California France Forum on Energy Efficiency Technologies
CITRIS Director Paul Wright,
Cher Jean-Louis Missika, Deputy-Mayor of Paris,
Dear Melanie Nutter, of the City of San Francisco,
Dear Ammi Amarnath (EPRI),
Dear Jean-Claude Van Duysen (EDF),
Dear Michel Maschi (EDF),
My dear friends,
It’s a great pleasure for our Consul General Romain Serman and for me to be here with you this morning for this second edition of CAFFEET, the California France Forum on Energy Efficiency Technologies.
I would like to thank Chancellor Birgeneau for hosting us in this unique and world-class University of Berkeley.
I would also like to congratulate all those who organized this very important event.
With a special word of thanks to our friends of CITRIS, Paul Wright and Hugh Aldridge – it’s great to see you again –, and to the scientific service of the French consulate, Thomas Deschamps and his wonderful team.
I would like to deliver two short messages.
1) First, CAFFEET is a true model of French-American cooperation.
CAFFEET brings together French and American policy makers, industries, start-ups, researchers, academics and labs.
Reinforcing, as you do, the ties between our two countries in this field, at all levels, is a clear priority for us:
Because France and the United States share the same interests, for example in the field of intellectual property – which is a growing priority for all of us ;
Because when we join together our resources and our talents – they are numerous on both sides –, we become stronger and better. The very promising sistercity-partnership between Paris and San Francisco in terms of energy-efficiency and sustainability is a very good example of this – as illustrated by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë’s very successful visit to San Francisco five weeks ago.
In this regard, I commend the University of Berkeley for its commitment to developing French-American cooperation:
The France-Berkeley fund is one of the most if not the most efficient academic cooperation program in the US;
UC Berkeley has launched new partnerships with French universities in the last two years, with SupAero and Paris Sorbonne in particular ;
And in the near future, we will have the pleasure of signing a very important MOU between Paris and San Francisco. This MOU is the first of its kind and will pave the way for a new joint lab between Berkeley and INRIA, among other partners, in Paris and then, in San Francisco.
2) My second message is that France is moving forward.
Innovation is France’s number one, number two and number three priority (innovation clusters, R and D tax credit, investment for the future program). And this unprecedented effort toward innovation goes hand in hand with a booming entrepreneurship. More than 600,000 people created their own companies last year.
A lot of French start-ups are present today in this room, alongside high-tech big and very successful companies like Orange and EDF: these start-ups are dynamic, innovative and full of talent and ambition.
In conclusion, I would like to assure you that France is, and intends to become even more a land of creativity and innovation, a land of entrepreneurship – entrepreneur is a French word, don’t forget! – and a country of excellence.
There is no doubt that the exchanges that you will have today and tomorrow on Smart Cities – a key issue which embraces many fields and technologies – will lead to concrete solutions and new opportunities.
Thank you very much!