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Founded in 1956 by Nobel-Prize-winning physicist Louis Néel, CEA-Grenoble is the largest technological research center in the Rhône-Alpes region.
CEA-Grenoble benefits from a particularly rich environment marked by active collaboration among scientists, academics, and industrial R&D professionals. The center’s research focuses mainly on new technologies for energy, healthcare, and information and communication. From electric batteries and new materials to the nano- and biotechnologies, CEA-Grenoble enjoys a strong position at the state of the art of technological research and has extensive experience transferring new technologies to industry.
CEA is France’s second-leading patent filer after automotive manufacturer PSA , and ahead of aerospace giant Safran and L'Oréal (source: INPI 2012).
The French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) is a government-funded organization that reports to the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research. CNRS boasts more than 1,200 research units across France conducting research in all fields. In Grenoble, the CNRS Alpine Delegation conducts research in a broad range of disciplines including physics, mathematics, universe sciences, IT, chemistry, biology, healthcare, the environment, and the social sciences and humanities, and is positioned as a major center for research in micro- and nanotechnology and materials.
Since 2001 CNRS has filed 289 priority patents with scientists from the Alpine Delegation and has signed 92 licensing agreements. A total of 68 start-ups have been spun off from CNRS research, and more than 2,100 R&D contracts have been signed with manufacturing companies and the EU (one-third of these contracts are managed by the CNRS Alpine Delegation).
Since 2005, 549 French National Research Agency (ANR) projects originating in CNRS Alpine Delegation labs and managed by the CNRS have received government funding of €82 million.
CSTB is a government-funded organization with industrial and commercial mandates and employs more than 900 people at five centers across France. The center’s research focuses on improving occupant comfort and safety in buildings, addressing issues like energy-positive buildings and smart homes.
The Grenoble center focuses on:
The center also provides consulting services for new high-environmental-quality buildings with the goal of improving energy savings generated by materials, insulation, ventilation, HVAC efficiency, and energy management, as well as integrating new energy sources like PV into buildings. CSTB is a partner of INES, the French National Institute for Solar Energy, the Integra sustainable-development technology platform, and energy-technology cluster Tenerrdis.
From climate change and major demographic shifts to the energy transition, agricultural research is surrounded by complex issues that are raising unprecedented challenges at a variety of levels. Today’s agricultural researchers are looking at the future of global food safety, examining ways to minimize greenhouse gas emissions from farming activities, and studying how to adapt farming and forest resource management to inevitable climate change. To effectively tackle these issues, researchers must possess in-depth knowledge of individual behavior at local and market levels; broaden their understanding of the relationships between plant, animal, and human health; and find new ways to produce energy and process farming byproducts with a view to limiting the overall environmental impact of farming.
INRA creates new knowledge and supports economic and social innovation in the areas of food, farming, and the environment.
Inria is a government-funded organization with scientific and technological mandates that reports to the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance, and Industry. Inria Rhône-Alpes was founded in December 1992, and is one of the institute’s six research units in France.
Research at Inria Rhône-Alpes is closely related to other research being done locally, especially in the areas of software and systems-on-chip. The institute also runs a number of joint projects with local manufacturers, including STMicroelectronics, Bull, Schneider Electric, Orange, and Xerox Research Centre Europe.
The National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) was founded in 1964. It is a government-funded organization with healthcare and medical research mandates that reports to the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the French Ministry of Health.
INSERM is France’s only government-funded research institute that focuses solely on human health. INSERM researchers study diseases of all types, from the most common to the rarest, from a variety of angles, including biology, medicine, and public health.
Inserm’s main purpose is to facilitate cooperation between:
INSERM’s Grenoble research center, Grenoble Institut des Neurosciences, takes a multidisciplinary approach to the neurosciences. The center’s 250 employees conduct basic, clinical, and therapeutic research on cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, neurovascular disease, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease.
INSERM is also involved in another Grenoble-based research initiative, the Institut Albert Bonniot, which has a staff of 250. The institute focuses on the basic mechanisms that underpin cell and tissue differentiation processes and related pathologies—especially oncogenesis, the formation and development of tumors.
Founded in 1981 as CEMAGREF, the National Center for Agricultural Machinery, Rural Engineering, and Water and Forest Resource Management, and renamed IRSTEA in 2012.
IRSTEA’s research will now focus on:
The Snow Research Center, founded in 1959, is a research unit of the French National Center for Meteorological Research. It is based in Grenoble suburb Saint Martin d’Hères and specializes in snow and avalanche research. The center has a staff of 28 and operates a high-altitude (1,325 meters) research lab at Col de Porte in the Chartreuse mountains near Grenoble, a site with exceptional natural snowfall. The center possesses a full range of meteorological instruments, including a cold laboratory. Research at the center focuses on topics like how wind displaces snow and how the climate affects snowfall. The center also studies snow using 3D images generated by the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble in order to better understand the mechanisms that underlie snow transformations. With more than 40 years of snow and weather archives, the center is a valuable source of information for scientists worldwide.