The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) is the leading agency for management, funding and conduct of research in Turkey. It was established in 1963 with a mission to advance science and technology, conduct research and support Turkish researchers. The council is an autonomous institution and is governed by a Scientific Board. TÜBITAK is responsible for promoting, developing, organising, conducting and coordinating research and development in line with national targets and priorities. TÜBITAK funds research projects carried out in universities and other public and private organisations, conducts research on strategic areas, develops support programs for public and private sectors. More than 1,500 researchers work in 15 different research institutes of TÜBITAK where contract research as well as targeted and nation-wide research is conducted. The funding scheme is bottom-up. In 2009, ICST projects represent 22% of the annual budget and each year around 650 new projects are funded.