Animal Genetic Resources and Watershed Hydrology

    • NEXT STEPS:
      • Continue to talk about collaboration (IARTC does not have funding available)
      • Possibility to bring MSU CANR faculty to IARTC to teach short course programs (possible use of TUBITAK funding)

  • Yasar Holding



    • Met with representatives from Pinar (bottled water, dairy and meat) and Camil (animal feed and small amount of pet food)
    • Raw materials (cost) is very important issue (over 50% is imported)
    • Very involved in aquaculture business
    • Some issues that they are facing include price of animals, high feed prices and packaging
    • Work with universities on water quality
    • Have some projects with EU but nothing with U.S. (are interested in R & D studies)
    • Very interested in packaging R & D (TUBITAK can fund collaboration)

    • NEXT STEPS:
      • Explore Internships for MSU CANR students
      • Let School of Packaging know of possible opportunity for R & D (TUBITAK funding)
      • Possible waste water collaboration