ISRAEL: Worries about damaging brain drain

When it comes to hi-tech start-ups, Nobel laureates and computer innovation, Israel has few equals. It attracts more venture capital that any country outside the United States. But now a country whose only significant resource is its brain power finds itself losing its best and brightest, with one out of four Israeli academics working in the US because of low pay and limited research budgets at home, reports the Jerusalem Post.

The Manufacturers Association of Israel recently announced that 25,000 hi-tech employees left the country in 2007. Serious attrition from Israel could undermine a creative culture that has helped pioneer everything from Internet telephone calls to instant messaging to firewall security to pills with microscopic cameras.

"We don't have manpower and we don't have resources and we never will. The only thing that maintains life here is brains," said Dan Ben-David, a professor of economics and public policy at Tel Aviv University, who has researched the topic at length. Ben-David says his data gives Israel what amounts to the worst brain-drain problem of the developed world - six times that of the average European country. "We abandoned an entire generation," he said.
Full report on the Jerusalem Post site