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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Information and Communication Technologies. Digiteo, a leading world-class research park

Digiteo, Paris Region’s research park in the field of information and communication science and technology (ICT), will concentrate the expertise of 1,800 researchers in the Plateau de Saclay campus with effect from this year. The park is focused on excellence, setting itself the goal of becoming the leading international ICT research park. Its fields of excellence are the design and development of software-intensive systems, from system-on-a-chip to supercomputing and major software infrastructures, including embedded systems and robotics.

In terms of the research institutions involved, founding members CEA (the French Atomic Energy Commission), CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research), École Polytechnique (France’s premier engineering school), Supelec (engineering school specialising in energy and information science), INRIA (National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control) and Université Paris Sud 11 were joined by ENS Cachan, Université de Versailles St-Quentin and École Centrale Paris in 2008. “Institut Telecom should also be included as it will be moving a large part of its research to the plateau in five years’ time, as part of the Campus plan,” explains Digiteo’s Director Maurice Robin, “as well as Mines Paris Tech and ENSTA-ParisTech which are also planning to locate here. Digiteo’s priority is to facilitate the pooling of expertise as well as providing support and additional resources to finance the implementation of specific research projects.”

Building a bridge between fundamental research and industry, and accelerating technology transfer, are core concerns. “Each Digiteo member has its own technology transfer operation and so Digiteo adds value by focusing on activities relating to joint projects involving at least two research laboratories, in order to build synergies and generate projects while creating quantifiable economic value,” notes Digiteo’s Director.

New facilities which will accommodate around 1,000 additional researchers are currently under construction in order to enable Digiteo to continue its expansion and to fulfil its immense potential as a key research hub. Planning permissions have been granted for three Saclay projects: at the CEA site, on Plateau du Moulon and at Palaiseau. These projects are being financed partly by Paris Region, by the Essonne Conseil Général (district council) and the Communauté de Communes du Plateau de Saclay (community of Plateau de Saclay town councils), as well as by the research park’s founding institutions.

Source: RÉUSSIR No.120, January/February 2010

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