Ireland to lure top R&D talent in EU drive

Graduates from the developing world are the most likely to avail of an EU directive which lets non-EU citizens take up research positions in Ireland.

The EURAXESS programme allows researchers freedom of movement within the EU in their chosen field. The programme aims to recruit top R&D talent from across the globe.

Researchers from China and India are the most likely to avail of the scheme here, with China sending 503 and India sending 619 researchers since the scheme's launch back in 2007. Ireland processed a total of 2,920 "hosting agreements" since the EU Directive became active, with over 2,500 of those coming from outside the EU.

The fields of ICT and computer science have seen the largest influx of researchers, accounting for 53pc of the total number of hosting agreements granted over the past nine years.

A significant number of hosted researchers work in engineering (23pc), while physics and chemistry attracted 17pc and 15pc respectively of the non EEA researchers.

University College Cork has recruited most researchers (554), followed by University College Dublin with 460, while Trinity College Dublin has brought in 451. DIT has the highest number of overseas researchers of the country's institutes of technology (44).

There are 664 researchers working in universities across the country - 330 in Dublin and 334 in the rest of the country.

"Our capacity to attract high quality researchers increases our ability to compete for cutting edge business to deliver well paid and stimulating jobs in the capital," said Irish MEP Brian Hayes. "We have to be honest, we cannot compete internationally on wages or for heavy industry.

"To compete in the international jobs market and to attract the type of jobs our young people want, we must continue to attract the best and the brightest researchers from around the world," he said.

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