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Grenoble is a major French center in computer and automation sciences. The origin of this development is geographic: Grenoble is located in the French Alps, where since the beginning of the century, hydroelectric dams have been built. Hence, electricity was available and cheap, and new industries settled in the region, with a strong demand for research in electrotechnology, fluid mechanics, and applied mathematics. An exception in France, Grenoble therefore has a sound tradition of close links between university and industry, particularly in fields at the roots of computer sciences.