In 2006 an international partnership led to the creation of a laboratory (UMI: Unité Mixte Internationale), which was created with two founding partners:
This lab, called the GT-CNRS UMI, was the first and currently the only UMI located in France.
The laboratory is based primarily in Metz, France at the Georgia Tech Lorraine campus. Laboratory space has also been established at the Atlanta campus and at partner locations. In addition to the two founding partners GT and CNRS, the UMI is proud of its inclusion of four additional academic partners:
- Centrale - Supélec -- a top French electrical engineering school
- ENSAM -- a top French mechanical Engineering school
- University of Franche-Comté
- University of Lorraine
At partner locations, collaborative research takes place in CNRS laboratories co-sponsored by these academic laboratories:
- LMOPS (Laboratory for the Optical Properties of Materials), operated by Centrale-Supelec and the University of Lorraine,
- LEM3 (Laboratory of Microstructures and Mechanics of Materials) operated by ENSAM and the University of Lorraine, and
- FEMTO (Laboratory for MEMS, Photonics, Metrology and Mechanics) at the University of Franche-Comté.
The UMI was created with an agreement between Georgia Tech and CNRS for the years 2006 to 2009. Extensive efforts were made during this first period to build laboratory facilities, to purchase and to install state-of-the-art equipment, to hire researchers and PhD students and to initiate research programs in secure networks and smart materials.
In the second second agreement that spanned 2010-2013, the UMI extended its research program to secure networks with the creation of the “Smart Home” with CentraleSupelec. It extended its research activity in the UMI GT/Atlanta site. It substantially increased its external grants through public research programs at national, European and international levels as well as increased contracts with industrials. It achieved high visibility through its research publications and conference presentations. It actively contributed to the creation of the Lafayette Institute—a platform for technology transfer.
In the third contract of 2014-2017, we have achieved many things in our research projects and have made major contributions to local, national and international research programs. We have continued to improve our physical research facilities, and have established significant alliances with academic and industrial partners. We have played a leadership role in building a bridge for faculty researchers and student exchanges between France and Atlanta. We have also played a leading role in the creation of the Institute Lafayette, a platform for technology transfer and innovation in the area of optoelectronic devices.