Long-term program to attract scientists approved

Cabinet sets aside $500,000 to attract new immigrant academics and bring emigrant scientists back home, in face of "brain drain."

By JUDY SIEGEL
March 14, 2010 22:51
1 minute read.
brain drain 88

brain drain 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Concerned about the loss of bright young scientists to research institutions abroad, the cabinet on Sunday approved a five-year plan to establish 15 research centers with 30 labs around the country and a budget of $500,000 to attract new immigrant academics and bring emigrant scientists back home.

The National Council for Research and Development (NCRD), headed by Prof. Oded Abramsky, congratulated the government on the decision for the centers, which were initiated by Prof. Manuel Trachtenberg, chairman of the Council of Higher Education’s Committee for Planning and Budgeting.

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In the summer of 2008, the NCRD called on the government to set up a program to bring 2,000 Israeli emigrants and new immigrants to work in industry, the universities and the public sector. Since then, a database of those who want to be included was set up, and the program is ready to take off.

Bar-Ilan University reported Sunday that in the last two years, it has hired 30 promising scientists from abroad, many of them with four to six years of experience in excellent research institutes and others with as much as 10 to 25 years of tenure abroad.

BIU president Prof. Moshe Kaveh said that human resources are the most important resource and that hiring young scientists was its top priority. In the university’s five-year plan, it plans to add manpower slots for 50 more.

Among those who have already returned are an expert in nanotechnology imaging of tumors, a neuroengineer working on a sensory nerve system to trigger the regrowth of nerves; an expert in lasers; a Ph.D. in the analysis of information systems analysis; and a developer of new anti-viral medications.

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