ACT (Accelerating the Commercialization of Technology) Fund was established to market and support the new technologies developed in Turkey. The projects which will be supported by ACT will be determined by an assembly of 34 universities with the leadership of Boğaziçi University. ACT will invest EUR 100.000 to EUR 2.5mn in 20-25 technology initiatives between 2015 and 2018.
ACT helps researchers from diverse scientific fields moving their technologies from the lab to the market. It’s a startup seed accelerator focused in supporting the creation of high-growth technology-based ventures.
European Investment Fund has initiated the “Accelerating the Commercialization of Technology” (ACT) fund to support the technologies developed by research centers, universities and technology ventures in Turkey. Boğaziçi University Rector Prof. Gülay Barbarosoğlu stated that the projects which ACT will support will be determined by an assembly of 34 universities led by Boğaziçi University.
During a meeting held at Boğaziçi University where the initiated fund was announced to the public, Jacques Darcy, Head of Equity Investments Division at European Investment Fund pointed out the fact that technology transfer and commercialization of ideas have become an easier process and that when a researcher at a university located in Eastern Turkey have an original idea, he/she has the ability to contact any of the leading universities around the world and from this perspective, Darcy is quite pleased to invest in Turkey within the framework of ACT Fund.
Rector Prof. Gülay Barbarosoğlu further explained how ACT fund will work;
“Established in July 2015, with a budget of EUR 25mn, ACT’s aim is to commercialize new technologies developed by universities, research centers and technology ventures by investing in close to 35 projects during 2015-2018. As well as leading ACT’s University Committee, Boğaziçi University will also act as an advisor to the members of 34 universities who will submit their projects to the committee during the idea formation phase and provide support in benefiting from and utilization of incubation centers.”
Barbarosoğlu also stated that, ACT aims to mobilize the technology transfer market by supporting the projects which have a fast growth potential at their early phase. These technology projects will contribute to the economic growth via increasing the high value added production and exports in the country. Additionally, competitive technologies, products and services will also be offered to the global markets from Turkey. Act fund is available to all scientific and technological fields but priority is given to technologies with high value added potential such as information and communications technology, internet of things, wearable technologies, advanced materials, renewable energy, life sciences, bio-technology, bio-medical, autonomous systems, and robotics and mechatronics.
ACT takes into account the following criteria’s when evaluating the initiatives and patents:ACT’s main purpose is to form a mechanism which will enable the transfer of new technology ventures to large-scale global investment funds and companies hence, increasing the high-tech exports of Turkey. In order to achieve this, ventures with high commercialization potential will be identified and evaluated at their early developmental stages and necessary funds will be allocated to these projects. Thus, tech projects created with the support of major R & D organizations such as TÜBİTAK, Ministry of Development, KOSGEP and Programs within the EU framework will be transformed into business models, products and services via the ACT Fund.
* *Must be a new technology on a global scale, and not the repetition of a previously existing one
* *Protectable Intellectual property rights
* *Must be a product with a market potential, as well as providing a superior value compared to its competitors
ACT has evaluated 70 initiatives and patents since June 2015 and decided to invest in 4 projects initially. At least one third of the funds will be allocated to the Eastern Ankara Region. Kayseri, Gaziantep, Trabzon, and Elazığ are other cities that are considered for investment. The initiatives will be able to use the ACT Fund mainly in the areas of establishing professional teams, product development, access to global markets, and administrative and financial management.