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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.

Emerging technologies

iOT Valley à Toulouse

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.

Medtech - for the health tech of tomorrow

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...


 Satellite dans l'espace

New Space

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.

Aeronautics and space

Intelligence artificielle

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.

Emerging technologies

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!


Please be sure to catch us at any one of the following events:

Event Details Dates Site
useR! 2019 International event on free software, particularly on R software. R is a free programming language used for statistics and data science supported and maintained by the R Foundation for Statistical Computing.  July 9-12, 2019 https://user2019.r-project.org/
Symposium Electric Machines Symposium Electric Machines Aug 27-30, 2019 http://www.sdemped2019.com
Journée Cluster Aerospace Valley Technical Day: Printed Electronics Industry, technologies, applications, product opportunities Sept 11th, 2019 https://www.aerospace-valley.com/agenda
Focus European IoT capital, Iot Valley's annual event Sept 19th, 2019 https://www.focus.iot-valley.fr/
CWIN Capgemini Week of Innovation Networks. Capgemini's annual event held by their Innovation Team. September, TBA Website pending
La mêlée numérique – Homonumericus The human at the heart of tech! Year 19 of their digital flagship and innovation event in Toulouse. Hundreds of conferences, workshops, round tables, and demonstrations. Sept 30th-Oct 7th, 2019 https://meleenumerique.com/
Minds & tech Event highlighting collective intelligence for use by artificial intelligence, in partnership with MIT Oct 9th, 2019 https://mindsandtech.com/
Forum EDIT Event dedicated to medical devices and connected objects in the health sector Oct 18th, 2019 (pas de site) contact : appiah.b@chu-toulouse.fr 
SIANE Industrial Partners Trade Show Oct 22-24, 2019 http://ext.salonsiane.com/ListeDesExposants/
EO Connection Earth Observation Connection organized by the Aerospace Valley, the world's global cluster dedicated to space October, TBA Website pending
CBC – Cybersecurity Business Convention 1st edition of the Cybersecurity Business Convention on cybersecurity. Event breakdown: exchanges and democratization of digital security for small and  intermediate-sized companies Nov 14th, 2019 www.cbc-convention.com
Futurapolis 2019 Meetings, debates, and demos of the latest technological innovations. Nov 15-16, 2019 https://www.futurapolis.com/
Aerospace Additive Manufacturing Summit International trade show dedicated to additive manufacturing in the aeronautics sector Dec 3-4, 2019 http://www.advbe.com/fr/evenements/par-secteur/industrie-technologie/182-aerospace-additive-summit-toulouse.html
FIRA   Robotics in the agricultural industry Dec 10-11, 2019 https://www.fira-agtech.com/
Congrès MEA  More Electric Aircrafts Jan 29-31, 2020 https://www.see.asso.fr/en/wiki/24778_program
Toulouse Onco Week (TOW) Convention destiner à fédérer les acteurs scientifiques, médico-soignants, industriels et associatifs pour mieux combattre le cancer. Feb 1-5, 2020 http://www.toulouse-onco-week.org/index.php?langue=fr
TWB START-UP DAY Evènement dédié aux startups, investisseurs et acteurs des biotechnologies industrielles Feb 6th, 2020 More information  September, 2019.
Aerospace Tech Week Flight ops, MRO, connected aircrafts  … Mar 18-19th, 2020 https://www.aerospacetechweek.com/
Data Days First trade show focused on industrial data, particularly in aeronautics. March 20th, 2020 https://www.datadays-meetings.com/fr/
Global Space the world’s rendez-vous for the space community and application sectors July 9-12, 2020 http://globalspaceintoulouse.com/