From the ground to concrete solutions: Brain Drain & Lack of Innovation - A Social Challenge for Messina

Created by INNESTA


Our challenge addresses two problems. The first one is about the brain drain from the territory of Messina: people with all kinds of expertise, from the most generic to the most specialized, decided to leave our country to study or find a new job in another part of Italy and Europe. The second problem is related the local entrepreneurial sector with a low propensity to innovate and still recovering from the economic crisis, which encounters difficulties engage the new generations. Regarding the brain drain, we can sadly state that it is a rapidly growing phenomenon. According to L'Espresso Messina from 2008 to 2017 has lost 3904 boys and girls between 18 and 30 years, becoming a second city suffering from this problem in Italy after Naples. Who decides to stay instead, has no easy life. According to ISTAT, Messina is the third city in Italy for the number of unemployed (1 inhabitant out of 4 does not work) and first in Sicily (cfr.
The lack of confidence in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem either pushes people to leave Messina or to do not even look for a job.
Moreover we register a lack of mutual trust between potential employers and potential employees.


The Strait of Messina industrial area is composed by a big collection services company (probably the largest one in all Southern Italy), a private ferry-boat company (that operate between Messina and Villa San Giovanni) and isolated cases of companies that work successfully in the trade, tourism and agri-food field. In ​​the Strait of Messina area there are also two Universities, four hospitals and four CNR (the National Research Council of Italy) Institutes.
This challenge wants to help these sectors to collaborate and engage young people to study and work here. It wants also to attract people from other countries and the rest of Europe to start their business here. Innesta was born as a point of connection between students and all those interested in innovation and the new industrial sectors of this area: a place where business can grow through collaborations and dialogue. So it can be the perfect place that could host this challenge.


nnesta has already organized several events addressing mainly students and business enthusiasts; it hosted business competitions promoted by the University of Messina for local students and meetings dedicated to researchers about new business opportunities. Innesta has also opened its door to third-party entities for co-organized events aimed to spread the entrepreneurship culture.
What is the next step to have more impact on this area? Why University is not to able to respond to the needs of local companies? And what these companies have to do to attract young students to work for them, enhancing their competences and contributing to their personal development and the territory too?
Those who work every day in Innesta experiment the challenge of comparing different ideas and skills. The startups that inhabit these spaces know the value of sharing and contamination. How can we bring these values outside the walls of Innesta?


What has been done so far has been useful, but it is necessary to speed up the process. If we do not, we will have fewer people who will live in these places and increasingly poor companies. Before it is too late we are looking for actions that can respond to the need of young people who want to feel valued, carrying forward their own entrepreneurial project born from their passions and skills. We look for initiatives that allow companies to see in digital and new technologies an opportunity and not a threat: something that integrates them even more in the territory in which they live. We are looking for activities that give to training and research entities one more reason to connect the talents and skills that they set up at the service of the territory in which they live.


Innesta is ready to make available to the SP:
- all the amount of data it has about the state of the territory, both from the company point of view and the resources present;
- the network of contacts that has woven during these first months of life that includes, in addition to companies, training institutions, institutional and administrative entities linked to the territory and not necessarily business vocation;
- availability and support towards the SPs, supporting them in the development they intend to carry out;
- its promotional channels to spread the best practices that we are sure will derive from this experience.
In part, these resources have already been spent with the aim of expanding the range of action of Innesta, they have allowed the structure to grow until now.
Based also on the return of the image and therefore also in economic terms, Innesta is ready to put the SP actions proposed into the system and stipulate structured collaborations.
Innesta aims to find a valuable partner as Service Provider able to support and work with it in the long term having as purpose the reduction of brain drain and the improvement of local competences.


The challenge complies 100% to the ethical standards.

The Challenge Owner