Sites scouted for MIT a la francaise

The French government is studying several sites for a MIT-style program designed to enhance Europe's scientific standing.

The project, announced in June by French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, would create a European Institute of Technology similar to the renowned institute in Massachusetts.

The French government is studying four to five potential sites to house it, Le Figaro newspaper reported Friday.

The goal is to have the institute, comprising some 3,000 researchers, up and running by 2010. At least 50 percent of the experts would be European. Staff members would be paid annual $138,000 to $300,000 a year.

Improving France's research and technology sector is a top priority of the country's center-right government.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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