CICA : Jean-Louis Geiger unveils his animation program
Partnership forums, monthly work meetings, creation of a multimedia site : the director of the CICA (International Center of Advanced Communication) intends to bet on start-ups.
What will be the new orientation of the CICA in Sophia Antipolis (International Center of Advanced Communication) ? The question is asked since December 1st 2000, when the Carillion Services company has taken over the management of the main building in Sophia Antipolis (the CICA belongs to the Council of the Department which has called for tenders for this takeover).On Wednesday February 21st in the morning, Jean-Louis Geiger, the director of the CICA, answered the question. The former founder president of the Route des Hautes Technologies, the specialist in the regional high-tech, Jean-Louis Geiger, didn't waste time to contact the companies of the Center (more than fifty firms among which most of them are start-ups) and to elaborate an animation program.-Sophianet.com : What is the philosophy of your project ? Jean-Louis Geiger :I've noticed that the CICA is composed of big company settlements (Hitachi, Oracle, Cegetel, Volkswagen, Sema Group, etc) and of start-ups. So, on the one hand, the idea is to favour partnerships with these big groups or others coming from outside if the case arises. And, on the other, to bring start-ups in an activity current by helping them to set up promotional events.-Sophianet.com : Concretely, what is your animation program in favour of start-ups about ? Jean-Louis Geiger :There are two principal axes. The first one : the setting up of monthly work meetings about management questions with one or several outside participants. The first meeting will take place on March 12th at the CICA, from 9.00 to 10.30 am, around the greatest European specialist of e-business. On April 12th, the second meeting will deal with coaching and five coaches will come to talk about the management, project, human resources, communication and personal profile problems.The second axe deals with the setting up of two 'partnership forums' a year. Each start-up wants to find partners or to get venture-capital. And there's a risk every time : a slow industrial partner when business is bad and an insistent partner when business is good. The idea is to find an industrial partner as well as a venture-capital company, to make them enter in the same time, which allows a better balance.-Sophianet.com : Does your animation program only amount to that ? Jean-Louis Geiger :No, it doesn't. There are two other parts. The second part is a reconciliation of start-ups with the public order. Let me explain. One of the worst examples has been given by Provence Promotion which has funded a multimedia system which has been made up by Parisian companies in the end. As far as I'm concerned the project conducted by the three departments (06,05 and 04) is a good one. They gathered together and they negotiate together with GlobalCast, the France Telecome's branch, in order to realize an experimental operation of quick Internet by satellite for the mountain zone (a zone that cannot be covered by the ADSL or the fibre-optic).Twelve experimental terminals (four in each department) will be installed to receive the data by satellite but also to send wideband data. For the moment, we are deciding where these terminals will be settled. Several companies from the CICA (Castify Networks, VSP, Alcyonis) take part to the project and bring their knowledge. We wish to work in that sense.The third part of the plan is an international one. We want to organize ourselves so that start-ups from the CICA can benefit from a flow of foreign economic delegations circulating on the research park. The CICA can also be a mean to aim start-ups towards the international. In that goal, we, with the Sophia Antipolis Foundation, are going to propose the creation of a forum on the Mediterranean society of information which would gather together two hundred opinion leaders of the eighteen countries neighbouring the Mediterranean sea, at the CICA once a year.-Sophianet.com : How do you intend to achieve this program ? Jean-Louis Geiger :We are going to create several 'tools'. First, a CICA institutional Internet site which is under construction. Then, an e-mail information letter which should be launched out in partnership with Nice-Matin. And, a big multimedia system which is a great interest for several start-ups which have decided to associate. This site will be a window of the CICA as well as a window of center's start-ups and a tool to assess the WebTV audience.This multimedia site project would allow to give a real cooperative content of the CICA. It would show that the center doesn't bring only buildings and fluids, but that it allows to generate real synergies between those who work there.'