Skilled Indian workers leaving U.S. shores

By siliconindia   |   Thursday, 18 October 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Chennai: The U.S. is facing 'reverse brain-drain' right now. According to a recent report, skilled workers are returning to countries like India and China from the U.S., hence giving Indian companies access to increased number of skilled workers in the next couple of years.

Over a million skilled immigrant workers, including scientists, engineers, doctors, researchers and their families, compete for 1,20,000 permanent US resident visas each year. This creates an imbalance that could fuel a 'reverse brain-drain', according to a report, Intellectual Property, the Immigration Backlog, and a Reverse Brain-Drain, released by the US-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The study conducted by researchers at Duke University, New York University and Harvard University, is the third in a series of studies focusing on immigrants' contributions to the competitiveness of the US economy .

The earlier studies, 'America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs' and 'Entrepreneurship, Education and Immigration: America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Part II,' documented that one in four engineering and technology companies founded between 1995 and 2005 had an immigrant founder.

Researchers also found that these companies employed 4,50,000 workers and generated $52 billion in revenue in 2006. Indian immigrants founded more companies than those from the United Kingdom, China, Taiwan and Japan combined.

The key findings in the latest report are that foreign nationals contributed to more than half of the international patents filed by a number of large, multi-national companies, including Qualcomm (72 percent), Merck & Co (65 percent), General Electric (64 percent), Siemens (63 percent) and Cisco (60 percent).

Forty-one percent of the patents filed by the US government had foreign nationals as inventors or co-inventors.

In 2006, 16.8 percent of international patent applications from the US had an inventor or co-inventor with a Chinese-heritage name, representing an increase from 11.2 percent in 1998. The contribution of inventors with Indian-heritage names increased to 13.7 percent from 9.5 percent in the same period.

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