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Tampere & Eindhoven: talent attraction for regional success

Experts from Tampere and Eindhoven recently exchanged views on talent attraction practices. The Finnish hosts were eager to show the Dutch visitors around the innovation ecosystem of the Tampere region. Throughout two days of intensive interaction, they were able to expand the horizons of their cooperation and shared knowledge. 

Yvonne van Hest and Richard Kerste represent the Brainport Development, setting Eindhoven as its core, and directing its developmental efforts into being a top technology region and a growth accelerator of the Dutch economy. The former is currently the Programme Director of PEOPLE, while the latter is a Project Manager at the Brainport Talent Centre.

Among regions, there is an increasing awareness of the importance of international talent attraction. In the case of Eindhoven, they affirm that there are three reasons for this. Firstly, because they need to fulfil the vacancies that they otherwise could not only with the Dutch locals – due to a shortage of specifically demanded technical and IT skills. Secondly, given that they need to have sufficient talent attraction power to secure foreign direct investment that keeps up the development of the region. And thirdly, as innovation can improve by working with multicultural teams.      

"I'm very impressed by the merging of the three universities in Tampere. Also in terms of talent, you have a big student pool, it is so good. The reason you're doing this, because there needs to be more combination of the disciplines, a more multidisciplinary approach to things. It's an excellent move for the region", says Yvonne van Hest.

Similarly, among the things that caught their eye during their visit around Tampere, Richard Kerste points out "the national approach for talent attraction, and the strong link and coordination between the national and regional programmes on the subject. We also got to see an image of the innovation ecosystem in Tampere, and it was very interesting." 

Image: Innovation ecosystem of Tampere / Taina Ketola, Council of Tampere Region.

But can such effective talent attraction happen overnight? Apparently not:

"We’ve been doing this for ten years already, but it’s a continuous thing. If you want to be innovative and if our aim is to stay one of the most innovative regions in the world on talent attraction and retention, we must have new things happening, we have to keep doing this and renew some practices too."  

Yvonne van Hest and Richard Kerste from Brainport Development at the Talent Tampere Space.

From the Finnish side, besides Tredea, organisations such as the Baltic Institute of Finland, the City of Tampere, the Council of Tampere RegionDemola, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Tampere Chamber of Commerce, Tampere3, Technopolis, Twinkle Association and VTT were represented during their visit.

As a matter of fact, these visitors from Eindhoven are pioneers in the discussed field, and an inspiration to all of us.