This site has been archived on

Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Nord-Pas de Calais : Territory & infrastructure

Lille is a capital city of the Nord-Pas de Calais region. It is located at the centre of a consumer market with a population of 100 million. Within easy reach of decision-making centres including Paris, Brussels, London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt, the region combines a strategic geographical location with outstanding transport infrastructure-the densest network of multi-lane highways in Europe, high-speed rail services, the Channel tunnel, two major international airports nearby (Roissy Charles de Gaulle, Bruxelles-Zaventem) and proximity to Antwerp and Rotterdam, the world’s largest port to offer quick and flexible access to the richest markets in Northwestern Europe and to the world.

Nord-Pas de Calais: a land of research and innovation

It is widely accepted innovation and R&D are strategic issues for the future development. Sources of profitability and competitiveness are the essential components for company growth in a world economy. The ecosystem where a company develops should be reactive, flexible, adaptable, able to train, to invest, select and appropriate outside knowledge, as well as to carry out steps on a partnership basis, both in France and beyond its frontiers.

Hence, the region Nord-Pas de Calais has large, internationally recognised laboratories and research institutes, which attract researchers from throughout the world and help establish efficient partnerships. Some key figures:

  • 156 000 students
  • 4600 researchers and teaching-researchers
  • 300 public and private research labs
  • 3 000 PhD students
  • 1 800 masters per year in research
  • 5,6 % of national patents
  • 6 public universities /1 private university
  • 28 graduate schools of engineering and management

The region has 7 competitiveness clusters having for ambition to move research and development at national and/or world level and 14 excellence clusters, complementing the former, which are mainly geared towards providing support and assistance to companies.

The regional network of innovation intermediaries is called J’INNOVE (in French).

Nord-Pas de Calais: Smart specialisation strategy

While responding to the European dynamics Nord-Pas de Calais has capitalised on its strengths and, through an entrepreneurial discovery process, has built a Regional Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation. It is based on 6 strategic fields:

  • Transport and Eco-Mobility;
  • Health and Nutrition;
  • Ambient intelligence and Internet of things;
  • Chemistry, Materials, and Recycling;
  • Numeric picturing and creative industries;
  • Energy.

Through this first entrepreneurial discovery exercise, 7 specialities were underlined:

  • Railway Infrastructures
  • Natural Ingredients for health
  • Development and promotion of sustainable aquatic resources
  • Trade of the future: towards new forms of exchange and consumption
  • Organic textiles, polymers and composites
  • Design and applications of bio based products
  • Development of components and high voltage electrical chains

Our region in video:

Last updated: 2015-02-03