Research & Development

The leading Turkish Group on the global list of R&D spending

The Koç Group is determined to enhance its competitive edge by leading in innovation and technology in its business areas. It maintains its focus on delivering innovative, environmentally friendly and energy efficient products and services.

In addition to TL 3.4 billion R&D investments between 2007-2013, Koç Group made an additional TL 920 million investment in R&D in 2014. Koç Group constitutes nearly 10% of total private sector R&D expenditure in Turkey.

European Union Projects

Koç Holding companies increased their involvement in EU-funded projects, with the number of projects under the EU 7th Framework Program (FP7) and in the Horizon 2020 (H2020) rising to 22, hence more than 50% more than the previous year, and the Eureka program reaching 24 and thus more than 85% more than the previous year.

The interim meeting of the project COMOSEF - Co-Operative Mobility Services of the Future, in which Otokar and KoçSistem partake as project stakeholders, took place in Istanbul and Sakarya in November under the responsibility of the Turkey Consortium, with the participation of over 20 partner firms hailing from 8 countries; and the first demo was showcased as part of the project.

With 12 ongoing or completed projects, Arçelik A.Ş. became the Turkish private company with the highest number of projects in the scope of the 7th Framework Program in 2014. Meanwhile, the projects named FoF (Factories of Future) and “ProRegio - Customer-driven Design of Product-services and Production Networks to Adapt to Regional Market Requirements” became entitled to the support of the European Union, as part of its recently launched program H2020. Furthermore, Arçelik preserved its leading position in the Eureka program, which accepted three of its projects initiated in 2014.

As the very first Turkish company to assume the role of Project Coordinator in the 7th Framework Program, Tofaş continued its “Robopartner” Project in 2014. In September. Tofaş organized a conference with speakers from CRF, Turin Polytechnics, City of Regensburg and Götaland Region, members of the SAGE (Safe and Green Vehicles Europe) Project Platform. At the event, 12 universities and TÜBİTAK Marmara Research Center (MAM) from Turkey made presentations and showcased their competencies, and possible cooperation opportunities between Project Platform and Turkey were discussed at length.

The project CyberWI (Cyber-Security in the Wireless Industrial Use Cases), which aims to provide communication and Internet security solutions for wireless devices in the industry, received acceptance and support in the international arena: Yapı Kredi is a partner of the project within the scope of the Eureka/Celtic-Plus Program.

Environmentally-friendly and innovative products that raise customer living standards

Awards and Events

The 2nd Private Sector R&D Centers Summit was held in Kocaeli in March. According to 2012 data, Otokar in the automotive sector and Arçelik in the consumer durables sector were deemed worthy of first prizes in the R&D Centers Performance Awards.

The 3rd Private Sector R&D Centers Summit was organized in December in Ankara. R&D center performances were evaluated on the basis of 2013 data, and as a result, TürkTraktör, Arçelik-LG and Tüpraş were considered to host the best R&D centers in their respective sectors. Tüpraş, on the other hand, ranked 4th in the overall listing including 164 R&D centers.

Group companies participated in the third edition of the Turkey Innovation Week organized by Turkish Exporters’ Assembly. On the second day of the event, Arçelik received the awards “Leadership in R&D” and “Leadership in Technology Development” from the Turkish Prime Minister Prof. Ahmet Davutoğlu. At the award ceremony of Turkey’s first innovation development program InovaLİG – Innovation Leaders Program, held on the third day, Arçelik was granted the first prize in the category of “Innovation Strategy” from the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Tofaş ranked 2nd in the Innovation Strategy category, while Yapı Kredi Bank-Tüpraş and Ford Otosan ranked respectively 4th and 5th in the Innovation Cycle category.

Arçelik A.Ş. garnered the “Grand Prize for Innovation” at the Young Turkey Summit which hosted 3,000 university students from 165 nations across the world and the 81 provinces of Turkey. The summit was organized around the theme “Think Innovation, Manage the Future” through a strategic cooperation of Yıldız Technical University, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Science and Technology, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Turkish Exporters Assembly and Istanbul Chamber of Industry.

