Paris opens tech 'gateway' in San Francisco

1st December 2006, Comments 0 comments

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 1, 2006 (AFP) - Paris Regional International Mission Enterprise (PRIME) set up shop in San Francisco on Thursday, treating French scientists to inside looks at San Francisco-area technology research labs.

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 1, 2006 (AFP) - Paris Regional International Mission Enterprise (PRIME) set up shop in San Francisco on Thursday, treating French scientists to inside looks at San Francisco-area technology research labs.

The PRIME office was the first established in the United States and its purpose was to make Paris a "gateway" into Europe for US technology firms, researchers and investors.

"We are here to create a new bridge, a long one, between San Francisco and Paris," PRIME chief executive Frederic Le Roux said as his group toured Molecular Foundry nanotechnology center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

"Here you have really the top level of hi-tech research in the world. It's a fierce competition in Europe."

Le Roux headed a delegation of French scientists, educators and business leaders that toured Molecular Foundry; a robotics laboratory at Stanford University, and a biomedical research center during the course of two days.

"We have to know what our colleagues and competitors are doing and what topics are hot," said Laurent Kott, chief executive of INRIA Transfert, a subsidiary of a French national research institute.

"I'm always impressed by the energy put into research, science and technology in California. People don't want to sleep; they are always willing to go ahead. We have to work hard to keep up the pace."

Kott, whose specialty was artificial intelligence, smiled as he told of branding the mix of cooperation and competition in the technology research realm "coopetition."

PRIME, a division of Paris region Economic Development Agency, will work to build on technology business and research ties already exist between Paris and Northern California, according to Le Roux.

"The idea is to bring people together and see what comes out," Le Roux said, jokingly likening the effort to that of a successful French online dating service.

PRIME planned to court local Internet superstars such as Google, Yahoo and Apple Computer along with biotechnology firms and labs.

"We need to keep in contact with Google, of course, because they create jobs," Le Roux told AFP.

Of the approximately 16,000 US companies in the Paris area, 450 were based in California, according to Le Roux.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article