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May 2, 1988

“BULL SHOULD ALLY WITH A TELECOM MAJOR” – CRITICAL REPORT ON FRENCH ELECTRONICS AID

By CBR Staff Writer

A report calling for a more effective training of engineers, a more generous allocation of state funds for companies of all sizes within the electronics industry, and a government-backed drive to tackle the current shortage of memory chips, sounds like yet another of those critical offerings from that multitude of British pressure groups, who seem convinced that, here in the UK, we’ve got it all wrong. In fact, these recommendations come from an official report which has recently been compiled by the Comite’ d’Orientation de l’Electronique et de l’Information across the Channel, headed by Rothschild president Bernard Esambert. The report concludes that although France probably spends no less than her European partners on the electronics and computing industries, the criteria which determine the allocation of funds – last year the equivalent of some $350m – should be thoroughly reviewed. According to the report, small and medium sized businesses should be the recipients of both 50% of available state funds, and, as subcontractors, get a proportion of the research and development work done by larger companies. The report also emphasises the need for state investment in the strategically crucial flagship mainframe company Groupe Bull currently state-owned but on the list for privatisation, to enable it to pursue an ambitious development programme, and, in acknowledgement of the current and the forecast growth of networking, it calls for the forging of an alliance between Bull SA and a major telecommunications company.

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