A delegation of representatives led by Drexel University President John A. Fry traveled to Turkey April 16 to participate in activities designed to teach the delegates about the grassroots of the “regional innovation movement”’ in the cities, including Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir.
Members of the delegation included faculty from Drexel’s School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems and College of Engineering. Representatives from Duke University and The Johns Hopkins University also attended, according to a Drexel University press release.
The trip included a five-day tour of Turkey’s epicenters for research and technological innovation, including Koc University, Bogazici, Istanbul University, Istanbul Technical University, Sabanaci University.
Dr. Banu Onaral, director of the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, was responsible for organizing the trip.
“We are very interested in building relationships and innovation partnerships. We already did it in various places in various institutions in China and in Israel, and now we believe that Turkey is the next frontier because it’s an emerging economy,” Onaral said. “There are a very large number of young people who are very interested in innovation, entrepreneurship and philanthropy.”
According to the press release, the Drexel group “traveled to Ankara and visited technoparks linked to the Middle East Technical University and Bilkent University and returned to visit Teknopark Istanbul. Technoparks are intended to create synergistic relationships among universities, researchers in science and technology, industry and government that bolster the regional economy and drive progress in technological innovation.”
“The future of translational research at Drexel is based on coordinating our efforts with like-minded institutions and industry leaders,” Fry was quoted as saying in the press release. “Our trip to Turkey provided an opportunity to forge international collaborations in hopes of continuing our work to develop technologies that improve health and quality of life around the world.”
According to Onaral, this was the “inaugural meeting to meet and explore the idea of international collaborations, which we would certainly like to follow up with a return visit.”
The trip reaffirmed Drexel’s commitment to international academic and research collaborations in the international community as well as Drexel’s emphasis on translational research. Recent partnerships included collaborations with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and The Institute for Drug Research of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.