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The science and technology Francophile network

La Synapse’s action is based on a major asset of the OST in the United States: the scientific and technological Francophile network, which constitutes an exceptional human and intellectual capital. With over 1,400 members in 48 of the 50 states and in Washington DC, with whom our teams maintain individual close professional links, this structure enables us to gather and cross-reference a multitude of expert viewpoints on strategic, scientific and technological issues, and to make relevant connections with players in research, innovation and industry.

The members of this network come from three interconnected environments: science, with professors, researchers, post-docs, students and administrators from universities and national laboratories; industry, with R&D experts and managers from large companies and SMEs; and entrepreneurship, with entrepreneurs and players in the innovation ecosystem, in startups and support and financing structures.

The synergies between these three environments are many and the boundaries permeable. Industrial R&D departments work closely with academic laboratories, whose research projects they often finance. It’s not uncommon for major universities to set up their own incubators and entrepreneurial support structures to help their students, professors and researchers turn their technologies into reality. Last but not least, young startups, in turn, can work with large corporations, and strive to join the club of major players in the economy. So it’s not uncommon to come across people who belong to all three environments simultaneously. In this context, it’s not surprising to find that 70% of the Francophile science and technology network in the USA is made up of university professors and researchers, who often combine teaching, research, industrial development and entrepreneurial activities; conversely, the 30% of entrepreneurs, innovation specialists and economic and industrial players in our network have privileged links with scientific and technological research.
On the cultural front, the science and technology Francophile network naturally includes a large number of French nationals living in the United States (80%), who contribute to France’s scientific influence. However, over 200 members of the network are not of French nationality, and are linked to France by language, student or professional experience, collaborations with French partners or interactions with representatives of the OST, the diplomatic or consular network or Team France Export. This international component of our network extends the action and impact of the OST and La Synapse beyond the French community, and connects with local stakeholders across the United States.