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The department of economic promotion reaches an agreement with CEIT-IK4 support and develop talented young researchers


The agreement reached by the two institutions includes the launch of professional development pathways through internationalisation grants and internship contracts for young researchers with outstanding academic records. The ultimate aim is to contribute to a strategy to transform and consolidate San Sebastian as an innovation and knowledge hub, through the development, retention and attraction of talent.


The Department of Economic Promotion, through Fomento de San Sebastián, is seeking to consolidate the reputation of San Sebastian as a major point of reference in research and innovation, and it is doing this particularly by supporting people, committing to local and international talent as the foundation of this strategy. Along these lines, within the framework of the Connecting Talent initiative, it has rolled out a series of services, programmes and funding opportunities focusing especially on connecting highly qualified young people with businesses linked with innovation and R&D. The aim is to enable these young people to receive training whilst at the same time supporting the development of the project itself by providing funding to cover recruitment and contract expenses and facilitating access to international work placements.


The First Deputy Mayor, Ernesto Gasco, highlighted that "our model of innovation, which will allow us to compete internationally, is based on people. Really, what lies behind any innovation is talent, and we are using this value to develop our city, doing so collaboratively, through agreements with strategic entities and organisations in the arena of research and innovation, such as CEIT-IK4”.


CEIT-IK4, in turn, has been developing excellent research in different areas for over 30 years, promoting training and the completion of PhD theses by its youngest researchers. For CEIT-IK4, it is crucial to work with final year students enrolled on technical degree courses in order to intensify and guide their education, and to encourage these students to undertake PhD thesis within its strategic projects. Ultimately, it is about supporting highly capable people, who can develop their talent within local projects.


With this agreement, Fomento de San Sebastián will support CEIT-IK4 in the creation of pathways for the development and promotion of opportunities for these highly qualified young people as they move towards gaining their first working experience. The aim is to offer not only opportunities within the city, but also a pathway to grow by accessing internationalisation grants allowing them to live abroad and work on strategic projects, which might then be continued within San Sebastian, by supporting six-month work placements in Ceit IoSpace (Internet of Things Space), a space/laboratory that gives students training geared towards a professional career within the sphere of "Industry 4.0".


Specifically, each year, there will be a programme offering up to six placements abroad, funded through a grant of up to €8,000 per person, and up to six work placement contracts. In this latter case, funding is for €4,000 to cover a six month full-time work placement, with the rest of the contractual costs funded by CEIT-IK4. Another shared goal adopted within this agreement is the promotion of activities and programmes that foster entrepreneurship among such highly qualified individuals, geared towards developing research within CEIT-IK4, to which end knowledge transfer activities will be arranged along with opportunities to promote innovation and business-generating projects, with programmes shared ad hoc.


Fomento de San Sebastián and Ceit-IK4 have been working in close collaboration for a number of years through different agreements and programmes. One example, within the sphere of technology transfer, are the Technology Vouchers that enable businesses in San Sebastian to access high value-added technological advice offered by Ceit-IK4. This collaboration has intensified following the new agreement, which will strengthen San Sebastian's strategy to attract and retain talent.


50% of this programme could be financed by the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Operational Programme for the Basque Country 2014-2020, within the “Donostia GazteEkin Programme: integration adapted to the employment market of young qualified job-seekers in the city's emerging and strategic sectors".



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