Aviation, tech enthusiasts regather as Teknofest fever kicks off - M5 Dergi
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Aviation, tech enthusiasts regather as Teknofest fever kicks off

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The world’s largest aviation, space and technology festival, Teknofest, is set to open its doors for the seventh time in Istanbul Thursday. Since its inception in 2018, the event has attracted millions of visitors, and this year’s edition promises to be just as exciting.

Organized by the Turkish Technology Team Foundation (T3 Foundation) and the Ministry of Industry and Technology, in partnership with several organizations playing a critical role in Türkiye’s national technology development, Teknofest offers a range of activities, including technology competitions, air shows, concerts, talks and events covering various topics.

The festival aims to stimulate interest in technology within society and raise awareness about Türkiye’s transformation into a technology-producing society. Hundreds of thousands of young people are expected to participate in technology competitions across various disciplines and categories, providing them with an opportunity to pursue their dreams.

The festival has become a major event in the international tech scene as well. The first event was held at Istanbul Airport in 2018, where a total of 4,333 teams and 20,000 young people applied to participate in the technology competitions held across 14 different categories. The festival attracted an impressive 550,000 visitors that year.

Following the success of the inaugural festival, the second Teknofest was held at Istanbul Atatürk Airport in 2019. The competition saw a significant increase in participation, with 17,373 teams and 50,000 competitors from 81 provinces and 122 countries vying for top honors in 19 different categories. The festival also set a new record as the “world’s largest aviation festival,” with an impressive 1.72 million visitors in 2019.

Starting with the 2020 festival, the organizers decided to alternate between Istanbul and different cities in Anatolia each year. As part of this new strategy, Teknofest was held in southeastern Gaziantep province in 2020.

The festival took place at the Gaziantep Middle East Exhibition Center, featuring 21 different categories of technology competitions. The event attracted 100,000 young people from 81 provinces and 84 countries, with a total of 20,197 teams applying to compete. However, due to COVID-19 safety measures, only the competitors were allowed to attend the event, and visitors were not permitted.

After Gaziantep, Teknofest was held again at Istanbul Atatürk Airport in 2021. Within the scope of the festival in 2021, some 44,912 teams and 200,000 competitors from 81 provinces and 111 countries applied to the technology competitions held in 35 different categories.

The event, which was also attended by Nobel Prize-winning scientist Aziz Sancar, hosted many visitors.

1st time in Azerbaijan

Last year, Teknofest opened abroad for the first time and was held in Azerbaijan’s Baku Crystal Hall.

Ten different technology competitions were held in Teknofest Azerbaijan. Some 1,010 teams and 5,636 competitors applied to these competitions.

The festival was recently held its Black Sea event in the Samsun Çarşamba Airport between Aug. 30 and Sept. 4, 2022, and featured 40 different technology competitions in focus areas related to the future. Over 600,000 competitors from 154,000 teams, representing 81 provinces and 107 countries, participated in the competitions.

After the success of Teknofest Azerbaijan and the Black Sea event, the festival’s next stop will be in Istanbul in 2023. The event was initially scheduled to take place in Izmir, Ankara and Istanbul on the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye. However, due to the recent earthquake disaster in Izmir, the event in that city was postponed until further notice.

The Istanbul Teknofest event is scheduled to take place at Istanbul Atatürk Airport between April 27 and May 1, 2023. This year, the festival will feature 41 main competitions in 102 different categories, with over 1 million competitors from 332,000 teams expected to participate. The competitions offer over TL 13 million ($670,000) in prizes and more than TL 30 million in material support to the winners.

In addition to the competitions, many stakeholder institutions will exhibit the products they have developed and the services they offer. Visitors can expect to see some of the most prominent projects in the defense industry, including Bayraktar Kızılelma, Bayraktar Akıncı and Bayraktar TB3 armed unmanned aerial vehicles.

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