The Scientific Environment in the U.S. Southeast

The area covered by the Office for Science and Technology in Atlanta is marked by a strong demographic dynamic. The city of Atlanta, in particular, is one of the fastest-growing U.S. metropolitan areas, attracting both the headquarters of large corporations — such as UPS, The Coca-Cola Company, and Delta Air Lines — and entrepreneurs who benefit from low operating costs and a stable and dynamic talent pool.

The Southeast aspires to become a leader region of the Tech in the United States, and to do so it relies on a network of universities and research centers of excellence as well as the establishment of federal agencies. In Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), the number one training center for American engineers by the numbers and ranked second in the country for its aerospace engineering program, is located next to the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the federal agency in charge of the U.S. public health strategy, and Emory University, among other prestigious institutions. These leading institutions participate in the animation and development of major sectors such as aerospace and medicine.

The aerospace sector is essential for the region, with three National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sites — including the famous Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida — and a dense network of academic institutions affiliated with the Space Grant. This program, administered by NASA, aims to maintain aerospace research and innovation expertise and effort throughout the United States. The network includes institutions in the Florida High Tech Corridor — the University of South Florida (Tampa), the University of Central Florida (Orlando) and the University of Florida in Gainesville — as well as the University of Tennessee in Knoxville — which is home of the Tennessee Space Institute, where nine U.S. astronauts were trained — and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Aerospace companies also have a strong presence, with the only U.S. Airbus plant in Mobile, Alabama. Also noteworthy is the presence of the second largest technology cluster in the United States, the Cummings Research Park in Huntsville, Alabama, which brings together around the University of Alabama the offices of several world leaders in high-tech and aerospace.

In addition to CDC’s presence, the medical sector also benefits in the region from a rich network of Universities of Excellence, including Emory University in Atlanta and Duke University in North Carolina. The Research Triangle between the cities of Raleigh (North Carolina State University), Durham (Duke University) and Chapel Hill (UNC at Chapel Hill) in North Carolina is another major technology park that brings together private companies and research centers in the biomedical field.

Other technological sectors are also of great importance in the U.S. Southeast, such as automotive, materials, energy, environment, chemistry, pharmaceuticals, agribusiness, transportations, logistics and services (e-commerce, fintech, telecommunications).

Explore the area covered by the Office for Science and Technology in Atlanta using our interactive map.

Examples of Franco-American cooperation in the Southeast United States

Georgia Tech is a driving force in the cooperation between France and the U.S. Southeast.

In 1990, Georgia Tech established a campus in Metz, Georgia Tech Lorraine, which is the only American campus on French soil. This program benefits both the technological dynamism of the Metz urban area, and American and French students who are offered the opportunity to follow an international curriculum in France and the United States at the various Georgia Tech campuses.

The International Joint Unit (UMI) of the CNRS created in 2006, the only existing UMI on French soil, has enabled Georgia Tech Lorraine (GTL) to establish research partnerships with French laboratories, including ENSAM-Paris Tech, Supélec, University of Franche-Comté, LAAS-CNRS of the University Paul Sabatier in Toulouse.

In addition to these academic cooperations, since 2010 Georgia Tech has co-organized with the Consulate General of France in Atlanta the France-Atlanta program, an annual series of events designed to foster cooperation around innovation between France and the U.S. Southeast in the fields of science, business, culture and humanitarian affairs. Discover the full program on the France-Atlanta website.

Last modified on 23/10/2020

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