A brief by Elise Baudelet, junior expert in territorial marketing at CAAC
Cities like to outline innovation as a competitive advantage. However is being innovative enough for a city? Attract and retain the expertise that provides pioneering ideas may be the critical factors for differentiation.
Communicating on innovativeness, many cities do. New technologies, energy, biomedical… in any sector, creating clusters is a priority to distinguish and to promote themselves. More than the support infrastructures, the difference stands on the human assets. Indeed, the knowledge economy is an argument to attract not only investment from innovative companies (i.e. rise of creative economy) but also the best brains. Training and retaining these experts becomes a challenge. Education, life quality, facilities and welfare may contribute to do so. Hence, the city image should be dynamic, outlining the specific focus on a field and illustrating opportunities.
In this sense, San Sebastian through the Talent House project displays its different urban services (accommodation, information, procedures, schooling…) so as to make them a winning argument before specialized professionals looking for mobility.
As major factors for helping to achieve competitive advantages and long term development, talents are one of the main assets of a territory. As companies have done for their own business, cities will compete to have the best human resources: finding arguments to keep them is an urge.