Louis Néel, architect of the Grenoble science pole
Back in 1956, Louis Néel – Nobel Laureate in Physics – was the founding architect of the Grenoble science pole.
He was the driving force behind the setting-up of the Grenoble physics laboratories of the CNRS and the CEA, of which he became the first Director.
He also worked hard to ensure that Grenoble became home to both the Institut Laue-Langevin and the ESRF (synchrotron), and lent his support to the development of disciplines such as applied mathematics (in the days before computing) and biology.
Louis Néel was Professor at Grenoble’s Université Joseph Fourier and was the first President of the city’s Institut National Polytechnique.
Driven by a constant desire to promote relations between industry and research, Louis Néel contributed enormously to the economic development of the region.
Grenoble site, a centre for the development of scientific and technological excellence
Following in Néel’s footsteps, Grenoble’s scientists have over the past fifty or more years used their skill and determination to transform a former artillery ground into a centre for the development of scientific and technological excellence.
The site has attracted a vibrant mix of national research centres, large-scale European facilities and innovative companies. With a reputation that spans the globe, the site is now a major research and innovation campus, focusing on nanoelectronics, energy and biotechnology.
France and Germany join forces to found the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL), which is today the world's leading research institute for neutron science and technology. Grenoble's scientific research community is now international in scope.
The National Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble (INPG) is established, bringing together six of the city's schools of science. INPG is renamed Grenoble Institute of Technology in 2007.
Construction begins on the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), which, along with the ILL, gives Grenoble two very large research instruments.
CNRS, CEA, and Grenoble University set up the Structural Biology Institute. Located near the large European research instruments, the Institute provides research and technology resources and hosts visiting scientists.
MINATEC, a 45,000-m2 micro- and nano-technology campus, is bornfirmly anchoring Grenoble in the future of science and technology.
GIANT is set up as part of Grenoble Innovation University, one of the 21st century campuses founded under the French government's economic stimulus plan.