Brain Flow

Countries: Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden
Border(s): France-Spain-Andorra, France-Switzerland, Germany-Switzerland, Belgium-Germany, Germany-Netherlands, Norway-Sweden, Lithuania-Poland, Pologne-Russie, Poland-Ukraine,
Eurorégion Niemen, Trans-Jura Conference, Euregio Rhin-Waal,
European programme(s):
Interreg IVC
- Employment
- Education, training and languages
- Economic development

Lead partner: Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MWEIMH)

The “Brain Flow” partnership represented 8 border regions from 7 different countries being affected by this phenomenon due to their specific socio-economical and geographical characteristics. As a lack of qualified labour force is also a barrier to the innovation and growth capacity of regions, the partnership was looking for new ways, instruments and measures to tackle the problem.
During this cooperation, partner regions were enabled to exchange best practices and experiences in order to develop and introduce new or improved instruments to minimise brain-drain and simultaneously foster brain-gain.


  • Region of Navarre (Spain)
  • Regio Basiliensis (Switzerland)
  • Province of Gelderland (Netherland)
  • Province of Overijssel (Netherland)
  • County Council of Värmland (Sweden)
  • County Council of Hedmark (Norway)
  • Euroregion Nemunas (Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine)

Project goals

The overall aim of “Brain Flow” was to enable regional authorities and other regional/local actors to develop and improve their policies and instruments to counter the outflow of highly educated and qualified people (brain-drain) and to attract and retain human capital (brain-gain) in their regions in support of their innovation capacity and competitive­ness.

Furthermore, the programme aimed at:

  • Enhancing exchange of experience and best practices as well as knowledge transfer of existing policies, strategies and instruments in order to foster brain-gain.
  • Developing new policies, strategies and instruments to establish / gain a common knowledge base.
  • Disseminating this information to border regions, cross-border regions and other actors involved in cross-border co-operation and Implementing outcomes within participating regions in order to initiate a modernised regional policy.

Target group(s)

Cross-border regions affected by skilled labour shortage.

Project activities

  • Thematic exchange of experience meetings.
  • Interregional annual conferences.
  • Trainings and seminars for project partners.
  • Cooperation with local organizations and actors.
  • Communication and dissemination of findings and results to interested stakeholders.
  • Policy recommendations.
  • Identification and sharing of best practices.

Project duration


Total cost

3 400 000 €