The campus, located in Cézanne country, is named after Georges Charpak, the famous French physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1992.
10 km (6 miles) from Aix-en-Provence, and 30 km (18 miles) from Marseille, Gardanne is at the heart of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region which is considered France’s third region in terms of Science and Technology. The PACA region has a high concentration of researchers. The region holds a significant academic and industrial potential in ICTs mainly concentrated in two areas: Aix-Marseille (integrated device manufacturing and smart cards) and Nice-Sophia Antipolis (telecommunications and design). For instance, it accounts for about 30% of the French production capacity in semiconductor devices.
The PACA region has over one hundred thousand students, of which four thousand are engineering students. In all, over one-third of the higher education students in the area are being trained in scientific and technical disciplines.
Microelectronics in Provence
There are plenty of microelectronics research laboratories in the Provence region with over 1,650 researchers. The CMP was created in 2003 at the heart of a major French microelectronics cluster (known as the cradle of the smart card industry) which gathers leading manufacturers and designers of microelectronic devices and systems. From the beginning, the CMP has adopted a policy of strong partnerships with the smartcard industry, including large companies such as STMicroelectronics and Gemalto, as well as several innovative SMEs.