Turkish defense fair offers great opportunities for SMEs

SAHA Expo provides platform for start-ups, people to raise their ideas, says deputy chairman of event organizer

The SAHA Expo, a major Turkish defense and technology fair, offers substantial opportunities for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups to get in touch with sector giants.

After going virtual last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event this year opened in Istanbul on Wednesday with a great number of participants from domestic and foreign companies.

The four-day event, organized by the SAHA Istanbul Defense and Aerospace Cluster Association, gathers sector professionals, officials, defense companies, and technology developers in Turkey’s commercial and business hub.

Cutting-edge defense products, B2B meetings

The fair hosts several Turkish defense firms including ASELSAN, Havelsan, Roketsan, Turkish Aerospace Industries, and Baykar. Companies from 30 countries are also participating in the event this year.

The expo showcases cutting-edge defense products, land and naval vehicles, radar and surveillance systems, as well as weapons and drones.

Haluk Gorgun, the ASELSAN chair and deputy head of SAHA Istanbul, said the number of domestic and foreign participants increased this year.

The event, which includes SMEs and subcontractor firms working at the defense industry, offers B2B meetings and provides a platform for start-ups and people to raise their ideas.

The fair’s metaverse edition will be available as of Nov. 15 for people who cannot visit the fair to see products virtually, Gorgun said.

The concept of the metaverse is seen as the next level of the internet, offering a new fictional universe that can be accessed online.

ASELSAN’s cooperation with SMEs

“We attach importance to cooperation with SMEs and expanding collaborations. We cooperated with 3,200 firms, including 2,917 SMEs, last year,” Gorgun underlined.

He also said that ASELSAN cooperates with SMEs for production, but it also follows a stance for collaboration in the design field.

His company, Gorgun said, needs joint solutions in several projects, and the event offers an opportunity for both ASELSAN and other firms.


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