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Lille is French Tech

09 Jul 2014 | A region on the move, ICT

Greater Lille, the Northern France region and the towns of Calais, Lens-Lievin and Valenciennes¬ have together applied for the French Tech label to strengthen their position as a European leader in IT and communication technology.

Lille is French Tech - IT - digital - startup - Lille Region

Lille—absolutely French Tech!

Launched by the French government on January 29, 2014, French Tech is a nationwide campaign to grow French technology start-ups and raise their international profile. Regions that qualify for the French Tech label can tap into a €215 million fund supporting tech projects.
Reflecting our 100% commitment to information technology, Lille Region has applied for the French Tech label as part of our quest to rank among the top five European technology regions and join the elite group of 15 worldwide leaders by 2020—a realistic objective for a region that already has all the right resources on hand.

Core skills: IT and Digital Design

For IT, the leading regional presence is EuraTechnologies, a center of excellence where researchers, educators and businesspeople work closely together. In less than 10 years, more than 137 businesses, employing a total of 2,200 employees, have given EuraTechnologies an international reputation, and the number is projected to reach 450 by 2018. Companies on site include international names like IBM, Microsoft and Tata Consultancy, as well as home-grown movers and shakers such as Adictiz, Stereograph, Vekia, and Giroptic. At EuraTechnologies, stakeholders, projects and innovation converge, taking advantage of set-up and business development solutions adaptable to all IT businesses.

Meanwhile, Lille Region’s Pictanovo cluster has three sites that deliver the skills required for digital design:

  • La Plaine Images: a center of excellence exclusively for the image arts and the creative sector—at once a business center, incubator and research facility and home to Ankama, the French leader in digital design.
  • La Serre Numérique: with 17,000 sq m dedicated to photography and digital design, this site hosts three digital design schools operated by Rubika (formerly Supinfocomgroup), an applied research and technology transfer center, and labs for video games, serious games and design.
  • Arenberg: a former mining village and now a center of excellence for audiovisual research. Its mission: serve the film and TV industry of tomorrow by designing, developing and deploying techniques and tools that put image and sound to work.

Scope for Innovation and Application

Innovation is essential to gaining international influence. Fortunately, Lille Region benefits from a pool of laboratories and researchers dedicated to IT and digital design. One prominent example is Inria Lille Nord Europe, an arm of the French national institute for research in computer science and automation (Inria). The Lille Region site focuses on four key areas:

  • Internet of Things and big data
  • software engineering for eternal systems
  • dynamic patient modeling
  • link between perception and action for human/machine interaction

The center also has technology platforms and conducts experiments in sensor networks, supercomputing and virtual reality—all critical to innovation.

The Mint team is another innovation driver, backed by Inria Lille Nord Europe, Lille University 1 and CNRS. Internationally recognized for its work in gesture-based interaction, Mint develops methods and tools for both touch systems and touch-free interactions.

To feed innovation, high-level training is needed—and is exactly what happens at Rubika Group schools, which have now opened a location in India in 2011. Based in Valenciennes, Rubika is composed of three schools: Supinfocom, Supinfogame and the ISD (Institut Supérieur du Design). As animation and video game specialists, Supinfocom and Supinfogame graduates are recruited by DreamWorks, Pixar, Cartoon Network and other leading animation studios, as well as video game developers like Ubisoft, Hydravision and Ankama.

In short, digital technology is driving change in every sector of our region, providing solutions ranging from urban mobility to the hospital room of the future, from social games to connected objects, and from e-commerce applications to touch-free screens. Lille Region is French Tech at its best!



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