The Georgia Institute of Technology and the French government on May 28 signed a research agreement that could bring as many as 10 French scientists to Tech’s Atlanta  campus.

Ga. Tech already has a research laboratory, called UMI 2958, at its Lorraine campus in Metz, France. The lab was created in 2006 as a joint project with Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, or CNRS, a French government research agency. 

“UMI is really the research engine of Georgia Tech Lorraine,” said Yves Berthelot, president of Tech’s French campus.

Under the new agreement signed May 28 by Tech and CNRS, an extension of UMI 2958 will be created on Tech’s Atlanta campus, with hopes of launching research into areas such as Internet security and robotics. French researchers will be able use Tech’s advanced facilities such as the MicroElectronicResearch Center and the Marcus Nanotechnology Building.

Initially, the Atlanta campus will host two visiting French scientists but that number could grow to 10, UMI 2958 director Abdallah Ougazzaden told GlobalAtlanta. In addition, French graduate students will likely work in Atlanta, he said.

As part of the agreement, Tech professors in Atlanta can apply for research programs in Europe through CNRS. “It is a good model,” said Mr. Ougazzaden. “It will allow us access either to the U.S. or Europe.”

Tech established its Lorraine campus in 1990. It has an enrollment of 150-200 students per semester. More than 1,000 Tech undergraduates from the Atlanta campus have attended the summer program at Lorraine. More than 1,400 graduate students and 100 faculty members from Atlanta spent at least one semester there.

Michael McCracken, an assistant dean at Tech and a program director for the Lorraine campus, spent a year in Metz and said the experience of working in another country is good for researchers, broadening their perspectives.

“Researchers are kind of like nomads; they go to different places to get new ideas,” he said. “This facilitates that.”

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As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...