On April 2, 2012, key officials from the Lorraine region of France met at Georgia Tech-Lorraine to sign a Statute of Incorporation, which legally established the Lafayette Institute, a €28 million (approximately $37 million) facility that will facilitate the commercialization of innovations in optoelectronics.
Signatories representing the French funding entities were Jean-Luc Bohl, President of the Metz Metropole, Jean-Yves Le Déaut, Vice President of the Lorraine Regional Council, and François Lavergne, Vice President of the Department of the Moselle. Also present were Dominique Gros, Mayor of Metz, Yves Berthelot, President of Georgia Tech-Lorraine, Abdallah Ougazzaden, Director of Georgia Tech-Lorraine, and Director of the Georgia Tech-CNRS Unité Mixte Internationale 2958 Laboratory, and Bernard Kippelen, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech who represented Georgia Tech-Global.
At this meeting, Dr. Kippelen was officially confirmed as the President of the newly established Lafayette Institute. Drs. Berthelot and Ougazzaden will serve as the Institute’s Vice Presidents.
The Lafayette Institute will be housed in a newly constructed 20,000-square-foot building on the Georgia Tech-Lorraine campus, which will include a 5,000-square-foot clean room, fully equipped with state-of-the-art semiconductor growth capabilities. Georgia Tech is to provide support from its Enterprise Innovation Institute, the university’s business and economic development arm, which aims to help enterprises use science, technology and innovation to improve their competitiveness. It also will share its expertise from the Nanotechnology Research Center.
The Lafayette Institute will focus on the development of compound and organic semiconductors for technologies at the intersection of materials, optics, photonics, electronics and nanotechnology. These new technologies will have applications in the energy sector, new display technologies, and sensors and medical technology.
“I am honored by the trust that the stakeholders have placed in me and I am looking forward to working with the team of the Lafayette Institute. This project is a milestone in the long and fruitful partnership between the Region Lorraine, Georgia Tech, and the State of Georgia and a new chapter in US-French collaboration in higher education and innovation,” said Dr. Kippelen.
G. P. “Bud” Peterson, president of Georgia Tech, said that the institute fit perfectly with the university’s recently published strategic plan calling for “global engagement.”
Georgia Tech Vice Provost for International Initiatives Steven McLaughlin said that the Lafayette Institute represents a very big step forward not only for
Georgia Tech Lorraine, but for Georgia Tech as whole. "Lafayette opens up
tremendous opportunities for researchers, scientists, small and large
companies in Europe, and for Georgia Tech faculty and researchers to engage
and collaborate in new ways in Metz," said Dr. McLaughlin, who serves as president of Georgia Tech Global, Inc. "We are very grateful to all of our
partners for launching the Lafayette Institute and look forward to great
The Lafayette Institute was named after the Marquis de Lafayette, who decided to join the American Revolution after a historic meeting held in Metz, the capital of the Lorraine region.