On Oct. 19 Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (far right) hosted a press conference to launch “France-Atlanta 2011.” Joining him were French Consul General Pascal Le Deunff (left), and Georgia Tech President G. P. "Bud" Peterson (at podium). The following are Dr. Peterson’s comments during the press conference.
City of Atlanta, French Consul and Georgia Tech Launch France-Atlanta 2011
Thank you Consul General Le Deunff and thank you Mayor Reed. Georgia Tech is honored to co-host France-Atlanta again this year, building on the success of last year’s celebration that, as Mayor Reed and Consul General Le Deunff noted, attracted more than 3,500 participants to events throughout the city.
Like the city of Atlanta, Georgia Tech maintains a global focus. Expanding our global footprint and influence to ensure that we are graduating good global citizens is one of five main goals in Georgia Tech’s new 25-year strategic plan, Designing the Future. More than 40 percent of all Georgia Tech students have an international work, study or research experience before graduation, which uniquely prepares them for leadership and innovation in their careers and their communities.
A key component of Georgia Tech’s presence around the world includes a strategic alliance with France through our Georgia Tech Lorraine campus. Over the past 21 years, almost 3,000 students have participated in the Georgia Tech Lorraine program. Each year, the Georgia Tech Lorraine campus welcomes more than 300 students from Georgia Tech in Atlanta, and France sends 100 of their best students to pursue a master’s degree from Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
In fact, tomorrow (Oct. 20), the U.S. ambassador to France, his Excellency Charles Rivkin, will be in Metz and visiting Georgia Tech Lorraine, and addressing our students there.
Students at Georgia Tech Lorraine come away from the experience with much more than just classroom knowledge. They are immersed in the culture of another country, expanding their worldview and becoming globally engaged.
France-Atlanta provides a unique opportunity for not just students, but anyone interested to explore the great country of France through cultural and humanitarian events, business workshops and scientific symposiums.
Many of the challenges we face today are global in nature, impacting all of humanity—things like energy, sustainability, water utilization and resources, and healthcare. There is no end to the possibilities before us when we work together for solutions. For example, Mayor Reed will share his view on sustainable development in the city of Atlanta as part of the “Green City of the Future” workshop held at the Metro Atlanta Chamber on October 26. Both French and American decision makers and business representatives will present “green” city initiatives.
France-Atlanta 2011 will include a symposium on “Georgia Tech Lorraine: Enabling US-French Cooperation in Research and Design and in Higher Education.”
We have planned a symposium on graphene, a new material that has the potential to revolutionize electronics, and an area where Georgia Tech is a research leader. Leading French and American scientists in the field will share ideas to foster new collaborations between U.S. and French research institutions.
The great technological challenges of today will be solved by teams of experts around the world; the partnership between Georgia Tech and France is a living example of a highly successful, mutually beneficial cooperation across borders.
Georgia Tech is very grateful to the Ambassador of France the U.S., His Excellency Mr. Francois Delattre, Consul General Le Deunff, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, and Atlanta Mayor Reed for helping to bring "France-Atlanta 2011: Together Towards Innovation" to the people of Atlanta and the region.