Grenoble-Isere (AEPI)

Grenoble-Isere Economic Development Agency

AEPI, the Grenoble-Isère Economic Development Agency, is the collaborative Partner of Colorado Silicon Network in the Rhone Alps region of France.

AEPI entirely responsible for promoting Grenoble-Isère and capitalizing on its assets to attract new business.

Its mission comprises three key objectives:

  • Promoting and developing the economic notoriety of Grenoble-Isère,
  • Contributing to the economic development of its constituent territories,
  • Prospecting for, welcoming and locating new business.

Over the last 10 years AEPI has supported and assisted the location of 200 companies, which have created more than 5,000 jobs. The organization’s prime added value is its experience and know-how for identifying, attracting, locating and keeping productive activities in Grenoble-Isère.

Grenoble-Isère—located in the Rhône-Alpes region, home to France’s second largest regional economy after Greater Paris/Ile-de-France—is a microcosm of the country’s powerful, diversified industrial base. Hemmed in by mountains and rivers, Grenoble-Isère does not let geographical limitations hinder its growth. The area continues to attract investment in industry, even in sluggish economic times.

Grenoble-Isère has always attracted considerable government funding, at both the national and local levels. Staunch government support has helped the area build the solid transportation and logistics infrastructure that lets local companies do business in markets across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This firm commitment to local economic development—backed by funding—has also been crucial to the emergence of Grenoble-Isère’s battery of world-class research laboritories, which includes the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF).

Government support also extends to the region’s competitive clusters, which are carving out positions of global leadership in micro- and nanotechnology and embedded systems (Minalogic), infectious diseases (Lyonbiopôle), chemicals (Axelera), renewable energy (Tenerrdis), and engineered textiles (Techtera). These clusters are evidence of local governments’ commitment to partnering with industry, research, and higher education to foster diversified economic development.

Grenoble-Isère is, first and foremost, a point of convergence for stakeholders from the fields of research, higher education, business and the economic world. The resulting collaboration has led to the emergence of major technology sectors that are dynamic, innovative and play a strong structuring role. Each is organized around a competitive cluster, leading industrial firms, research laboratories, innovative SMEs and high-level training programmes.


More than 3,000 graduates per year. 38,500 jobs in Grenoble-Isère, including 5,000 in public research. More than 500 companies, from start-ups to multinational groups. Information and communication technology is particularly dynamic in Grenoble-Isère. Grenoble-Isère: a major European centre for innovation in micro-nanotechnology and software technology.

Grenoble-Isère is a key European location for innovation in the fields of micro-nanotechnology and software. Grenoble-Isère is France’s second largest platform for research after the Paris area. It is founded on a robust industrial base and bolstered by significant training potential. Miniaturization, nanotechnology, convergence between hard and software: very few sites around the world offer the technological, industrial and scientific foundations needed to tackle these challenges. Grenoble-Isère possesses and cultivates these assets. Not only does it have Minalogic, an internationally renowned competitive cluster specializing in micro-nanotechnology and embedded intelligence, Grenoble-Isère is also teeming with projects involving multipleplayers. The area has all the resources, skills and determination it needs to rise to the challenges of tomorrow’s information society.



Soitec is the world's leading producer of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers and innovative substrates for advanced microelectronics, in particular nanotechnology. Headquartered at Bernin, just near STMicroelectronics and the Crolles2 Alliance. Soitec employs more than 900 people and produces an extensive range of advanced materials.

ST Microelectronics

  • STMicroelectronics, Europe’s leading specialist manufacturer of semiconductors
  • Employs 50,000 people in 31 countries around the world • One of the founding members of the Minalogic competivness cluster.

STMicroelectronics has around 10,000 employees in France, including more than 6,000 in Grenoble and neighbouring Crolles. A total of 2,400 research staff work at these two sites. In addition to its R&D for electronic packages and advanced testing activities, the Grenoble site is home to the head offices and marketing departments.


  • Established in Grenoble-Isere in 1971
  • The global leader in data processing for the professional and consumer markets
  • A staff of 2,300 people in Grenoble-Isere
  • Inpartnership with Minalogic and many MPE. Today, the two Grenoble-Isère sites, together with the Sophia Antipolis site, comprise Hewlett Packard’s three French competency centres.

HP’s Grenoble competency centre houses the European headquarters for the PC, workstation, notebook and monitor segments, and performs marketing and supply chain activities. In addition, over 250 engineers based in Grenoble coordinate all facilities management activities at European level. HP also has a European development centre in storage, Linux solutions and High-Performance Calculation (HPC).


Mentor Graphics is one of the world leaders in the supply of EDA software. The Montbonnot centre, which has a longstanding tradition of innovation, has evolved to become the global reference for IC simulation. To cope with increasingly complex products the R&D teams include engineers and PhDs from various backgrounds, often trained by universities or engineering schools in the Grenoble area. They include microelectronics designers but also physicists, mathematicians and of course computer developers. One of the original features of the unit is its ability to combine different forms of expertise to obtain top quality tools that are also innovative.


