Efficiency of regional innovation policy tools: Support to incoming talents and specialists in the South Moravian Region

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Abstract

Highly qualified and creative people are the key prerequisite of innovation development of every region. Orientation at the development of talents and inflow of qualified people from abroad gained importance during 15 years of implementation of the South Moravian Regional Innovation Strategy. Through the Internationalisation programme, realised since 2006, the regional authority awards scholarships to students from non-EU countries studying at universities in Brno. A substantial part of supported students remains in the region after graduation, working at highly qualified positions. The SoMoPro programme – a unique support tool from Czech but also from European perspective – contributes to the increase of internationalisation and quality of research conducted in South Moravia. Recognised foreign researchers are motivated to move to Brno especially thanks to the newly built top quality research infrastructure. However, turning their short to mid-term stays into a long-term residence is rather difficult given not sufficiently motivating wages in public R&D in Czechia. The needs of increasing number of foreign researchers and other specialists mainly in private sector are addressed by the Brno Expat Centre. In the last years, the number of clients and consultations provided by the organisation grew continuously. Despite more significant impact of national and international mobility schemes and other influences, the aggregate effect of regional activities supporting inflow and maintaining of foreign talents and specialists leads to the increasing attractiveness of the region and the development of a competitive advantage above the other regions of Czechia. Thus the described regional activities contribute to high shares of foreign students and researchers in the region, placing South Moravia on leading positions among Czech regions.

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