Brains has three aims: 
1. to attract and retain knowledge workers
2. life-long learning
3. to increase number of Science and Technology (S&T) students


The ELAt knowledge-based economy shows a fairly high proportion of the labour force with a tertiary education. However, a declining labour force, rising employment, a brain drain and an ongoing need for knowledge development are presenting ELAt with challenges.


The population is ageing, which results in high exit and low influx in the labour market. Parts of the ELAt region are suffering from a brain drain and the lack of qualified and skilled labour is being felt and perceived as an obstacle to economic growth. Given the profiles of its knowledge-based economy, ELAt needs more S&T people than regionally available. Excellent clusters need excellent brains. So the growing need for both quantity and quality of labour demands action on all levels. First of all, it is necessary to make optimal use of the existing labour force. Life-long learning can solve part of the problem. A higher number of S&T students will result in a better match between supply and demand in the labour market. Finally, the attraction and retention of knowledge workers is essential to respond to the need among market and technology leaders for talent. Because the brain problem is being felt in the whole ELAt area, a joint approach is needed. Acting together will result in a better use of the strengths and potentials of ELAt.


ELAt aims to strengthen the international reputation and recognition of the region as the preferred partner for new initiatives:
- Strong influx of new talent and investments
- Accelerated development of human capital to meet future needs
- Increased level of interaction between partners in various stages of value chains, and also across geographical and industry borders
- Attract enough research talent to the region and educate them through specifically designed programmes (e.g. via scholarships)  


Action focus 

  • Mapping local initiatives to attract knowledge workers

Attracting talent is a problem in the whole ELAt region. In each region public and private parties develop initiatives to attract an increasing number of knowledge workers. Mapping these initiatives creates learning opportunities, enables parties to find partners for collaboration and can avoid unnecessary repetition. 

  • Joint talent programme

A joint talent programme for attracting talent to the region makes use of the critical mass in ELAt (research density, number of companies, number of job offers) and strengths of sub-regions (cultural facilities, multinationals, etc).

- create road shows to contact international knowledge workers

- attract research talent to the region and educate them through specifically designed programmes (e.g., via scholarships)


  • Feasibility study

to set up an ELAt covering Technobility Centre, an intermediary organisation with ELAt as catchment area for counselling and guiding in next steps of high-tech career. 

  • Student exchange and ELAt wide internships


  • International Masters: international profile and common curricula of master programmes.


  • Support action for an EU Blue card.