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Patrick Drahi supports École Polytechnique through a 7 million euro pledge

A Major Donor since the start of the first fundraising campaign, Patrick Drahi makes an exceptional pledge of 5 million euros to support entrepreneurship at École Polytechnique, on top of the 2 million he already gave mainly to support the development of MOOCs.

With this new gift, Patrick Drahi becomes the first École Polytechnique individual Donor in terms of amount.

An extraordinary pledge for entrepreneurship                                

On 24 June, Patrick Drahi announced a 5 million euro pledge to support entrepreneurship at l’X, a major focus of École Polytechnique’s strategic development. This new gift will fund LA FIBRE ENTREPRENEUR – Drahi  X-Novation Center that will soon open on École Polytechnique campus. LA FIBRE ENTREPRENEUR is the first center entirely dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation at École Polytechnique.

This new 2,500 m² space will provide a unique spot for ​​creation, experimentation and prototyping, education, incubation, and dialogue with investors. With a design based on the most modern accelerators in the world, this center will operate in close interaction with partner incubators (Télécom ParisTech, HEC ...) and with Paris-Saclay institutions promoting technology and research towards industrials.

A naming strategy similar to that of major universities worldwide

Through this naming, the École Polytechnique Foundation and l’X wanted to honor this extraordinary pledge from the Patrick and Lina Drahi Foundation. Following this pledge, the entrepreneurship building, which will be inaugurated in September 2015, will be called LA FIBRE ENTREPRENEUR – Drahi X-Novation Center.

Jacques Biot, President of École Polytechnique, emphazises the importance of this gift for l’X: “As an École Polytechnique Alumnus, Patrick Drahi (X 83) wished to express his appreciation to l’X and to support its ambitious growth and development. Entrepreneurship has always existed at École Polytechnique, but it is now at the heart of our institutional strategy. The extraordinary gift made by Patrick Drahi strengthens the position of École Polytechnique as part of the most entrepreneurial and innovative universities in the world. We will be able to support and accelerate over thirty start-ups every year in this building, which will open in September, 2015.”

MOOCs: a tool to develop École Polytechnique’s international influence

A pioneer for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), École Polytechnique has also benefited for several years from Patrick Drahi’s support for e-learning through another major gift crucial for the future of l’X. Seven École Polytechnique open courses are already accessible online, with nearly 60,000 people registered from around the world, and more than twenty other MOOCs are currently being produced or designed.

This way, Patrick Drahi accompanies l’X in the development of its programs, in French and in English. École Polytechnique’s mission is to produce and share the highest level of multidisciplinary knowledge. The MOOCs are a way to spread this knowledge to a larger audience and consequently to raise École Polytechnique’s profile on an international level.

In this regard, École Polytechnique was ranked as the 5th most international university worldwide by the Times Higher Education in 2015.

An exemplary gift for École Polytechnique’s community

Patrick Drahi becomes the first individual Major Donor of l’X in terms of amount and the first Alumnus to make such a pledge to support the École Polytechnique’s strategy as defined by its President, Jacques Biot. His gift opens the way to the second fundraising campaign, the official launch of which will take place in a few months.

Patrick Drahi joins the prestigious "President's Circle", a new Major donors category whose gifts exceed three million euros.

Denis Ranque, President of the École Polytechnique Foundation, says: "Thanks to pledges of Alumni such as Patrick Drahi’s, the École Polytechnique Foundation has the means to support l’X in its ambitions to serve the Nation. Patrick Drahi’s gift also demonstrates the importance of solidarity that defines École Polytechnique’s community."

Patrick Drahi, Head and Founder of Altice group, comments: "By supporting the development of the most prestigious institution of the Republic for many years, my goal is to reinforce its renown throughout the world. Through work and merit, I had the pleasure of following École Polytechnique’s excellent courses and programs. My gifts, particularly directed towards l’X and Télécom Group, must allow these great French institutions to be pioneers on an international level, in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation and in the digital field."

> Read the press release