The first meeting of the Istanbul Information Society Watchdog Group was realized on January 20th, 2012 and the meeting was moderated by TBV (Turkish Informatics Foundation). During the meeting, the members were elected and the role and the responsibilities of the members were defined. Istanbul Information Society Watchdog Group was officially established with this meeting.
With the Istanbul Information Society Watchdog Group, it is aimed to carry out activities to support the progress towards being an Information Society of Istanbul and the development and the progress of ICT sector on R&D and innovation issues. Monitoring, advocacy, campaigns, promotion and lobbying in Istanbul, Ankara and Brussels are planned. In order to realize these activities, first of all it is aimed to establish an active, transparent and democratic watchdog mechanism to develop R&D and innovation processes in ICT sector in Istanbul. In this context, Istanbul Information Society Watchdog group, which includes the local stakeholders, the experts and consultants from ICT and the other R&D disciplines, was established to make advocacy to the public institutions which manage the processes of the policy making in Istanbul and to develop policies and suggestions for making new policies.
Istanbul Information Society Watchdog Group Established
First of all, the indicators of ICT R&D and innovation topics in Istanbul were defined and the Priority Setting and Road Mapping for Istanbul ICT Sector Workshop was organized on 24th November, 2011. After this workshop, according to his experiences and knowledge on R&D and innovation processes, the Project Sector Expert prepared the list of the local stakeholders, experts and consultants who should take place in the watchdog group. The relevant persons were invited to the meeting of Istanbul Information Society Watchdog Group within the selection of the members of the Istanbul Information Society Watchdog Group activity. The meeting of Istanbul Society Watchdog Group was realized on January 20th 2012, with the participation of 25 people including all of the project team and the invitees of the Istanbul Information Society Watchdog Group.
The meeting was moderated by Leyla Arsan, Project Coordinator. First of all Arsan stated that they initiated this project because of the important issues in ICT sector such as the necessity of the development of competitiveness and innovation level in ICT sector, innovation incentive elements and new legislations and the necessity of raising awareness about R&D and innovation issues in ICT Sector. She also emphasized that the threat of brain drain, the necessity of more lobbying activities in Ankara, the necessity of accelerating the studies of digital agenda and the EU harmonization processes by focusing on these issues with a common working group which will be created with the cooperation of NGOs, public and private sector and universities in Istanbul are the most important necessities that lead to the preparation of this project. Arsan pointed out the necessity of raising the participation in EU 7th Framework Programme projects and CIP ICT PSP Programme projects, encouraging Istanbul as privileged and raising awareness in Turkey and the EU.
Besides the project activities, the information about the watchdog group examples in the EU and in the worldwide and their mechanisms and also the mechanism of Istanbul Society Watchdog Group Project were shared with the participants during the meeting. The working groups were created by Behcet Envarli, Sector Expert and Cemil Arikan, Coordinator of Watchdog Group and the watchdog group members who would take place in the working groups were selected with the suggestion and the approval of all watchdog group. In this context, the working groups were defined below:
- Innovation and entrepreneurship
- Digital Agenda
- ICT Sector and regulations
The members of the watchdog group were also grouped by four watcher types such as Watcher-content, Watcher-writer, Lobbier and Strategists. After assigning the members to the working groups, the president of each working group was selected by the group members. In this context, the president of the R&D working group is Ali Akurgal (Akurgal Danismanlik), the president of innovation and entrepreneurship working group is Bulent Erbas (Koc Sistem), the president of the digital agenda working group is Haluk Gokmen (Egesys), the president of ICT and Regulations working group is Tayfun Ugur (TBV).
What will Watchdog Group do?
Istanbul Information Society Watchdog Group which was established officially in the first meeting of the group on January 20th, 2012 will generate the strategies and the legislations of the group, will contribute in defining the watchdog indicators and developing the watchdog database, will gather and analyze the data, will create the policy recommendations according to the analysis and will work on the regulations. The group will also contribute in the content of the Istanbul Information Society Watchdog Magazine which will be published bimonthly and will contribute in preparing the recommendation report of ICT R&D and innovation processes and the development of the policies in regional level by participating in lobbying activities in Istanbul, Ankaraand Brussels.