July 21, 2016

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Turkey's innovation, R&D, and entrepreneurship ecosystems have drastically improved in recent years, shaping perceptions of Turkey as an emerging innovation center. Situated in the heart of a 25 trillion dollar regional economy, and graced by a young, dynamic, and tech-savvy population, companies have taken notice of Turkey’s brimming potential. Many have seized the opportunities recently made available to move their innovation operations to buzzing Turkish hubs like Istanbul and Izmir.

In response, the American-Turkish Council, a leading business association, announces the U.S.-Turkey Innovation Summit, taking place on July 21st at Harvard University's Knafel Center in Boston, Massachusetts. The Summit will convene and connect private companies, universities, and government institutions to facilitate partnerships in R&D and address related topics including innovation ecosystems, methodology, risk, and legal considerations. Leading thinkers and practitioners will provide value to companies in defense & aerospace, agriculture, pharmaceutical, healthcare, energy, education, public safety, information and communication technologies (ICT), and tech by addressing crucial questions related to government support of R&D, opportunities for collaboration, technology transfers, and licensing. Participants will also include startups and VCs speaking about commercialization processes and the importance of innovation.

Why Attend

Featured topics for the #ATCSummit

Assessing Turkey’s innovation ecosystem

Creating power partnerships

Managing legal considerations

Rethinking R&D methods, metrics, and engagement

Examining technology transfers and growth through localization

Questions we'll answer include:

  • Why have major multinational companies, including GE and Siemens, recently built major research centers in Turkey?
  • What are the opportunities for R&D public-private partnerships across sectors, and what roles are best fulfilled by governments, private companies, and universities?
  • What are the major yet overlooked legal considerations related to innovation?
  • How can companies create a culture of innovation?
  • How might companies develop their global R&D programs to ensure they are consistent, standardized, and efficient?
  • Instead of seeing each other as rivals, how can big companies and start-ups effectively work together?


“Great first summit. Businesses should attend a future ATC Summit to get access to a good mix of experts from U.S. and Turkey.” Managing Director
PineBridge Investments
“Networking opportunities & business connections.” Public Affairs Officer
Turkish Embassy
“Networking opportunities, opportunities to get a holistic picture of Turkish-American relations.” ManagerExpertera
“Turkey will be a key partner in the region and has potential for a number of capabilities.” Program Manager
Pratt and Whitney
“Valuable knowledge and especially networking” CEO
TAYSE International
“The town hall format was superb. Everything felt much more participatory. Businesses should attend a future ATC Investment Partnership Summit” Vice President
GE Aviation
“Businesses should attend a future ATC Investment Partnership Summit; it is necessary for networking” Director
“Provides another one of those channels to learn about each other.” Director
FNSS Defense Systems

Speakers and Key Attendees

Keynote Speakers

Tayfun Akın

Founder & CEO, Mikro-Tasarim

Tayfun has published over 200 international journal and conference papers and is also co-founder and CEO of six startup companies, namely Mikro-Tasarim, MikroSens, Pikselim, Mikro BiyoSistemler, Mikrosistemler, and AREF Sens.

Cliff Emmons

VP R&D India and Extended Emerging Markets, Medtronic

Cliff Emmons has led design teams that commercialized both open stapling and endo-stapling surgical products, and technical teams focusing on soft tissue implant technology development.

Hakan Satıroğlu

Social Entrepreneur, Investor, Executive

Hakan Satıroğlu is an entrepreneur and investor specializing in education technology (EdTech) and innovation. He has been actively involved in either the founding or acceleration of more than 40 EdTech companies.

Michael Belliveau

Partner, Clark+Elbing LLP

Michael Belliveau has been at Clark+Elbing since 1998 and a partner since 2006. His work involves patent prosecution and opinion work, including the preparation of patentability, non-infringement, and freedom-to-operate opinions.

Elmira Bayrasli


Elmira Bayrasli is the author of From the Other Side of the World: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, Unlikely Places, a book that looks at the rise of entrepreneurship globally. She is also the co-founder of Foreign Policy Interrupted and a lecturer at New York University.

