Interview With R&D Director of Kimteks Polyurethane

05 Şubat 2018

 

We had a pleasant interview with Mr. Dr. Yener Rakıcıoğlu R&D Director of Kimteks Polyurethane about his professional
background in the industry, R&D activities in Kimteks 
Polyurethane and the current state of R&D culture and R&D
incentives in Turkey.

Mr. Yener Rakıcıoğlu, can you speak briefly of yourself, of your education, and of your professional CV?
I was born in 1969, in Rize. I am a Chemist. I began my professional career in 1990 as a Research Assistant in the Department
of Chemistry at the Faculty of Science and Literature, Istanbul Technical University. After about 10 years of work, while being
an assistant professor, I decided to enter the private sector. I worked as a R&D and Technical Service Manager at the Department
of Textile Lubricants in Gemsan A.S. for about 2 years. The first time I encountered with the polyurethane was in Elastogran
Polyurethanes (now called BASF Polyurethanes) in March 2003. In early 2016, I left the position of Global Technical Manager at
BASF Polyurethanes Rigid Department and started to work as an R&D Director at Kimteks Polyurethane.

Could you give information about your company’s R&D activities? What are your current projects and goals? What is
Kimteks’s R&D budget for 2018?

Kimteks Polyurethane became an R&D Center in May of 2017. R&D activities are carried out under three different sections as
Shoes, Rigid and Flexible&Case.

We aim to create new trends in the sector with a team of 20 imaginative employees. We carry out many new technology
development and improvement projects with the universities and leading institutions, especially TUBITAK, in order to meet the
needs of our country and our business partners. Every year, we spend about %2 of our total financial turnover for R&D. The
share of new products emerging through R&D activities is approximately %10.

One of the most significant objectives of Kimteks R&D  Center is to be one of the leading companies in termsof R&D. In line with
this objective; to increase the competencies, skills and amount of R&D personnel, to work intensively in cooperation with the
specialized units and universities for the development of personnel trainings, to strengthen the Application and Simulation
Laboratory infrastructure and provide the highest quality products to the customers, to increase the competitiveness of its
customers with innovative and leading R&D activities

Can you talk about the positive or negative conditions and developments in your R&D activities?
We have a management that understands the importance of R&D. In this way, we created the best staff of Turkey who are
specialized and experienced in their fields. Besides that, our technological infrastructure is also too strong. However, we are not
satisfied with these facts and continue to improve constantly.

Moreover, in recent years, the financial incentives by the Ministry of Science and Technology to the R&D centers have allowed us
to employ more qualified experts in the field of basic sciences and conduct many  TEYDEB projects that will meet the needs of
the sector.

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In the R&D Center, the product design covers the whole process from the synthesis of molecules to be utilized in the
formulations, to the development of systems and the testing of finished products through the machine tests in the Customer
Application and Simulation Centers.

What do you think about the impact of your company’s R&D operations on sales and export figures?
In Kimteks Polyurethane, the R&D department plays a key role in entering new markets. We export to 39 countries. In 2017,
about 33% of our sales were made by our export department. With the new products, both our export ratio and the number of
export countries are rapidly increasing.

In 2016, we achieved the fourth place in the Plastic Raw Material exportation in Turkey. In the same year, we achieved the first
place in the polyurethane systems sales in Turkey.

What do you think about the current state of R&D culture and R&D incentives in Turkey?
Unfortunately, most of the industrial organizations in Turkey focus on the product development, not R&D. However, P&D’s
contribution to the growth and competition is limited. We see that in recent periods, the activities for high value-added and new
product designs have gained momentum. This has been largely due to the incentives provided by the Ministry of Science and
Technology. While the amount of R&D Centers in Turkey in 2008 was only 20, today it is more than 800. In the near future, this
number is expected to be more than 2,500. In addition, the Ministry of Industry provides scholarships to the first thousand
students who prefer the basic sciences in the university admission exams in order to create a qualified researcher infrastructure
for these research centers.

As an academician and R&D Manager, what do you think about producing and designing new ideas? How should they
begin and progress?

As an academician and R&D center employee, I can say that the process of producing and designing new ideas is similar. I
believe that the best ideas are revealed by the imaginative and qualified employees. Our chance of being successful concurrently
in various fields is weak. So, if you expect one employee to produce good ideas, you should allow him to specialize in a particular
field. The designing should also have certain principles and be systematic. Subjects such as target audience, purpose, working
time zones, team, devices, materials, market information, cost etc. should be clearly defined.

Anything you want to add?
For better tomorrows, I wish us all a future where a real R&D culture has become widespread.