JRC helps improve measurement and testing capacity in Turkey
More than 2000 Turkish scientists have received training in chemical and ionising radiation metrology, thanks to a project led by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). Its successful completion has been marked by the concluding conference in Istanbul on 11-13 June 2012. The project – entitled "Improving Chemical and Ionising Radiation in Turkey" – was carried out together with the TUBITAK National Metrology Institute (UME) and the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK).
Citizens and companies in Turkey will benefit from an improved accuracy of measurements that are essential for environment protection, health and food safety. The EU provided € 3.9 million to the project, financed by the so-called instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA).
An important aspect of the project was to build up institutional and measurement capacity (in chemical and ionising radiation metrology) of the main beneficiaries TÜBİTAK UME and TAEK. To this end, the JRC's Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (JRC-IRMM) hosted 18 long-term trainees from the beneficiary institutes for a 12-month traineeship. It is intended that the trainees transfer their newly acquired knowledge (in metrological aspects of reference material production, primary methods of measurement and ionising radiation metrology) to their home institutes and beyond.
Furthermore, short-term training events were used to reach as many stakeholders as possible (national laboratories, university laboratories, industrial laboratories), with TÜBİTAK UME and TAEK facilitating this process. The final aim was to ensure that Turkish laboratories are able to produce traceable and comparable measurement results, leading to improvements in quality of life, and facilitating the adoption of the acquis communautaire related to the free movement of goods. To this end, 36 scientific workshops, 16 seminar lectures, 19 study visits, 4 conference sessions and 10 conference contributions were provided between 2009 and 2012, with a total of 2105 people benefitting from training through the project.
The project will deliver concrete and important results for Turkish and European economy and trade. Improved testing and quality control in Turkey will help ensure that highly traded products such as Turkish hazelnuts, dried figs or apricots can circulate freely inside the EU, and not rejected at the border due to the presence of high levels of, say, aflatoxins. In general, the project will make a significant contribution to free trade and circulation of safe products to the benefit of all consumers in both Turkey and the EU.