After France successfully negotiated the creation of the international experimental fusion reactor (ITER) in Cadarache - it has now announced its advanced plans for the creation of a European Institute of Technology (EIT) in Paris. The aim is to stop the 'brain drain' of the best scientists and to turn the French capital into a 'European technology research hub'.
The idea originates from Philippe Pouletty, the founder of an independent French think-tank, Strategic Innovation Council, which brings together a number of French private and public scientific innovation actors, investors, former ministers and directors of research organisations. The think tank announced its ambitions for the creation of an EIT in Paris in June 2005 and, shortly after, the idea was taken forward by the French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.
In July 2005, the think tank presented its report on the choice of the future site to Villepin. The choice is a campus in Saclay, a suburb of Paris. The institute, expected to be operational in five to seven years would house around 300 scientists, half of which Europeans, half from all around the world.
France seems to have decided to bring its plan forward irrespective of any EU decision (current EU-consultation on EIT) on the subject.