Tomorrow, the Board of Governors of Donostia-San Sebastian City Council will authorise the process to provide the city with a new accommodation building for researchers and qualified staff, with a budget commitment of 5.5 million Euros to be used for the purchase or construction of a new building to house Talent House II.
The Councillor for Economic Development, Enrique Ramos, pointed out that “the commitment to talent is key for Donostia and in this sense we must try to facilitate and generate the appropriate services so that highly qualified profiles consider San Sebastian an attractive destination, both on a personal and professional level. Talent House II completes the commitment initiated in 2011 with Talent House i, which has been confirmed as a consolidated and successful project”.
The Department of Economic Development through Fomento de San Sebastián promotes various strategies to attract talent to the city. The Talent House project, inaugurated in 2011, has covered with notable success the arrival and temporary accommodation of a good number of researchers who have developed their work in technology, research and academic centres in Donostia.
Given the evident insufficiency of the accommodation offer to cover this demand linked to the strategy of attracting international talent and the extension of this strategy of the city to other groups such as international entrepreneurs, professionals with high levels of qualification and experience interested in the local business ecosystem, junior researchers or even multidisciplinary profiles that can act as prescribers and disseminators of the opportunities and projection of our city, it has been necessary to extend the current offer and even diversify it.
The experience of Talent House I shows the importance of having a public offer that can set a policy and a stable price that responds, beyond the market, to the strategy, needs and interests of the city and its main agents, in this case, those linked to attracting talent. Along the same lines, Talent House II should thus be a key element in the development of a broader public policy for attracting talent, regardless of the evolution of the city’s accommodation offer.
To this end, Fomento de San Sebastián has defined a programme of needs that will make it possible to offer a new temporary accommodation service of a rotating nature and for relatively short stays, and in any case different to those for tourism or residential purposes, but superior to those of a standard by means of a new apartment building that would be called Talent House II.
A building is envisaged which should have a minimum of 80 apartments of between 25 and 45 square metres, and have characteristics that give it the maximum energy/bioclimatic rating required by the applicable regulations for public buildings. The apartments, whether for single or double use, must have a kitchen, bedroom and separate bathroom equipped, as well as a work space.
TALENT HOUSE I
In 2019 the occupation of Talent House I (Duke of Baena, 42) reached 87%, one point above the previous year’s data. In 2019, 310 researchers and their families stayed at its facilities in the 80 apartments of different sizes available. The academic level of the researchers is 69% of PhDs, and 28% of pre-docs. 69% arrive only in the city, 21% with a partner, and 9% with a family.
The R+D+I centres that have hosted the most researchers at Talent House I are DIPC (22%), Polymat (15%), EHU/UPV (11%), CICBiomagune (11%), BCBL (8%) and CICNanogune (8%).
34% of the researchers are national, 66% international. The countries of origin are France in first place, followed by Italy, Germany, China and Russia. The average stay was five months.