Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Intel Fuck Off

Less than 1 year ago Intel announced that they were closing all their research centers in France (the 2 main ones were located in Toulouse and Sophia Antipolis (Nice)). The idea came like a shock, at least in Toulose, as the center here seemed to be working pretty well, and indeed it had grown in the previous months when the employees of the small center in Montpellier were transferred here.

From what I've read the French government provides companies with huge aids to their research efforts. It seems Intel took benefit of this support for a few years and then decided to close as part of their "restructuring efforts". I guess they just found another place where to get more aids... Well, you know, multinationals behave like that, and if their roots are in USA obviously they don't give a shit about "decadent Europeans"

To common surprise, last week a happy ending to this story was revealed. Renault is taking control of both sites, that will make up a new structure in Renault dedicated to connected and autonomous vehicles. This seems to be a pretty good deal for Renault, that expects this will help them to highly speed up their development on these fields. As for the employees, I assume that moving into a French company that keeps in France its main R&D facility, the Technocentre, which hosts around 8000 employees, the change should be rather reassuring.

It's also pretty good for Toulouse and its attempts to diversify its economy beyond the Aeuronautics sector. While the initial bet, the health sector (Oncopole), is moving rather slowly, the sector of technologies around "terrestrian transport" seems to be moving pretty good. In addition to this announcement from Renault, 2 months ago Continental announced that they would be launching here a new facility focused on "connected vehicles".

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