03 March 2020
Our Secretary General, Dr Mehmet Yavuz, answered questions from journalists and gave detailed information about what our Agency has accomplished since its establishment and in what ways these accomplishments have contributed to the region, what its new approach and vision are for regional development over the forthcoming three years, and what projects and programs it plans on carrying forward.
It was announced at the event that our Agency would, over the next three years, concentrate more intensely on “Green Growth” and “Blue Growth” projects while working towards sustainable, quality development, and that both of these goals would be further sustained by our innovation and entrepreneurship efforts.
Dr Yavuz provided details about our Agency’s projects, launched in 2019 and planned to carry forth between 2020 and 2022. He expressed that the 2019 studies were preliminary in nature, and that the Agency worked intensively to establish four Sub-Regional Task Groups whose responsibility was to collect regional information, research, analyse, conduct workshops, and meet with regional stakeholders year round in order to boost cooperation with stakeholders and translate field experience onto Agency applications. Underlining how the said efforts have highlighted the environmental pressure Izmir is under, Dr Yavuz added that the 2020 – 2022 Project Program has been designed around “green growth” and “blue growth” approaches in order to achieve sustainable and quality development.
Blue Growth studies will focus on Izmir ports, and aim to enhance the region’s coastal economic potential. At the heart of this will be the goals of pushing creative industries to leap forward, strengthening the rural economy by means of boosting the level of high-added-value production of Traditional Production Basins, and promoting tourism in a way to achieve greater sustainability and contribution to regional economy.
Green Growth efforts, on the other hand, will focus on the industrial and agricultural sectors, working towards extending the reach of cleaner production technologies as its main goal. As part of these efforts, a Regional Sustainable Production Center will be established with an aim to provide manufacturers and industrialists with the necessary support and know-how in order for regional resources to be utilised in an environmentally friendly manner. It was also mentioned that, in the period ahead of us, Izmir’s national and international ties will be strengthened, and more and more research, marketing, and investment will be poured into Izmir’s already strong position in the area of sustainable energy—especially when it comes to the immense success and momentum Izmir has achieved as a producer of mechanical parts for wind energy and wind farms.
Another highlight was our focus on entrepreneurs, technology, and design within the scope of the innovation and entrepreneurship efforts that are at the heart of sustaining blue and green growth.
It was noted that various comprehensive projects are expected to support these goals, and help Izmir further thrive and build up considerable momentum in these areas over the following three years. Some of these include: Smart Specialization, which aims to transform Izmir into a highly innovative producer and exporter of technology; Digital Transformation; which aims to identify regional firms’ condition for digital transformation and to support them accordingly; a Regional Venture Fund, which will serve as new financial channel that is open to alternatives and growth (particularly for technology-based ventures), and ,Business Advisory Services among others.