Grenoble Alpes, looking further ahead to constantly innovate

For 150 years, Grenoble's operators have invented a unique innovation model based on the close links between universities, companies, laboratories and local governments. With its high-performance industrialists, internationally renowned research laboratories and recognized higher education institutions, the "Grenoble ecosystem" has all the assets it needs to meet the challenges of global innovation.

A global research centre

With 23,500 public and private researchers, Grenoble is the 2nd largest French research centre and hosts 8 national research organizations, including the CEA, the world 2nd most innovative organization (Reuters Ranking, 2017), and 5 major European instruments: ILL (Institut Laue Langevin), EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory), ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility), LNCMI (Laboratoire National des Champs Magnétiques Intenses), IRAM (Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique) and GIANT (Grenoble Innovation for Advanced New Technologies), a global innovation campus.

Student life

More than 60,000 students are welcomed each year in Grenoble in a city-campus atmosphere. For the past 10 years, Grenoble has been one of the top 3 cities where studying is enjoyable: it combines quality of training and research with a dynamic student life, all in a remarkable environment. The University of Grenoble Alpes and Grenoble Ecole de Management are regularly ranked among the best European higher education institutions.

Sectors of excellence

Grenoble Alpes' economic dynamism is based on an exceptional concentration of public and private research laboratories and leading companies in key sectors. Over the past 20 years, the territory has fostered the launch of more than 500 startups!


The Grenoble region is one of the world five major micro and nanoelectronics markets, with 22,500 jobs in companies and 3,000 researchers in public laboratories, including CEA Tech. No less than €12 billion have been invested in the sector for nearly 15 years, so as to remain among the leading global centers of excellence for semiconductors.

The IT and software sector is run by major private and public research centers. As a global competitiveness cluster for digital technologies, Minalogic supports its members in their innovation and growth projects and boosts their development and outreach objectives. More than 270 companies are members, including nearly 90% of SMEs. The Metropolis is also labeled French Tech Capitale, based around the “French Tech in the Alps” group. This ecosystem employs more than 16,000 people.


In the 19th century, the paper industries needed a lot of energy. In the Isère Département, Aristide Bergès came up with the idea of recovering the power of the waterfalls to provide the energy that drives the turbines and supplies the factories. This abundant energy has enabled the development of industry in the Grenoble basin. Other sectors have also developed: cement works, mechanics, etc.

Today, the energy sector in Grenoble provides 17,300 jobs, including 15,000 in industry and 2,300 in public research, as well as 1,200 students. There are 5 main sectors in this energy ecosystem: hydropower, hydrogen energy, smart grid and storage, solar energy and energy efficient buildings. The Tenerrdis competitiveness cluster contributes to bringing together the participants in this sector.


With the Grenoble-Alpes University Hospital, at the forefront in the fields of neurology and trauma, plus the presence of numerous public and private laboratories, the Grenoble metropolitan area benefits from an environment that is very favorable to the development of a Health-Medtechs sector.

Support structures such as the Lyonbiopôle global competitiveness cluster and the Lyon Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Cancéropôle boost innovation projects. The Medic@lps and I-Care clusters are also speeding up the development of health technology start-ups: a dynamic and forward-looking industry that has created more than 3,200 jobs in fifteen years.


To the south of the metropolis, in Pont-de-Claix, Grenoble Chemical Park stretches over nearly 130 hectares. This site is closely linked to chlorine. It is also the only French site for the production of phosgene, used in the polymer industry in particular. A little further south, the Jarrie platform spreads over a hundred hectares. Hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, bleach, soda, etc. are produced there.

The two sites are closely linked by their activities. Nearly 2,000 jobs are distributed over these two century-old sites. The region draws on its historical expertise: combined with the Axelera competitiveness cluster and the research and training clusters, it makes it possible to develop new applications in the fields of air quality, biomaterials, green chemistry, amongst others.


Centering round a number of large groups, a dense network of subcontracting SMEs contributes to the diversity of Grenoble's industry. The sector, which provides 8,000 jobs, is now investing in state-of-the-art equipment to improve its productivity and attract new skills. Technology platforms such as Poudr'Innov and CRV Constellium bring their expertise to innovative projects. In 2015, the Metropolis launched a vast action plan in partnership with the ViaMéca and EDF competitiveness cluster to promote a successful synergy between companies and boost innovation. Soon, at the Grenoble-INP school, a platform will be developed to test and design new architectural materials: Ecomarch.

To go further: