2.10. Research and Development Activities

In 2015, the working papers and research notes prepared by the CBRT staff were posted on the CBRT website as a reflection of the importance that the CBRT attaches to academic studies. Accordingly, 38 new publications were added to the CBRT working papers series that are composed of refereed research papers written by the staff of the Research and Monetary Policy Department. In addition, 23 new notes were added to the CBRT research notes on economics to contribute to discussions on economic issues in a timely fashion and to disseminate the results of research about the Turkish economy and monetary policy.

The CBRT’s refereed journal, the “Central Bank Review” covering topics such as macroeconomic stability, financial stability, liquidity management, payment systems and reserve management was published in three issues in 2015.

Moreover, 19 of the articles written in collaboration with the staff of the Research and Monetary Policy Department were published in journals listed in the Social Sciences Citation Index. In 2015, 30 seminars were organized by the Research and Monetary Policy Department for the CBRT staff. In these seminars, presentations were given by lecturers from domestic and international universities, international organizations and fellow central banks.

The Department hosted the 7th CBRT Internal Research Conference, which was attended by lecturers from miscellaneous domestic universities. Six papers were presented and discussed during the conference.

The Istanbul School of Central Banking (İMB) staff published 17 research papers in 2015; 4 of the papers were published in the journals listed in the Social Sciences Citation Index, 7 of the studies published in CBRT Working Paper Series, 2 were published in the Central Bank Review and 4 of the papers published in other national and international research publication.

In order to contribute to the CBRT’s technical capacity, knowledge, communication and bilateral cooperation in the areas of central banking, economics and finance, the İMB hosted 22 research seminars with the participation of academics, expert researchers and central banks’ economists. Moreover, the İMB hosted visiting programs which are designed to discuss academic studies prepared at the CBRT with an innovative view and to increase their visibility. Seventeen economists from 15 different institutions participated in the İMB’s visiting programs.

In addition, the Banknote Printing Plant conducted some research and development projects in 2015. In this context,

  • The Banknote Printing Plant established a management system in 2015 pursuant to the Occupational Health and Safety legislation and in compliance with the terms of TS OHSAS 18001:2008 Occupational Health and Safety Management System Standard. This established system was audited by the Turkish Standards Institution and a certificate of OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System was received.
  • Pursuant to the relevant legislation, required conditions have been provided to use energy more efficiently at the Banknote Printing Plant and certifications for the Energy Manager have been obtained. Studies on energy usage of the Banknote Printing Plant have started.
  • The Infrastructure of Graphic and Engraving drawing software to be used for banknote design has been upgraded, and procurement works have been concluded regarding “the Computer-to-Offset Plate Production System” that enables the production of offset banknote plates.
  • The entire electronic control unit, main motor, most of the sensors and some mechanical parts of one of the numbering machines have been upgraded. The printing machine in question has been upgraded to be controllable via computer. Moreover, the electronic control unit of the machine designed from scratch and the software of PLCs (Programmable Logic Controller) on the electronic control unit have been improved.
  • Feasibility studies regarding research, development and application have been realized for some new projects.

Furthermore, important projects and developments accomplished in 2015 in the field of the CBRT information technologies (IT) are summarized below:

  • Projects to convert software developed in-house to a modern enterprise software development platform, aiming to be able to run them on technologically independent and flexible infrastructure, continued throughout the year. The conversion program was restructured with support from Enterprise Architecture, based on analysis of the applications portfolio according to criteria such as suitability for outsourcing, tolerance for interruption, complexity, risk, estimated conversion cost, dependence on software developers, data relationships and data size.
  • The IT Steering Committee was established to ensure business-IT alignment and to make recommendations for strengthening institutional governance. Three meetings were held in 2015 and tasks such as prioritizing IT projects, checking periodically that they are in line with the plans and ensuring their resource planning were carried out accordingly.
  • In 2015, network devices and cabling infrastructure in the server and the DMZ systems network infrastructure located both at the Head Office and the Disaster Recovery Center were all renewed to react instantly to interruptions that may occur, thus ensuring no disruptions in communication.
  • The CBRT became a member of the Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre as a Local Internet Registry.
  • HSMs used in the Bank’s Swift infrastructure in the Head Office and the Disaster Recovery Center were renewed as part of the process started by Swift. In conformity with the announced calendar, new HSMs, two for the Head Office and one for the Disaster Recovery Center, were successfully installed.
  • The CBRT’s market data distribution infrastructure was replaced by a flexible, optimized, expandable and independent new system named the “Market Data Distribution System” which was developed in-house. The new system includes the required approval mechanisms in the data publishing process and a significant portion of the published data is transferred automatically from the corporate database. As a result, any pre-existing operational risk is minimized.
  • Various training programs have been arranged regarding the awareness of information security practices in the CBRT. In addition, tests have been conducted among the Bank’s employees to evaluate and raise their current levels of awareness of information security. The CBRT IT Security group has participated in cyber security events with other public institutions, the private sector, and universities. The CBRT’s Cyber Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) has also participated in activities coordinated by the National CSIRT Coordination Center.
  • Technological security infrastructure enhancements have been carried out to improve the performance and capacity of the systems. The aim of the enhancements are to detect security vulnerabilities, harden IT systems against threats, implement necessary security measures, and enhance information security technologies through a load-sharing, failsafe and multi-layered security perception.