Özerk Şener

Partner, Sistem Global & Novicor Technology Partners

Özerk Şener’s expertise lies in developing custom legal and financial services to foster innovation and accelerate access to funding for technology companies of all sizes and sectors.

Serhat Çiçekoğlu

Founder, Sente Advisory Services

Mr. Çiçekoğlu is an expert on Innovation Management with over 20 years of experience serving corporations in Consumer Electronics, Semiconductor, Consumer Goods, and Industrial Products sectors, including AMD, Accenture and SAP.

Erdoğan Çeşmeli

Executive Director, GE Ventures

Erdoğan is Executive Director of GE Ventures in Boston, Massachusetts. He joined GE in 1999 as a scientist at the Global Research Center before moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to lead Global CT clinical research.

Taşkın Padır

Associate Professor, Northeastern University

Taşkın Padır is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northeastern University. He is the Director of Robotics and Intelligent Vehicles Research Laboratory (RIVeR Lab)

Ray Bassiouni

President, Acoustic Technology, Inc.

Dr. Ray Bassiouni, the founder and president of Acoustic Technology, Inc., holds a Ph.D. in Acoustic Engineering and specializes in the design, testing and implementation of Emergency Communication and Mass Notification Systems (MNS)

Erbil Karaman

Founder, Intrapreneur, Early Stage Investor

Erbil is a serial entrepreneur, an early stage investor and a product leader at Facebook where he initiated, led and launched many strategic efforts and mentored entrepreneurial young leaders.

Zehra Öney

CEO, Blippar Turkey

Zehra Öney is one of Turkey’s foremost mobile/digital marketing, advertising, social media and telecommunications experts. She is CEO of Blippar Turkey, the world’s leading augmented reality (AR) platform.

Orkun Hasekioğlu, Ph.D.

Executive VP, TUBITAK

Responsible for research institutions and international relations. Also a member of the Board of Governors of TUBITAK and European Commission Joint Research Centers.

Navroop Mitter

CEO, ArmorText

Practice builder, security and privacy expert, and now CEO, Navroop's multi-national career has included working with governments, startups, and the Global 2000 in Retail, Banking, Healthcare, Consumer Goods, Energy, and Telecomm.

Mehmet Toner

Prof. of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Prof. Toner currently serves as the Associate Director of the Center for Engineering in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital

Canan Dağdeviren

Junior Fellow, Harvard University

Currently, she has 23 journal papers, is inventor on 3 patent applications, and holds over 30 prestigious awards.

Banu Onaral

H. H. Sun Professor, Drexel University

Dr. Onaral has led major research and development projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), NIH, ONR, DARPA, DHS, FAA.

Ömer Er

Managing Partner, MiddleBridgePartners

Omer Er is the Founder and Managing Partner of MiddleBridgePartners, a boutique venture capital firm investing in early stage companies of the new economy in the US.

Ömür Budak

Consul General, Boston

Consul General of Turkey in Boston since October 1, 2014, Ömür Budak previously served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to President of Turkey between 2012 and 2014.

Howard Beasey

President & CEO, ATC

Mr. Beasey joined American-Turkish Council in February 2015 as the President and CEO. He is an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran and retired United States Marine.

Summit Schedule

Click here to download the schedule as a PDF.



09:00 - 09:30

Opening Ceremony and Welcoming Remarks

Ömür Budak
Consul General, Boston

Omur BudakConsul General of Turkey in Boston since October 1, 2014, Ömür Budak previously served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to President of Turkey between 2012 and 2014. His other past assignments include serving as the Counselor at the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the UN, New York; Head of Section at the Deputy Undersecretariat for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Second Secretary at the Permanent Representation of Turkey to the EU, Brussels and Third Secretary at the Turkish Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan. He started his career in June, 2002 as US Desk Officer in Ankara. Consul General Budak has been affiliated with Harvard University first as a fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and is currently a visiting researcher at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

09:30 - 09:45


09:45 - 10:15

Interview: Why Choose Turkey?

