Northern Ireland's First Minister Ian Paisley has said that Northern Ireland needs to hold on to its brightest people if its economy is to prosper.
The DUP leader told the Business in the Community Awards in Belfast City Hall that it was essential the brain-drain is stopped if Northern Ireland is to develop hi-tech and knowledge-based industries.
He also told the audience that the power-sharing executive was still pushing for a more favourable level of corporation tax for Northern Ireland.
As with the rest of the UK, the current rate is 28% compared to 12.5% in the Republic.
A delegation from the power-sharing administration is due to have talks on the issue with EU officials in Brussels next week.