France’s strong tradition of research and innovation, as well as growing FDI and domestic investment in pharma, nanotechnology, cleantech, biotech, and other innovative sectors seem to be gaining worldwide recognition.
In the latest rankings of Innovation Cities released by the company 2thinknow, the United States has 23 cities in the Top 100, Germany has 16 and France has 9, making it third among countries in the poll. One of my favorite cities, Lyon, even makes it in the Global Top 10. Congrats to Lyon! The following French cities are in the Top 100:
After the Top 100 but within the overall ranking of 331 benchmark cities, France has several other cities featured within Europe: Nice, Lille, Cannes, Rennes. Although I’m personally surprised that Grenoble, a city known for its research and nanotechnology, is nowhere to be found…
Perusing the Financial Times, I came across a business special on France that features articles on Lyon as a growing business center, Lille and other subjects of interest (project for Paris Silicon Valley, technology sector, etc).
Some excerpts below are taken from the article about the city I hold dear, Lyon.
Thriving business region that is answer to Rhineland: Good transport and skills are a draw, says Ross Tieman
A great location in the Rhône valley, where it acts as a gateway between France and central and southern Europe, has underpinned Lyon’s prosperity ever since the Romans marched in 2,000 years ago.
But in recent centuries, technology took over the relay, with hydroelectric power contributing to a regional heritage of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing. The city preserved its charms, however. Now classified as a Unesco world heritage site, it sustains a vibrant culture that extends from a renowned opera company to contemporary music and the kitchen of chef Paul Bocuse.
Lyon’s high-speed train connections to Paris and Marseille, and location on France’s main north-south motorway make it an attractive location for both business and pleasureseekers.
Back-office operations for financial services and logistics are important contributors to France’s second-largest regional economy. Yet to think of Lyon as a city is to miss the point. With a population of 1.7m it is the heart of a business region that is France’s answer to the Rhineland, and which, with 10,000 researchers, spends as much on innovation as Finland or Denmark….
According to BBC, those who speak two languages fluently may have added brain benefits. Excerpts:
A project at Bangor University aims to explore the benefit of being bilingual.
Researchers will be recruiting 700 people aged between two and 80 to take part in the £750,000 programme.
Prof Virginia Gathercole said the obvious benefits included being able to converse and to participate in two cultures.
But she said there was also evidence of non-language benefits, such as the ability to protect the brain from ageing.
“The very act of being able to speak, listen, and think in two languages and of using two languages on a daily basis appears to sharpen people’s abilities to pay close attention to a aspects of tasks relevant to good performance,” she added.