Attendees will identify why Turkey has caught the eye of large multinational corporations, and why several have recently opened R&D or innovation centers in Istanbul, Ankara, Kocaeli, and Izmir. How is Turkey incentivizing innovation? What are Turkey’s comparative advantages? What can Turkey do better to boost FDI in R&D?

10:05 - 11:00

Roundtable Discussion:
R&D Partnerships: Incorporating Government, Industry, and Universities

Companies will better understand R&D incentives available in Turkey and the U.S. and how they can most effectively collaborate with government and universities to address large-scale challenges. How are these partnerships created and sustained?

11:00 - 11:30

Morning Networking Break

11:30 - 11:50

Patent Laws: Protect, License, and Share

Companies will recognize major, yet overlooked, legal considerations related to their innovation processes. This talk will also illuminate considerations to be aware of when entering or expanding their company’s global R&D efforts.

12:00 - 13:30

Networking Luncheon and Keynote Address

Daron Acemoğlu
Killian Professor of Economics, MIT

Daron AcemogluDaron Acemoğlu is the Killian Professor of Economics at MIT. In 2005 he received the John Bates Clark Medal awarded to economists under forty judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. Acemoğlu, together with James A. Robinson of Harvard University, authored Why Nations Fail, which received widespread critical acclaim.

Dr. Acemoğlu will articulate how innovation in Turkey can contribute to strong, balanced economic growth. Attendees will better recognize the significant role U.S.-based multinational companies play in facilitating innovation in Turkey through technology transfers and the sharing of data. Dr. Acemoglu will furthermore address the importance of patent protection laws, and their role in creating a sustainable and healthy innovation ecosystem.

13:30 - 14:25

Roundtable Discussion: Opportunities and Challenges for Innovators Exploring Foreign Markets

This roundtable discussion will explore different approaches companies take when it comes to investing in R&D in the U.S. and Turkey. How do companies confront the cultural and economic differences between the U.S. and Turkey? How are tech products developed, applied, and promoted to fit the needs of both markets?

14:25 - 14:45

Interview: Spotlight on Innovation

This interview will feature a discussion of the diverse and dynamic nature of R&D ecosystems, the differences and similarities between Boston, Silicon Valley, and Istanbul, and how startups can effectively navigate these different environments. With an exciting new generation of up-and-coming companies in the U.S. and Turkey, what must they do effectively to appeal to multinationals and VCs for funding?

14:25 - 15:15

Afternoon Networking Break

15:15 - 16:10

Roundtable Discussion: From Concept to Commercialization:
Technology Transfers and Global Growth Through Localization

How have recent innovative start-ups taken their business from concept, to the laboratory, to reality? What are large corporations,VCs, and governments looking for in emerging tech companies and universities, and how are their motivations different? How have technology transfers and localization helped businesses commercialize their ideas?

16:10 - 16:30

Collaborating to Overcome the World's Greatest Challenges

The Izmir-based Near Zero-Zone, a joint U.S-Turkey project, was designed to reduce Turkey’s dependence on energy imports, bolster energy security, cut carbon emissions, and make industry more profitable, while creating business opportunities for U.S. and Turkish energy efficiency technology and service providers. Attendees will hear about a Public-Private Partnership success story, and learn about the ways U.S. and Turkish government institutions, universities, and private companies collaborated to promote sustainability. Companies will be better able to understand how they can effectively collaborate with govt and universities.

Time TBD

Networking Reception hosted by Turkish Consulate General, Boston


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Knafel Center, Harvard University

18 Mason St.

Cambridge, MA 02138

Nearby Accomodations

Sheraton Commander Hotel

16 Garden St,

Cambridge, MA 02138

Book Online [0.1 mile]

The Charles Hotel

1 Bennett St

Cambridge, MA 02138

Book Online [0.4 mile]

Hotel Veritas

1 Remington St

Cambridge, MA 02138

Book Online
Additional details

The Summit will take place at Harvard University's Knafel Center, located in Cambridge in the Boston metropolitan area. Boston is the international capital city of innovation. It is where the innovative spirit of world-class educational institutions liaise with government and the private sector to seek solutions to many of the world's most pressing problems. Talented researchers spill out of Boston's top universities to amass the densest collection of life sciences and startups anywhere.

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