La Francophonie begins in Atlanta March 19

After hardly half of a year into his new assignment as France’s consul general in Atlanta, Pascal Le Deunff is developing ambitious plans to create stronger artistic, economic, humanitarian and scientific bonds between France and Georgia.

These plans range from a celebration of a new La Fayette Institute dedicated to scientific research on the Georgia Institute of Technology’s campus in Metz, France, to a refugee camp in Atlanta that is to raise awareness of students about the hardships that can be experienced by people uprooted from their homes.

During his predecessor’s term, the High Museum of Art and the Louvre in Paris, collaborated for the three-year Louvre-Atlanta project at a time when the global economy was stronger and the necessary funds were raised from local art patrons and companies

This time the collaboration will not require as many funds, but Mr. Le Deunff readily told GlobalAtlanta in a video interview that he faces a major challenge in raising the money in today’s economic climate.

Nevertheless, he remains confident that the series of events titled “France-Atlanta: Together Towards Innovation” will be compelling enough for him to succeed in attracting the necessary funds through sponsorship levels ranging from $50,000 to $5,000.

While not limited to Georgia Tech, the collaborations will include a celebration of the partnership between the university and the French region of Lorraine where it has a campus in Metz, the region’s capital city.

Four French institutions of higher learning have teamed up with Georgia Tech on the Metz campus since 1990 to provide opportunities for research, education and economic development. Students can earn a variety of graduate degrees and experience cutting edge research in the development of new materials and other fields.

As part of the initiative, the La Fayette Institute is to be established for research and development leading to advanced technologies for the energy, environmental and medical sectors among others, which can then be commercialized.

While a celebration marking the 20-year partnership will be held in Metz, a series of workshops are to take place in Atlanta in a variety of fields Nov. 29-Dec. 12.

These workshops are to range from discussions on the business opportunities associated with the development of new drugs and medical devices including presentations by scientists from institutions such as the Pasteur Institute in France and Emory University, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as Georgia Tech.

Workshops also are to be held concerning France’s experience with high-speed trains and electric cars, with water management, with the recycling of plastic, electric and electronic equipment and with multimodal logistics. Georgia’s Quick Start workforce training program is to be featured as are investment opportunities in France.

On the cultural side, there is to be an exhibition featuring a multitude of practical and artistic uses of newly developed textiles. An exhibition of photographs showing pedestrians in Paris from from 1890 to 2006 also is to be mounted.

Other cultural programs are to feature dance, Paris’ future urban design initiatives, puppetry arts, films and gastronomy.

A presentation about a new partnership between the Carter Center and the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to adapt their Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative into francophone countries despite the language barriers is also scheduled.

For more information, call Claire Collobert, press attaché at (404) 495-1682 or send an email to