France-Atlanta 2011 drew 3,500 participants to 15 events featuring science, culture, business and humanitarian concerns.

France’s consulate general in Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology are to team up once again this year for an increasingly ambitious France-Atlanta program fostering cooperation between France and the Southeast.

Consul General Pascal Le Deunff announced the multidisciplinary events being planned following the showing of a video reviewing the highlights of France-Atlanta 2011 at a reception held the evening of Feb. 15 at the Alliance Française in Midtown.

Mayor Kasim Reed; Nico Wijnberg, Georgia’s international business liaison and Steve McLaughlin, vice provost for international initiatives at Georgia Tech, confirmed their interest in and vowed their support for France-Atlanta 2012 before the 50 guests at the reception.

“The increasing number of France-Atlanta supporters and those wanting to get involved is so energizing. This is what keeps us going, what makes us want to do more in this city and region,” Mr. Le Deunff said.

The program drew 3,500 attendees in 2011 who participated in 15 scientific, business, cultural and humanitarian events.

Among the scientific events scheduled for Oct. 25-Nov. 10 this year is a medical symposium on autism to be held at Emory University.

France’s government has decreed that 2012 is to be devoted to raising the national awareness of autism, a disease that can take many forms including communication disorders, erratic social behavior and sometimes retardation.

In Atlanta, the Emory School of Medicine, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and the Marcus Autism Center are conducting research into the disease.

Georgia Tech has committed to hosting a scientific symposium on public/private sector cooperation in the automotive sector, which is of increasing importance in the Southeast.

The Metro Atlanta Chamber is to conduct a business workshop on water waste management and there is to be a follow-up session to the 2011 workshop on French-American cooperation in the nuclear sector at Georgia Tech.

In keeping with the cooperation under a memorandum of understanding between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, there is to be public discussion on sustainable development surrounding airports.

The memorandum encourages companies to explore opportunities for conducting business in Georgia and France by setting up operations near to the airports.

Extensive cultural activities also are envisioned for this year’s program. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the death of 1950 Nobel prize winning author William Faulkner, a series of events exploring his legacy in the South are to be held.

A jazz concert featuring French saxophonist and jazz composer Raphel Imbert and a photo exhibit at the Atlanta campus of the Savannah College of Art and Design are being planned.

SCAD also is to host an exhibition of current examples of French design and the Rialto Theater is to hold a dance performance as it has the past two years.

France-Atlanta is to participate in the BronzeLens Film Festival featuring works by directors of color once again.

The humanitarian events are more ambitious than ever with the building of a Habitat for Humanity house for the homeless in Atlanta by the French community here and the American community in Metz, France, where Georgia Tech has a campus, constructing a comparable building there.

In addition, local high schools are to be exposed to global humanitarian issues as they were in 2011.

A seminar comparing the 2012 presidential elections in the U.S and France is to be held at Emory.

To learn more about France-Atlanta, go here.