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.