In a recent article in Nature1 magazine, Katharine Sanderson summed up the trend that is shaping today’s economy in Grenoble-Isère: "Once known mostly for its natural beauty, Grenoble-Isère is becoming a centre of innovation for academia and industry." The area is slated to receive more than €1 billion in funding under the French government’s economic stimulus program, which aims to support research and higher education in the country and fuel innovative high-tech projects. Although Grenoble-Isère already boasts numerous international-caliber research labs and large instruments, this funding—which confirms the area’s status as a premier center for science and technology—will provide a solid foundation for building on existing strengths. Grenoble’s university district will be fully renovated and equipped with modern new buildings, including new facilities to be built on the GIANT innovation campus. The funding will also enable universities to invest in state-of-the-art lab equipment for research in the promising fields of nanotechnology, biology, ICTs, and the environment—fields central to the government’s stimulus program. Businesses in the area will also reap knock-on benefits from the funding, since they will be able to use the new equipment and technology stemming from the investment. This should be a boon to SMEs in particular, and should encourage the creation of public-private partnerships. Positive ROI guaranteed!
1 Nature, 478 (2011) 547–548. Published online on October 26, 2011.