At the 12th edition of the Innovation and Creativity Awards organized by TESİD, Arçelik won the Jury Special Award for its Enhanced Connected LED TV which boasts an advanced user interface and can run multiple applications.

At the Energy Efficiency Forum and Fair, one of the most important events of Energy Efficiency Week, Arçelik was awarded twice in the annual Industrial Energy Efficiency (SENVER) Project Competition of Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. Arçelik’s “A+++ -10%” tumble dryer garnered the “Most Efficient Product” award in the “Energy Efficient Product” category, and its dishwasher plant won the “Jury Special Award” in the “Most Efficient Industrial Plant” category.

At the Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards, which designates the year’s most innovative technology applications, Vodafone’s My Business Partner and Ford Otosan’s Ford Trucks Filobil project were awarded in the category “Business Solution Innovations”.

The New Ford Tourneo/Transit Connect, engineered in large part by Ford Otosan, became the first light commercial vehicle to receive a Euro NCAP five-star safety rating in its class.

In a first for Turkey and the financial world, Yapı Kredi placed the Google search appliance product and search functionality at the center of its web page. This was designated as a Case Study by Google itself, and shared across the world as a best practice.

Yapı Kredi’s “Branch Transaction Experience Project” garnered Turkey Researchers Association’s “Innovative Owl Award.”

In recognition of its drive for excellence in vineyard and orchard tractors, TürkTraktör was deemed worthy of “Tractor of the Year 2015,” one of the most prestigious awards in the segment. In 2014, TürkTraktör also received the first prize at the Export Stars Awards in the category “New Market – Market Diversity Award” and came first at the DC Turkey CIO Summit 2014 Turkey with its IT Governance Project.

Defense Industry

The 22nd project assessment meeting of Altay Project - Turkish National Main Battle Tank Program, was held in September at Otokar, with the participation of commissions from Under- secretariat of Defense Industry, Army General Staff, and Land Forces Command. The verification prototypes of the Altay Tank, with an indigenous design by Otokar, were manufactured and made ready for testing.


As part of its R&D activities, Tüpraş has carried out 10 TEYDEB-approved projects, two EUREKA projects and one ARDEB 1003-supported project in 2014. Spread across a covered area of 7,258 m², the Tüpraş R&D Center Campus was commissioned in early 2014. Following the project entitled “Exchanger Pollution Monitoring, Modeling, Simulation and Optimal Maintenance Planning to Reduce Refinery Energy Waste”, a simulation program was developed and field work was initiated. As part of the project, patent applications were made and Tüpraş’s first commercial product with international brand certification, “HexMon”, was developed. Tüpraş has also launched the country’s only R&D labs focusing on energy and refining, which are planned to serve other companies in the near future.

In collaboration with Koç University, Opet continues to work on the project “Real Time Detectable Sticker and Sensor for Liquids” initiated in July 2012. Opet has also set up a nano technology lab at Koç University. The first lab of its kind in the world in terms of products, and the only lab of its kind in Europe in terms of equipment, Koç University Opet Nanomaterials Research Laboratory (KUNAL) aims at developing technological products with high added value.

Carrying out three TÜBİTAK-approved R&D projects, Aygaz has arrived to the industrial scale unit installation and commercialization stage in the TEYDEB-funded R&D project “Elimination of Heavy Hydrocarbons.” Co-developed by Tüpraş and Aygaz, the “Olefin Oligomerization Light and Medium Distillate Production” project was initiated with support from TEYDEB.

R&D efforts crowned with awards, expert R&D staff and Turkey’s largest R&D center


In the last ten years, the number of Ford Otosan’s highly qualified R&D personnel has increased by leaps and bounds. The number of our R&D employees, which stood at 200 at the beginning of 2000s, has reached 1,350 as of year-end 2014. This growth continued with the inauguration of Sancaktepe R&D Center at year-end 2014. This center was named by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology as “Turkey’s Largest R&D Center.”

