The Deputy Mayor’s Office in San Sebastian City Council has implemented the Connecting Talent Residence Programme through the public entity, Fomento de San Sebastián, the main aim of which is to attract the talent of people with qualified professional profiles who may join local entities related to innovation or the creation of new business or research and knowledge generation projects in the city. The aim is to attract international entrepreneurs and help companies find young people with talent, from San Sebastian or beyond.

Getting into residences

The Deputy Mayor, Ernesto Gasco, highlighted that “we must be open and receptive towards new business initiatives from anywhere in the world, towards the return or attraction of highly qualified people to join companies from San Sebastian or to facilitate the presence of prescribers in our city who project our city abroad or transfer our model. Our support focuses on a modest economic contribution and temporary accommodation.”

Both the European Commission and other international bodies are focusing on talent as a key element for economic development and innovation with the drawing up of policies and strategies aimed at retaining, attracting and developing human capital, whose value has replaced other factors in terms of importance, such as capital, infrastructures or technology. In recent years, this capacity to attract talent has been transferred to cities, authentic socio-economic development poles, which compete between each other in relation to the life quality, companies, universities or leisure they offer. In this respect, San Sebastian occupies one of the top positions as it is an undeniably attractive city to live and work in thanks to its high levels of investment in R&D, its innovative ecosystem and its life quality.

Talent residences for international networking

To implement this Residence Programme for talent attraction, Fomento de San Sebastián allocates an initial sum of 100,000 euros to cover stays of between 15 days and two months with the following sections:

  1. Co-funding of up to 50% of travel expenses, with a maximum value of €500.
  2. Food allowance of €750 a month.
  3. Subsidy of up to €750 a month for local entities seeking to attract highly qualified professionals.
  4. Accommodation in San Sebastian during the agreed duration of the stay
  5. Work space in San Sebastian during the stay
  6. Expert guidance and accompaniment.

The talent attraction programme incorporates elements, such as welcoming or accommodating beneficiaries, connection with innovation entities and projects, as well as an entire accompaniment and tutoring process during the project consolidation period. The objective is to promote the positioning of San Sebastian as an attraction pole for professionals, entrepreneurs and foster the international connection of San Sebastian with talent, attracting it to the city, improving its connection with talent nodes and enabling the return of local talent to the city. Therefore, a call has been opened for:

  • People in the entrepreneurial phase with innovative projects that have yet to be implemented, or start-ups, which are committed to setting up the company in San Sebastián, and who are residing outside the Basque Country and are interested in settling in the city.
  • Local companies and entities that are looking to attract highly qualified professionals to be incorporated in their work centres in San Sebastian.
  • People, experts or entities that are going to develop projects which will position and promote San Sebastian as a knowledge and innovation hub.

The deadline to submit applications, which must be via the Fomento de San Sebastián website, will be extended until the resources allocated to each type of subsidy run out or until the close of the call on 30th November 2018. This strategy, called San Sebastian Connecting Talent, implemented by the Deputy Mayor’s Office through Fomento de San Sebastián, is being carried out in different work areas to position San Sebastian as an attractive pole for talent, through different tools, such as international grants, support and guidance programmes and attendance at international professional fairs.