Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

The Basque Country put on the European research map

The Basque Country aims to attract experienced researchers in interdisciplinary fields from around the world. An EU initiative helped to boost northern Spain's research capacity.
The Basque Country put on the European research map
The Basque Foundation for Science (Ikerbasque) is contributing to the scientific research excellence of the region by recruiting and reintegrating top researchers through various fellowship programmes and international calls based on European, national and regional public and private funding sources. As such, transnational mobility is key to strengthening research and innovation, and ensuring improved collaboration between academia and industry.

With this in mind, the EU-funded SMART BRAIN (Attracting international experienced researchers to the Basque Country in any research field) project launched several calls to attract more global talent to the Basque Country's research centres and universities.

SMART BRAIN launched four yearly international calls during the period 2010-2013 that drew over 1 500 proposals for interdisciplinary projects covering experimental sciences, engineering and technology, life and medical sciences, social sciences and humanities. By means of a transparent international peer review, applicants were evaluated on scientific merit and promising research track, research topic relevance and recent publication profile, and conformity to Basque research capabilities. In all, 38 researchers were recruited totalling nearly 1 400 months, falling just short of the project's initial objective to finance the research of 43 fellows.

SMART BRAIN enhanced the Basque Country's research capacity and expected impact by helping to create the necessary critical mass of experienced researchers. The positive momentum is expected to continue towards facilitating the region's participation in the European Research Area, drawing much-needed financing instruments to participating institutions while increasing the number of fellowships.

Related information


Basque Country, Ikerbasque – the Basque Foundation for Science, transnational mobility, SMART BRAIN
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