At the end of a 40-month period which includes engineering, prototype, factory construction and manufacturing preparations, Ford Transit and Tourneo Courier models started being produced in May 2014 at Ford Otosan’s Yeniköy Factory. The vehicle, whose entire engineering responsibility has been assumed by Ford Otosan, is Ford’s very first light commercial vehicle on the B (small) platform.

In yet another ground-breaking achievement for the Turkish automotive industry, Ford Otosan exported technology to China in 2014. As per an agreement reached with Jiangling Motor Corporation (JMC), the Ecotorq engines, whose intellectual property rights are owned 100% by Ford Otosan, will be manufactured in China, the world’s largest truck market. In July 2014, Ford Otosan added another achievement on top of this one, reaching another agreement with the same firm by granting them a license for the chassis and cabin technology of existing trucks.

Ford Otosan opened its second Engine Test Center in Eskişehir İnönü Factory, following the one in Gölcük. Meanwhile, at Gölcük R&D Center, the EUR 1.5 million Exhaust Gas Emission Systems Test Center was inaugurated. Located in Ford Otosan Gölcük R&D Center, the plant stands out as the only Ford facility of its kind in the world.

Otokar completed the accreditation process for Turkey’s largest and the world’s most modern Electromagnetic Compatibility Test Center. The Center offers electromagnetic compatibility certification and testing services for the automotive and defense industries.

Otokar has released to the market its new, 10-meter bus Doruk LE, which boasts a high passenger capacity. The Company participated in the Eurobus Expo 2014 fair in Birmingham, UK, with new models featuring right hand drive.

Tofaş launched a new version of Doblo dedicated for the North American market.

Tofaş continued its work on the development of a new passenger car platform customized to meet the needs of Turkish, European and American clients, as well as the new Sedan vehicle. In 2014, the Company decided to invest in two new models, HB and SW, in the same car family and initiated the projects.

TürkTraktör inaugurated its factory in Erenler/Sakarya which has an open space of 220,000 m2. In 2014, the Company released the models New Holland TR6 Series, TDD Delta Series, T5 EC, T6 AC, T480S and New Holland TD4B.

As part of our commitment to sustainable leadership, we continue to offer consumers many “mosts” and “firsts”

Consumer Durables

Maintaining its sustainable leadership, Arçelik continues to offer consumers many “mosts” and “firsts.” Thanks to intensive R&D efforts, Arçelik has managed to stand out among the competition in environmentally-friendly and energy efficient products such as “The Most Energy Efficient Dishwasher,” “The Most Energy Efficient No-Frost” and “Static Combi Refrigerator.”

At one of the world’s most important consumer electronics fairs, held in September in Germany, the Company showcased to consumers a number of innovative products including washing machine with CoolHygiene® technology and dishwasher featuring Auto GlassShield® technology.

Arçelik-LG has completed its product range fully compatible with the energy regulation which came into effect on January 1, 2014. For this purpose, the Company carried out projects which enhanced the heating efficiency of its devices, in order to meet the heating performance revision made to the said regulation, which came into effect on January 1, 2015.


Yapı Kredi’s two San-Tez projects received support from Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology. The project Q-Track, carried out in partnership with Gebze Advanced Technology Institute, is designed to track the physical movement patterns of customers in branches. The other San-Tez project is an augmented reality application running on the SARAS phone camera, carried out in collaboration with Galatasaray University.

In three years, Yapı Kredi’s idea-generating system Evreka received 30,000 suggestions from employees, 200 of which were put into practice.

Eight Koç Sistem projects received approval on the Eureka platform. The support process started for five Eureka/ITEA2 projects, whose TÜBİTAK processes are still ongoing. The joint San-Tez Project of KoçSistem and Işık University received approval from Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology. KoçSistem joined the ITEA Board of Directors to represent Turkey.

Tat Gıda became the first company to host the Koç Innovation Program, designed to bring out innovative and creative ideas and transform these into products and services which will add value to our business. All process of the program was completed. The portal “İYİFİKİR (Good Idea),” which collects and assesses new ideas and ensures the continuity of information flow, was integrated with the recently launched R&D portal. The R&D study entitled “Lycopene Extraction from Tomato and Production Waste” was presented at the 2nd International Food Technology Congress.