French nuclear utility EDF has decided to establish the group's largest research & development centre at the Paris-Saclay supercampus. Construction is set to start in 2012 and should be completed in 2014.
The company said, "Against a background of new challenges in the energy sector, EDF wishes to set new goals concerning its research and development."
The new centre at Saclay will accommodate EDF's R&D teams totalling nearly 1000 employees, currently located at Clamart. Their areas of expertise (nuclear, mechanics, software engineering, mathematics and digital simulation, the electricity economy and so on) are among the fields of excellence established at the Paris-Saclay Campus.
The area, which is about 15 miles southwest of Paris, will attract nine universities, colleges and institutes by 2020, according to a report from news site France24. In May, the international food manufacturer Kraft decided to move its R&D centre to Saclay.
EDF also said that EDF researchers will soon benefit from the dynamics of collaboration with the various higher education establishments and the public and private research centres which are either currently, or soon to be, located at this site.
French nuclear research body CEA employs 5000 researchers at Saclay.
At the beginning of April, EDF retained the services of architect Francis SOLER for the building design, following an architecture and engineering competition launched in October 2009. The site comprises circular buildings over an area of approximately 7 hectares.
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