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Toulouse, cradle of future technologies

Toulouse: when a city launches itself into the future!

Toulouse is the global capital of aeronautics, but not just that….in a few short years the city has witnessed the emergence of new expertise, born out of a cross-fertilisation of industries that was successfully nurtured.

Toulouse is committed to economic diversification, focusing on 5 themes that are set to become the growth areas of tomorrow: transports of the future, digital, life sciences, new space and artificial intelligence.

3Top 3 Startup cities in France

4.8%of GDP is dedicated to R&D

1st region in France

8.7Balance of trade: +€8,7bn.

1st region in France

Toulouse: an asset for the transport of the future

Toulouse is a center of excellence for artificial intelligence and autonomous transportation

Transportation of the future

It is only here in Toulouse that you can find all future modes of transport, mostly autonomous: from automatic metro systems (Siemens Mobility) to aircraft (Airbus) and touching on self-driving shuttle busses (Easymile), connected automobiles (Renault Zoé) or flying cars (EVA), drones (Delair) and a Hyperloop (HTT), the city is readying the mobility of tomorrow. Recently Alstom also wished to« hop on board » this Toulouse dynamic. The wider urban area is also a testing ground, taking part in European initiatives such as the urban aerial mobility (UAM) scheme.

Tech startups

The second successful gambit was to target digital start-ups, creating 20,000m² of public incubators in addition to a massive influx of privately-run incubators (Airbus, Orange, Crédit Agricole, At Home…), making Toulouse the 2nd city in France in terms of the establishment of start-ups. Due to the city’s DNA, the start-ups of the Ville Rose are mostly developing around B-to-B technologies, such as I.o.T, Big data, Industry 4.0, robotics, etc. 

Life Sciences

At the same time, Life Sciences are enjoying a renaissance in Toulouse thanks to the cross-fertilisation of aerospace and digital technologies being applied to the fields of cosmetics and health. This is typified by Thales, which is working on a data-lake for genetic screening alongside the IUCT (Institut Universitaire du Cancer de Toulouse), or even Airbus’s focus on surgical simulation systems in tandem with the ITSIM (Institut Toulousain de Simulation en Santé). It is worth remembering that dermocosmetics has always been prevalent in Toulouse thanks to the historic presence of buyer Pierre Fabre and a long tradition of academic research in organic chemistry (Paul Sabatier, Nobel Prize 1912). This ecosystem, which has been upgraded substantially, has allowed the city to attract new structure-building partners over the last two years, such as Clariant, IFF-Lucas Meyer or Givaudan…

NewSpace

Furthermore, the European capital of the Space industry is naturally focused on New Space, an attractive and burgeoning sector of great potential: already home to Toulouse firm Nexeya and following the arrival of American company One Web, the city has also seen the British firm Open Cosmos (designers of nanosatellites) « touch down », or even the Parisian company Exotrail, a specialist in electronic propulsion for mini-satellites.

Artificial intelligence

Finally, Artificial Intelligence, now a key link between all innovative sectors, has been developing in Toulouse at world-renowned research centres (LAAS, IRIT, Paul Sabatier University) whose expertise has won over foreign businesses that have elected to base their European HQs in this regional capital. This was the case for BrainChip, a global reference in A.I, which has been using a CERCO laboratory license to develop artificial synapses. But this is also the case for Indian firm Neewee, part of the Industry 4.0 sector, or even the Californian company BTBP that employs facial recognition in the cosmetics industry.

A technological and scientific ecosystem that is resolutely turned towards the future

To conclude, the technological and scientific ecosystem of Toulouse is resolutely focused on the future, assisted by the systemic interweaving of its various players: universities and educational establishments train the students and engineers that create start-ups, which themselves are coveted by the major business groups of Toulouse that support them in achieving technological breakthroughs. The academic world also adds its own advantages in terms of the fundamental knowledge of science that allows such major breakthroughs to take place. Added to all this, the local government of Toulouse adopts a highly proactive policy when it comes to experimentation and usage, allowing these new products and their societal suitability to be fully tested.

All these ingredients come together successfully in Toulouse to create a recipe that is almost as good as the local Cassoulet!