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The A1-Platform, TÜBİTAK 1004

The National Nanotechnology Research Center (UNAM) at Bilkent University is spearheading a TÜBİTAK-funded large-scale program aimed at developing advanced material technologies.

A consortium of organizations from industry and academia is working together for co-creation on the program, which has been named the A1-Platform.

The main industrial partners of the A1-Platform include TUSAŞ, Vestel and Şişecam, with Bilkent, Eskişehir Technical University, Abdullah Gül University and TOBB ETÜ serving as the primary academic partners and UNAM is the program leader. Including all the medium-to-small- scale enterprises involved as well as other academic partners, the platform has more than 20 partners. TÜBİTAK is providing more than 60 million TL to fund the venture through its Center of Excellence Support Program. Dr. Hilmi Volkan Demir of UNAM is the lead principal investigator of the program, working with colleagues who include the co-PIs from Bilkent and UNAM – Assoc. Prof. Ömer İlday, Asst. Prof. Serkan Kasırga, Asst. Prof. Bülend Ortaç, Asst. Prof. Onur Tokel, Assoc. Prof. Dönüş Tuncel, Asst. Prof. Serim İlday and Researcher Mustafa Ordu – as well as Program Manager Özgür Yıldırım and Program Coordinator Duygu Berberoğlu.

The A1-Platform is expected to develop advanced technological knowledge and trigger domestic production capabilities for products that will have a global as well as local market value, in line with national goals and policies. Examples of such products range from nanocrystals for display technologies to nanocomposites for use in Turkey’s aircraft industry.

The program is a natural fit for UNAM’s mission, which includes contributing to Turkey’s competitiveness in the global arena through: the production of high-impact knowledge and technological innovation; the creation of both economic and social benefits for the country by nurturing a skilled R&D workforce; and the development of technologically advanced materials for the global market by means of university–industry collaboration and co-creation.

UNAM thus has extensive experience in working with Turkey’s industrial corporations and academic institutions. The planning phase of the A1-Platform program, which involved more than 30 contributing partners and supporting stakeholders, spanned nearly two years. The actual work of the program started at the beginning of this year and will continue for four years.

In addition to its overall goal of developing advanced material technologies, the A1-Platform is expected to offer the benefits of synergy to its contributing partners, each of which will be able to use the collaboratively developed technologies to competitive advantage in their own sectors. The program is concentrating on five areas: nanomaterials; transparent components; structural components; displays; and high-tech glass.

The work of the program will, it is hoped, bring about the development of high-tech, value-added products for manufacture by various industries, including defense, durable consumer goods, electronics and glass, thereby making a direct contribution to Turkey’s economy.