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The Zeki report is based on a collection of data from over 140,000 leading AI scientists and engineers. The report highlights that Europe is making significant progress despite challenges in the global competition for AI talent. Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries and the UK are examples of countries that have successfully reversed their churn rates. However, countries such as France, Italy and Spain face significant hurdles in retaining their talent and remaining competitive in the global market.

According to the authors, in addition to pay, the environment, technological openness, the technological challenge and the meaningfulness of the task are now decisive for many AI talents. “Money alone doesn't help,” says Thomas Hurd, founder of Zeki. No wonder: “The healthcare sector has seen a twenty-fold increase in top AI talent in the last ten years, which is due to the high level of investment and attractive projects in this area,” Hurd and his authors know. When it comes to AI talent recruiting, Siemens Healthineers is one of the frontrunners. The Germans have recruited 13 percent more AI talent in the last five years. But the many start-ups in this field are also attracting experts. Zeki mentions DeepSpin (MRI), Odin Vision (endoscopy), Therapixel (imaging) and inHeart (digital twin).

The national champions in Germany also include Siemens, SAP, Bosch, Bayer, BMW, Fraunhofer and the DLR (German Aerospace Center). According to Zeki, the TU Munich, the University of Darmstadt, the KIT, the Max Planck Society, the RWTH Aachen, the University of Tübingen, the University of Dresden, the University of Stuttgart, the LMU Munich, the University of Hamburg and the University of Paderborn are among the most important educational institutions. Germany benefits from an influx of talent from all over Europe, particularly from France, Italy and Spain, as well as a significant influx from India, according to the analysis.

Italy is struggling with a very high emigration rate of AI talent. Most of them go to the USA. The problem in Italy is that there is no clear national champion to retain talent. The same applies to Spain. In addition, there is an insufficient number of small and medium-sized companies that could hire top AI talent. According to Zeki, it is also difficult for young AI talent in Mistral's home country. France has a strong network of national research institutes such as INRIA and CNRS, which do excellent research work but collaborate less with industry.

The UK attracts a lot of talent, particularly through US subsidiaries. A prominent example of this is DeepMind from the Google group Alphabet. Far behind are AstraZeneca, Arm, Huawei and GlaxoSmithKline.

In contrast to Austria, Switzerland plays a role in reporting. The Swiss have been able to win back more talent worldwide for several years now. The top players in Switzerland are Roche, Novartis, ABB, STMicroelectronics, Scandit, Swisscom and CERN.