Grenoble, a world-class center of advanced scientific research
Grenoble Alpes, is one of the most important research, technology and innovation hubs in Europe, one of the most dynamic industrial areas in France with the highest concentration of R&D jobs.
The ability to harness the energy of Alpine water to power factories was discovered in Grenoble in 1870 by Aristide Bergès. The invention of hydroelectricity, has a long-lasting impact on Grenoble. The booming hydroelectricity industry caused a demand for technicians and engineers that far exceeded availability. Schools were established to educate the workforce: the Institute of Electrical Engineering in 1898 and the Hydraulic Engineering School in 1928, which constitutes the beginning of what is now known as Grenoble INP – UGA.
A number of academics and scientists arrived in Grenoble from 1940 seeking refuge from the World War II. Amongst the arrivals, was Louis Néel, a physicist whose research transformed the understanding of magnetism: the excellence of his work was recognized by the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1970. It was under the leadership of Néel that the Grenoble Nuclear Research Centre (CENG) was created in 1956, -which will become CEA-Grenoble- and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) was established in Grenoble in 1962. At that time, Grenoble was becoming an important university and experimental research center, and an attractive, credible location for the installation of the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in 1967, the world-leading neutron research facility.
This major European institute brought an international dimension to Grenoble and paved the way for the establishment of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s site in France (EMBL Grenoble) in 1975, the Institute for Millimetric Radio Astronomy (IRAM) in 1979 and the European Synchrotron (ESRF) in 1988.
Néel was responsible for the merging of six engineering schools in 1970 to form what is known as Grenoble INP–UGA. Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) was originally created in 1984 to meet the needs of regional actors by uniting business, and advanced technologies.
Created in 2005, the MINATEC concept was a continuation of this dynamic, electronics based researchers, students and industry professionals were brought together on a single campus furnished with equipment with the objective of encouraging collaboration and accelerating innovation. MINATEC formalized the collaboration between higher education, research and industry, it was one of the first innovation campuses created in Europe, welcoming visitors and international delegations while hosting hundreds of discussions, conferences and seminars each year.
GIANT, the Innovation Campus
In 2008, the creation of GIANT -Grenoble Innovation for Advanced New Technologies- marked the achievement for a multi-thematic innovation campuses that unite higher education, research and industry. The 8 institutes established on the ‘Presqu’Île Scientifique’ have joined forces to found GIANT and have brought together a large volume of knowledge and skills, unique research infrastructures and high-level scientists, to carry out a common ambition: respond to major societal challenges in health, information, energy, environment.., creating value, fostering the emergence of start-ups, collaborating with industry and raising public awareness of science, through international events and programs.
The development of the GIANT campus has made the local area far more urban and attractive. This constant irrigation of the GIANT ecosystem maintains the industrial activity and has led to the on-site presence of companies such as Credit Agricole and Schneider Electric and o‑ces of a number of major companies in Grenoble-Alpes, such as Alstom, Thales and STMicroelectronics.
GIANT is also a major urban and architectural redevelopment project, with the objective to provide a quality living environment in the Presqu’île through the sustainable development of residential housing, shops and services, accompanied by ambitious environmental targets in alignment with Grenoble’s title of European Green Capital 2022.
Committed to the influence of this ecosystem, GIANT is also positioned as an ambassador of its territory as a Pioneer Grenoble Alps. GIANT and its partners work in close collaboration with the services in charge of the attractiveness of the Grenoble Alpes area.
All of GIANT’s partners actively participate in this innovation chain by providing response to societal challenges.