2.12 Research and Development Activities

2.12.1 Academic Research and Development Activities

In keeping with the importance that the CBRT attaches to academic studies, working papers and research notes prepared by the CBRT staff continued to be posted on the CBRT website in 2018. Twenty publications were added to the CBRT working papers series of peer reviewed research papers written by the CBRT staff members. In addition, another 15 new additions were made to the series of Research Notes that the CBRT publishes in order to contribute to discussions on economic issues in a timely fashion and to publicize the results of research about the Turkish economy and monetary policy.

Central Bank Review, a peer reviewed journal covering such topics as macroeconomic stability, financial stability, liquidity management, payment systems, and reserves management, was published by the CBRT four times in 2018.

Meanwhile, articles that were written with contributions of the CBRT staff were published in journals that are listed in the Social Sciences Citation Index.

The Research and Monetary Policy department held seminars as part of the department’s seminar series for the CBRT staff. During these seminars, presentations were given by participants from universities in Turkey and abroad, international organizations, and other central banks.

The Statistics Seminars organized by the Department of Statistics for both the CBRT and other public institutions enabled participants from universities, the public sector and the private sector to present their statistical work.

2.12.2 Research Activities on Structural Economic Developments

The Structural Economic Research Department of the CBRT continued to engage in research on identifying the structural factors that restrain the effectiveness of the monetary policy, to formulate policy proposals within the framework of inter agency cooperation, and to develop the corporate infrastructure for the work processes the department deals with.

This Department’s activities in 2018 may be summed up under four headings: (1) Work carried out within the scope of the Food Committee (2) Work related to meetings with the real sector (3) Research on the Turkish economy and monetary policy (4) Coordination with academic circles.

Structural and circumstantial measures taken within the scope of Food Committee decisions are designed from a price stability perspective in collaboration with institutions. With its long-term corporate experience on the pricing of food products, the CBRT provided guidance in monitoring food prices and identifying priorities in this field. Those who serve on the committee include top management positions from relevant institutions, and therefore a more solution-oriented cooperation could be established, paving the way for concrete policy measures.

Today, central banks design and implement their monetary policies based on a more diverse and richer set of information and incorporate real sector developments more and more into their decision-making process.

In interactions with the real sector, face to face meetings are held with firms’ senior decision makers. These meetings make it possible to obtain first hand information on economic activities and decision-making mechanisms of individual firms, and capture the real sector sentiment towards the economy in good time. Information obtained from these meetings help make better assessments about cyclical economic activity (production and sales, investment, employment, borrowing conditions, prices, and costs). The significance of these meetings lies in developing an understanding of the reasons behind the outlook signaled by indicators and data of economic activity and in monitoring developments that economic models may fail to detect. In 2018, a total of 2,021 firms were visited, of which 922 were manufacturers and 540 were wholesalers and retailers.

Firm visits aim to promote an exchange of views on monetary policy actions, contribute to the CBRT’s communication policy and communicate effectively with the real sector. The views of firms’ decision makers about policy actions and their expectations from the public sector were reported to the CBRT senior management without disclosure of their identities. Seeking to maintain continuous communication with the real sector on a more localized basis, the Bank opened new regional offices in Bursa and Samsun. In 2018, firm visits per regional offices were as follows: 678 in Istanbul, 323 in Izmir, 289 in Ankara, 245 in Adana, 177 in Bursa, and 135 in Samsun.

The Bank conducted analysis on structural issues such as Turkey’s economic growth, productivity, labor markets, foreign trade, public finance, savings, market structure and competition, research and development, entrepreneurship, human capital, education, migration and energy from the standpoints of financial stability and monetary policy. Nine new papers written by the staff of the Structural Economic Research Department were added to the Working Papers series and another three new additions were made to the series of Research Notes. Moreover, 13 articles that were written with contributions of the staff of the Structural Economic Research Department were approved to be published in journals that are listed in the Social Sciences Citation Index. These studies were presented to academicians and policy makers at various national and international seminars and conferences.

The same department also held 15 seminars as part of the department’s seminar series for the CBRT staff. During these seminars, presentations were made by participants from universities in Turkey and abroad, international organizations, and other central banks.

Detailed work was carried out in order to identify the structural factors that lead to inflation rigidity and persistence, to help work jointly with other relevant agencies and organizations, and to expand the analytical capacities of the CBRT’s technical units. In this regard, new protocols were signed with other agencies and organizations to enable data sharing and collaboration, and access was provided to new datasets that would make a major contribution to policy making.

2.12.3 Research and Development Activities on Banknote Printing

A number of research and development studies were carried out to help improve the banknote printing process. The main motor and driver of the Simultan offset printing press currently used to print banknotes were modernized.

The Banknote Design Project continued its work, improving the portraits and the engravings on the back. A signature change was made to the 20 lira banknote of the ninth emission group.

A new banknote was designed for the World Banknote Project (WBP) of the International Banknote Designers Association (IBDA), which was presented by the Banknote Printing Plant (BPP) at the project’s conference.

To verify its compliance with the latest 2015 revisions of ISO 9001 Quality and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System standards, the BPP underwent an audit by the Turkish Standards Institution (TSE) on 11-14 September 2018. As a result of the external audit, which also included OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management, the BPP’s certification of ISO 9001 Quality, ISO 14001 Environment and OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management was renewed.

2.12.4 Research and Development Activities on Information Technologies

Major transformation work was concluded in the field of Information Technologies (IT), and a large number of projects and infrastructure related works were carried out. The modernization of software projects was finalized, helping to save on infrastructure costs and to improve the platform size and quality of available software services. In addition, the IT department centralized its operations, supported corporate transformation with projects such as MONY and HR Transformation, and strengthened both internal and external digital channels.

A Press Releases System was launched to provide a more transparent and reliable way to make press announcements and provide easier navigation through announcements.

Particularly in the second half of 2018, some additional features were developed to have access to instruments and flexibilities needed for financial stability. In addition, a software infrastructure was developed for the Ministry of Treasury and Finance to be used in the newly designed security issuance models.

The installation of the Big Data Platform was completed to be at the disposal of users in their economic analysis and estimation work and was successfully integrated into our systems. To heighten corporate efficiency in data use, the department upgraded its Business Intelligence platforms by investing in infrastructure and software and initiated important and high value-added projects.

The department also conducted a maturity assessment on available IT processes to make them comply with commonly accepted best practices around the world, and thus built an integrated model of IT Governance that is service-oriented and on par with best practices.

To provide automation in the delivery of issued banknotes, a Cash Management System (CMS) was launched at the BPP on 10 August 2018.

Systems that run most of the CBRT’s critical applications and data were upgraded while the software levels of operating systems and related subsystems were updated. Technologically outdated hardware with expired support and high maintenance costs was pulled out of the platform.

A Check Monitoring and Encoding System was launched on 25 January 2018 at the request of the CBRT’s branches to encode and monitor CBRT checks more efficiently and effectively.

In line with improvements in the communication infrastructure of payment systems, devices at participation banks and CBRT headquarters were renewed, and all other no longer supported hardware was taken off the track.


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