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ROMA - 02 Novembre 2015

Brains2South. "Brains" on the run... southwards

BRAINS2SOUTH
"BRAINS" ON THE RUN... SOUTHWARDS

A 3.5 million euro call for proposals for young Italian and foreign researchers to "attract" brains towards Southern Italy. 

Promoted by Fondazione CON IL SUD, the Call for proposals "Brains2South" expired last October 7th, having received 96 research projects by Italians and foreigners researchers who are carrying out their research activities in Italy (outside Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Apulia, Sardinia and Sicily) or abroad, for example, in Albania, Brazil, Finland, Germany, Yugoslavia, Lithuania, Netherlands, United Kingdom, USA, Switzerland.

Proposals mainly concern the medical field, environment, nanotechnology, engineering and they involve more than 280 subjects from universities, Italian and foreigners research centers, associations, foundations, public subjects and non profit organizations.

The largest number of research centers and universities chosen by researchers to develop their project are in Campania and Apulia.

The initiative aims at "attracting" young excellences in research centres and university departments in Southern Italy, in order to increase connections with the rest of the world and to provide a chance to develop and strengthen independent careers. As pointed out by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the percentage of foreign researchers in our country is only just 3%. As opposed to this, as many as 16% of Italian researchers decided to continue with their research activities abroad.

New this year was that researchers with experience in the fields of science and technology directly submitted proposals of applied research (of up to 4 years), indicating one or more host institutions in Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Apulia, Sardinia and Sicily that could house the projects. As “main investigator”, the researcher will lead the project on his/her own responsibility, without the superintendence of a supervisor. The host institution will have the chance to enhance and improve the quality of internal research, resulting from the new skills and experiences provided from different parts of the world. In addition to covering the costs of the main investigator the Foundation, grants will further cover the costs of his/her research proposal (i.e. necessary equipment, any human resources support, consumables, etc ...).

<< Facing the phenomenon of "brain drain" from Southern Italy, we want to propose a new and pragmatic approach - says Carlo Borgomeo, President of Fondazione CON IL SUD. The problem is, in fact, not or not solely the actual migration of our talents: this would be a positive phenomenon, would it be normal and not pathological. It is the negative balance between incoming and outgoing researchers that impoverishes the future of our territories and the whole country. This call for proposals aims at “attracting brains” of young Italians or foreigners in the South, by addressing them directly. It requires them to submit innovative research proposals of applied scientific research, which are lasting and of significant impact, to be developed in research centres located in Southern Italy – also in the framework of partnerships with the scientific community, public, private and non-profit sectors>>.

Within the three previous editions of the Call for proposals (2007, 2009, 2011), Fondazione CON IL SUD supported 21 projects for the enhancement of excellence in human capital, allocating a total of 8.2 million euro.


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