Founded in Grenoble in 1967, Capgemini is Europe’s leading provider of consulting, facilities management and IT services, and is one of the global leaders in the sector. With offices in more than 30 countries Capgemini employs almost 60,000 people, including over 18,000 in France. Its activities revolve around four trades: consulting, integration of IT systems and applications, facilities management and proxy services. The Montbonnot site boasts particularly strong skills in embedded software, Business Intelligence and RFID technology.


The National Institute of Applied Computer Research – Rhône-Alpes (Inria Rhône-Alpes) is a public establishment focussing on science and technology. It reports to the Ministry of Research and the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry. The Rhône-Alpes branch, started in December 1992, is one of six
Inria research laboratories in France.

Its 25 teams carry out research on the following main topics, embedded software and systems, in particular for system-on-chips. The centre is involved in numerous projects with industry, notably STMicroelectronics, Bull, Silicomp/Orange Business Services, Schneider Electric and Xerox.


The National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) is a public establishment focussing on science and technology. It reports to the Ministry of Research and is active in all fields of learning, drawing on more than 1,200 research units. In Grenoble the CNRS is represented in a large range of scientific disciplines: physics, mathematics, science of the universe, computing, chemistry, biology, humanities and social sciences, health care, environment, etc. It is a key player in research into information technology and software. In all it has more than 1,600 staff spread over 69 research laboratories (all topics).


  • Created in 1967 in Grenoble, Leti is one of the largest centres in Europe for applied research in electronics
  • Leti employs 1,500 people, of which 500 are outside staff
  • 10,000 square metres of clean room space and a wide range of equipment
  • 85% of its work is devoted to research completed with partners outside CEA
  • A special relationship with industry, with 200 partners.

CEA's Electronics and Information Technology Laboratory now ranks as one of
the largest centres in Europe for applied research in electronics. Leti's activities,
center on microcomponents and their integration in electronic systems, primarily concern:

  • micro and nanotechnology for microelectronics
  • microsystem technologies, design and integration
  • imaging technologies
  • micro and nanotechnology for biology and healthcare
  • communications technology and roaming devices.


MINATEC is a prime example of international cooperation. Some 30 nationalities are represented on campus and more than 80 foreign industrial and institutional delegations visit each year—an average of two per week—to get an in-depth look at the secrets behind MINATEC’s success.

The MINATEC innovation campus is home to 2,400 researchers, 1,200 students, and 600 technology transfer experts on a state-of-the-art 20-hectare campus offering 10,000 square meters of clean room space. An international center for micro and nanotechnologies, the MINATEC campus is unlike any other research facility in Europe. An added benefit of the MINATEC campus is its location in Grenoble’s “Polygone Scientifique” district alongside leading French research institutes CEA and CNRS and major international laboratories like the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL), and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).


The cluster strives to achieve two primary missions:

  • Secure a position as the number-one European and one of the top three global centers devoted to embedded systems on chip. The cluster's vocation is to drive cooperation by rallying resources from industry, research and education around two major fields: micro- and nano-technologies and embedded systems on chip. The scope of this mission goes beyond the existing technological advances and government contracts (such as the Alliance Crolles2 nano-electronics and the Minatec micro and nano-technologies projects, for instance). Minalogic addresses new materials for electronics, and has launched a new initiative, EmSoC (Embedded Systems on Chip), designed to master embedded software technologies.
  • Transfer these technological advances to industries likely to bolster their competitive advantage through intelligent miniaturized solutions


Grenoble is also a major scientific center, especially in the fields of physics, computer science, and applied mathematics: Joseph Fourier University (UJF) is one of the leading French scientific universities while the Grenoble Institute of Technology trains more than 5000 engineers every year in key technology disciplines.

Many fundamental and applied scientific research laboratories are conjointly managed by Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble Institute of Technology, and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). Numerous other scientific laboratories are managed independently or in collaboration with the CNRS and the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA).

Other research centers in or near Grenoble include the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), and one of the Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique (Nuclear Energy Commission)(CEA) main
research facilities.

Leti and the recent development of Minatec, a centre for innovation in micro- and nano-technology, only increases Grenoble's position as a European scientific center. The city benefits from the highest concentration of strategic jobs in France after Paris, with 14% of the employments, 35,186 jobs, 45% of which specialized in design and research. Grenoble is also the largest research center in France after Paris with 21,000 jobs.

Grenoble is also renowned for the excellence of its academic research in humanities and political sciences. Its universities, alongside public scientific institutions, host some of the largest research centres in France (in fields such as political science, urban planning or the sociology of organizations.

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