Clouds over Côte d’Azur tech hub: IBM, Texas Instruments, Intel
In the tech hub around Nice, Texas Instruments is considering shutting down it’s R&D operations, which had been active since the 1960′s. Following a change in the strategy of the American company, the research centre at Villeneuve-Loubet might be closed. At the site, research was done on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, but Texas Instruments wants to concentrate now on industrial applications and automobile.
The CEO of Texas Instruments expects the change of strategy to have an ‘important’ impact on the Nice site.
And IBM too – which also arrived in the south of France in the sixties, might shut down one of its sites in a Nice banlieue. Two thirds of its 35 000 m2 building is currently empty, and with a new lease coming up in 2015, IBM would be considering to move either to the nearby Eco Valley or to Sophia Antipolis. Currently IBM employs about 600 people in the south of France.
Alcatel-Lucent also recently decided to downsize its Sophia Antipolis site.
Good news: Intel
There’s also some good news, however: Intel just opened a new campus in Sophia Antipolis. Intel’s R&D department started in 2009 with a dozen or so engineers laid off at Texas Instruments, but now grew to about 300 employees. The research on the campus will focus on “ultramobility” (components for smartphones and tablets).
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