Project Details

Title: Human capital and innovation: employment policies in local and regional innovation networks for talent attraction and better job opportunities
Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: Employment, human capital and education

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2012 - 31st Dec 2014


Total budget: €1,531,368.90
ERDF contribution: €1,044,207.34

Lead partner

San Sebastián Local Development Agency
c/ San Roque, 120 (Edif. Etxe Zuri)
20009, San Sebastián

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Gorka Díez
      Phone: +34 943 48 28 00
      Fax: +34 943 444794

Project summary

Working4Talent deals with the employment policy issues related to the local and regional innovation systems. INNOVATION IS NOT JUST A TOOL FOR COMPETITIVENESS AND GROWTH, which therefore helps to create more and better jobs. INDEED IT IS, BUT IT HAS ALSO BECOME A VERY IMPORTANT SOURCE OF EMPLOYMENT IN ITSELF.

This is evident in developed regions, where innovation demand (innovative companies, public and private research centres) has boosted the number of innovation related jobs. In less developed regions, innovation demand is lower, and innovation related jobs are not so abundant, driving many talented young people to emigration. Project will try to identify the employment policies responding to such new realities; policies that help matching talent supply and demand; policies providing the right incentives for talent creation and attraction, and to make talent mobility an instrument for talent growth.

Partnership includes 11 local and regional authorities from 9 MS (5 NMS)

and a Norwegian partner. Most of them have a long experience in interregional cooperation, and they are closely dealing with employment and innovation issues, from different points of view. The variety of perspectives makes this project particularly attractive, as it ensures that every aspect of the policy issue will be considered. The project is particularly attractive for local and regional authorities from peripheral and less developed areas, which are facing this problem more acutely.

The project is organized around a strong Exchange of Experience component. Based on common guidelines, partners will firstly look inside to detect the strengths and weaknesses of their employment markets connected to their local/regional innovation systems. Thematic workshops and seminars will raise the partner’s awareness about policy implications, and study visits will allow them to have a deeper understanding of policies implemented in other areas.

Then, partners will produce a compilation of Best Practices and a Policy Document. A limited number of Pilot Projects (3) will be implemented to further illustrate policy options. The project will set up a High Level Advisory Board that will help raising project profile and ensuring relevance and transferability of policy conclusions.

The project has got a clear and solid communication strategy based on well thought communication objectives, target groups and messages, according to project objectives. Project communication will be addressed simultaneously to local stakeholders in partner areas and a wider audience of policy makers and practitioners. Once the project had produced the main outputs, communication will focus on policy transfer, including an active dissemination of the products and findings near the European institutions and the European networks that may help to multiply the impact of the project, to bring its core issue into European employment policies.

Project achievements

The core objective of Working4 Talent is to jointly examine, share experiences and best practices on what policies can be introduced to enable partner regions to attract new or retain existing high knowledge human capital. Partners refer to this cohort of highly educated people as “Talent”.

As an initial step in the project, partners regions had firstly look inside to detect the strengths and weaknesses of their employment markets connected to their local and regional innovation systems. The 10 Local Analysis Studies have been synopsized into a composite report presenting an overview of the individual partner regions in terms of their strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) relating to potential for talent attraction.

Partners knowledge about policy implications have been raised through the organization of two workshops: a) Talent Retention in Civil Society/Third Sector and Talent Creation – Retention in Business. (Drammen - Norway, 15/06/12) b) Policy, training

and enterprise for attracting talents (Bologna, 13/03/13).

Public awareness on W4T activities have been highlighted with the organization of 3 Seminars: a) “Voglia d’impresa” aimed at getting a better understanding entrepreneurship, as a way to foster talent (Torino, 01/10/2013); b) Industry seminar involving representatives of Industries in the South West Region of Ireland who are actively involved in talent attraction (Cork, 25/02/2014), c) ”Highly qualified jobs for an ecological economy” (Targoviste, 07/05/2014).

To get a first-hand knowledge of the policies implemented in other areas, as well to feed the Best Practice Guide partners have organised six study visits. The guide represents a crucial step in the design of new tools for the growth of highly qualified jobs as well as for the retention of brains. It provides a very diverse picture of the experiences implemented in 11 European countries.

The 30 good practices identified represent the numerous programmes that act in

different ways for the promotion of talents in the concerned areas, reflecting various needs and backgrounds as well as opportunities and constraints. In recent years many partners have implemented new targeted actions to improve the incoming conditions of researchers, highly qualified personnel and new entrepreneurs from abroad. The trend to device new programmes to facilitate their circulation to disseminate knowledge mingle the need of more lagging regions to retract their talents through vocational training of young people and the provision of high qualified jobs.

Additionally, 2 pilot actions have been implemented to illustrate how to take full advantage of the employment opportunities springing out the innovation activities in a knowledge-based economy: a)Knowledge transfer between RTD-Universities and business networks and entrepreneurs, Fomento San Sebastíán (Spain); b)Information Animation for new talent: to foster collaboration between Universities and local public services

in Torino Province.

Lessons learned based on the previous outputs (Local Analysis, Best Practices and Pilot Projects) has been formalised in a Policy Document with policy recommendations on how to retain and attract talents for developing innovation, competitiveness and growth. This final report is mainly addressed to local and regional policy makers to provide them with policy guidance.


Finally, all partners have produced their Implementation Plans, specifying how each partner will work to integrate the lessons learnt from the cooperation on talent attraction and retention into its local/regional or national policies.


The Final Conference held in San Sebastian on 22 October 2014 has revealed as a fruitful opportunity to open a debate how to attract talent, improve their employment strategies and generate new professional opportunities for people with qualified profiles, as well as to present the main project findings.



Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
San Sebastián Local Development Agency, San Sebastián SPAIN País Vasco +34 943 48 28 00
The Business Development Agency of the Karlovy Vary Region, Karlovy Vary CZECH REPUBLIC Severozapad +420 736 650 381
Cork Institute of Technology, Cork IRELAND Southern and Eastern 00353 21 4868112
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Basingstoke UNITED KINGDOM Hampshire and Isle of Wight +44-1256-845743
Paperbank Innovation, Drammen NORWAY +47 924 77 960
Sunrise Valley, Vilnius LITHUANIA Lietuva +370 5 2500601
Città Metropolitana di Torino (former Province of Torino) - Date from which the change is applicable: 01/01/2015, Torino ITALY Piemonte +39 - 011 - 8617318
ASTER S.Cons.P.A., BOLOGNA ITALY Emilia-Romagna 051 6398099
Riga City Development Department, Riga LATVIA Latvija +371-67012870
Pannon Business Network Association, Győr HUNGARY Nyugat-Dunantul 3696506935
Enterprise Plymouth Ltd, PLYMOUTH UNITED KINGDOM Devon +44 01752 500360


As of 31 December 2015, this website is no longer updated. Follow news on interregional cooperation at