The exchanges PACA-California started

Posté mer 07/03/2001 - 00:00
Par admin

Representatives of the Silicon Valley in California and of the Telecom Valley on the French Riviera have signed an agreement between the two regions for a student exchange programme.

The agreement for a student exchange programme, which was signed on Monday, at noon, at the Novotel hotel of Sophia Antipolis between representatives of California and PACA has never been done before. Indeed, exchanges between the Silicon Valley and the Telecom Valley of the French Riviera are not new. For last year only, 25 students of the ESSI (Grande Ecole for computer sciences) took a work placement in the United States (half of them stayed to work there). It was the same for the students of Eurécom or the Esinsa.An event'Institutional exchanges were set up more recently as the ones which linked France and Berkeley or the agreement more recently established between the MIT and France,notes Isabelle Attali, in charge of the work and training commission of the Telecom Valley association. However, here, it is the first time that an agreement is set up between regions, PACA and California'.The signatories, Ralph Hester, head of the pluridisciplinary Institute of French Studies in Stanford, Stéphane Raud, Consulate attaché for Science and Technology at the French general Consulate in San Fransisco, Pierre Laffitte, president of the Foundation of Sophia Antipolis, Jacques Gros, president of the Telecom Valley association and Jacques de Brandt, president of the Persan club, were the pioneers.The first step of this agreement will be of a great importance from April. It is a student exchange programme which takes the form of the reciprocity of work placements. Nine students of the French Riviera (five in sciences and four from a management school) will leave in April-May for work placements of six months. The students in sciences were selected by hosting companies (Sprint, IBM, etc). Students in Business Schools were selected after a competitive examination launched in December by the Foundation. The work placements are well-paid since the cost of living is very high in the Silicon Valley (2500 up to 4000 dollars per month).The Foundation aims to go furtherThe reciprocity will be more dedicated to summer placements. High tech companies of the French Riviera will host five students of the Silicon Valley. Host companies will pay for the trip whereas grants financed by the scientific and technical mission, the 'Conseil général' and the inter-ministry mission, will enable this travel. Moreover, French students could benefit from a small help for their trips in California if need be in order to settle in good conditions.It is a first step. The Senator Laffitte, with the Foundation of Sophia Antipolis, already aimed to go further. The Foundation signed a second agreement with the French Consulate in San Fransisco, which was aiming to gather professionals by small groups of three or four, for long week-ends in order to discover the high tech of the French Riviera.'We target French people or Europeans who left to work in the United States because they thought that France or Europe wasn't that dynamic. We will show them that, from now on, it is different, there are start-ups, venture capital and entrepreneurial moves.'And if the brain drain , following the current American economic stagnation, could now benefit the French Riviera…

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