Advisory Board Member Introductions: Istanbul Chamber of Industry

Over the course of the next several weeks, we would like to introduce you to our Advisory Board members for our upcoming Turkish-German Innovation Summit and give you a chance to learn more about them and their work. Today we would like to introduce the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO), which is the largest industrial chamber in Turkey with more than 17,000 members.


About the Istanbul Chamber of Industry


Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) was established in 1952 by law. Membership in the organization is compulsory for every industrial company in Istanbul. Some of the Chamber’s activities are assigned by law, such as the issuance of investment incentive certificates for SMEs, capacity reports and other expertise reports for the companies in the Istanbul province. In addition to these, most of ISO’s services are driven with the purpose of increasing the competitiveness of Turkish companies.


ISO is the largest industrial chamber in Turkey, with its member base of 17,254 companies accounting for 40% of value-added production in Turkey and 35% of Turkish exports. 22% of its members are active in the ready wear and leather sectors, 15% in the machinery and equipment sector, 14% in the chemicals and plastics sector and 11.5% in the textiles sector. Other important sectors are metal (7%), electronics (7%) and food (6%). Apart from its headquarters in the middle of commercial district of the city, it has two representative offices in the Anatolian and European sides of the city, near the organised industrial zones and manufacturing areas.


As a non-profit organisation, ISO acts as a link between industry and government by contributing to the legislative process. ISO provides feedback on draft decrees and regulations on behalf of the industry.


The chamber has a close relationship with and strong access to the regional administration and municipalities in Istanbul as well as to other business organisations. Its 46 Sectorial Committees composed of elected company representatives from different sectors provide it with access to all sectors of manufacturing.


ISO has a strong Department on Environment, which was established in 1990. The department organizes awareness-raising activities and training on environmental issues, representing the interests of the industry vis-a-vis the municipalities and other related public bodies in Istanbul.


The chamber has established three Advisory Councils on Environment, University-Industry Collaboration and Foreign Trade composed of academicians, researchers, representatives of NGOs, relevant public bodies and company representatives. These Councils met regularly and provided feedback for Chamber services. They provided opinion to the public authorities or to the relevant bodies for enhancement of the regulatory environment on behalf of the enterprises. The Environment Management and Policies Council, a think-tank, was founded in 2013 in order to develop intensified services covered by H2020 programme.


ISO aims to fill the knowledge gap of SMEs vis-à-vis membership to the EU and negotiation processes. The companies are informed on Turkey’s legal adaptation to EU acquis which will affect daily the business environment of SMEs. Energy and resource efficiency in the region will be another focus area where SMEs need to understand and embrace the long-term benefits of improving their resource efficiency to adopt EU rules and low-carbon, climate-resilient and energy and resource efficient business models.


The chamber aims to meet the challenge of integrating and leveraging the existing efforts of different SME support structures, acting as a bridge between these structures and SMEs. Moreover, the project also aims to strengthen the cooperation between SMEs, universities and sector specific associations, enabling smart specialisation and allowing them to be informed about each other’s activities and priorities, avoiding the duplication of studies and efforts.


ISO has been part of several international projects funded by the EU and Istanbul Regional Development Agency (ISTKA). ISO also manages clustering projects funded bythe  Ministry of Economy which aim at internationalisation of different sectors. The chamber also took part in several EU-funded projects, such as Chamber twinning on environment and EU Academy programme. The chamber was the Host Organisation of the Istanbul Euro Info Centre between 2003-2007 and Enterprise Europe Network for the last 6 years.


ISO organises multinational and bilateral matchmaking events on both R&D, innovation and commercial cooperation with follow-ups after the event. These events are designed to lead to the signing of partnership agreements. ISO has been a member to the Automotive, Transport and Logistics, Sustainable Construction and Textile and Fashion Sector Groups, Work

Groups of Internationalisation and Brokerages and acted as mentor to EEN Tunisia during the 2008-2013 period. The chamber will also become members to Sector Groups of Agrofood and BioChemTech.


ISO is one of the organizations that understand the importance of innovation for Turkey's economy and companies and takes initiative to promote and support it. Recently, innovation has become a specific focus for the chamber. ISO has organized seminars, trainings, and innovation-themed conventions. It has also organized the Innovation Awards three times. The awards cover all industries in Turkey. Overall, ISO supports a huge variety of companies and organizations with a goal of increasing the amount of innovative ideas all over the country. Therefore, we support the Turkish-German Innovation Summit. This event is extremely useful and meaningful for Turkish companies and organizations.



GSC Team
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Date: 3/23/17