The digital sector is driven by the dynamism of a vibrant local ecosystem, mobilised around the ‘Bordeaux Metropolis FrenchTech’ Label, officially obtained in November 2014.
Home to countless innovative digital projects, the growing metropolis of Bordeaux is determined to become a ‘Smart City’, one of Europe’s most connected urban centres.
A raft of major urban investment projects have been launched to bolster this ambition, including the new Euratlantique business district and the forthcoming Cité Numérique digital start-up hub.
Bordeaux Metropolis, a digital trailblazer
Bordeaux’s digital sector is made up of some 7,000 companies, accounting for over 23,000 jobs.
As France’s fastest-growing digital region in terms of job creation, the aim is to hit 50,000 digital jobs by 2030.
With the presence of numerous international market leaders, Bordeaux is rapidly developing a reputation for its specialist skills and expertise in key digital sectors such as mobile applications, ICT in healthcare, 3D technologies, connected commerce and intelligent transportation.
- The city is abuzz with digital stars specialising in mobile applications (Azendoo, Snapp, NewsRepublic…). Video games are a particular strong point, with Bordeaux’s reputation assured by leading names such as BeTomorrow, pioneers in the development of smartphone games, Asobo, game designers for Walt Disney, and ConcoursMania, specialists in online competitions.
- ICT in healthcare is the subject of a dedicated competitiveness cluster, bolstered by the involvement of national and European leaders in this rapidly-growing sector (Maincare Solutions, Agfa Healthcare…). A dense network of specialised SMEs has sprung up in the fields of eHealth (connected devices, E-imaging, Ki-Lab…) and serious games.
- The industrial 3D technology sector, embodied by leading names such as Immersion, Lumiscaphe and I2S, has developed in close partnership with the ARKHOPOLE association, an industrial development hub focused on digital resources.
- Intelligent transport – a new, strategically important sector focusing on questions of mobility, location tracking and navigation – will take centre stage when Bordeaux welcomes the ITS World Conference (Intelligent Transport Systems) in October 2015, establishing the metropolis as an international showcase for digital innovation in this field.
- Other sectors enjoying rapid growth include: connected commerce with market leader Cdiscount, e-learning (Addeo, IDSC, Stantum…) and Big Data (ATInternet, Cheops Technology, Cogniteev, Cartegie…).
A rich pool of talent and expertise
The Bordeaux metropolitan area is endowed with a dense and diversified digital ecosystem, supported by strong relationships between public and private stakeholders and a comprehensive network of support structures.
The creation of the Digital Aquitaine competitiveness cluster, the culmination of efforts to structure and promote this thriving innovation ecosystem, has opened up new opportunities for collaboration and synergy, particularly at international level.
- Various laboratories specialising in digital sciences, such as the Bordeaux Laboratory for ICT Research, the Institute for Research in the Digital Sciences (INRIA) and the Laboratory for Materials-Systems Integration (IMS);
- Eight specialist engineering schools affiliated with the Institut National Polytechnique, including ENSEIRB MATMECA and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure for Cognitive Sciences (ENSC)
- A comprehensive, well-structured range of training and continuing education options: healthcare and IT, industrial ICT, multimedia, systems and networks, electronics, web careers, cognitive technologies, e-commerce and more.
- The recently-inaugurated Aquitaine Centre for Electronic and Information Technologies (CATIE) aims
The sector’s development has been nurtured by the emergence of thirty start-up incubators and support structures: the Auberge Numérique (Digital Hostel), the Chartrons eco-incubators, coworking facilities, business incubators, the Darwin Centre, the digital campus, the Bassins à Flot digital district…….and Bordeaux’s 3 academic technology hubs (Unitec, Montesquieu, Technowest).
The Cité Numérique digital centre will launch in 2016, with the clear ambition of becoming the flagship of Bordeaux’s digital ecosystem (a 27,000m2 site offering 4,400m2 of services and facilities open to the public, to businesses and to entrepreneurs) based in the new Euratlantique district.
A thriving culture of entrepreneurship and networking
With over 35 major events in the calendar, the Bordeaux metropolitan area has a strong culture of connecting and encouraging digital innovators.
Public shows, professional events, international conferences, all with a strong focus on innovation in technology and its applications, are a vital part of the dynamic which has earned the city the label ‘Bordeaux Metropolis French Tech’.
With over 70 workshops, speakers from 7 countries and twenty locations spread right across the metropolis, Bordeaux’s Digital Week is a major event for the sector.
Other headline events include the Global Free Software Conference and Inspirience the 3D (it3D) focusing on immersive and collaborative 3D technologies with industrial applications.
The city is also set to host the 2015 ITS WORLD CONGRESS BORDEAUX, a global conference on the theme of intelligent transport.
Growth accelerators taking root in Bordeaux.
In addition to the public development programmes in place (the Digital Hostel, Digital Growth Ambition Croissance, ETI Plan etc.), 4 privately-run accelerator schemes specialise in providing financial support to digital start-ups in Bordeaux (Digit’Halles, Bordeaux Quai des Entrepreneurs, Aquitaine Enterprise Network, 33 Entrepreneurs).