iGEM Grenoble 2012

University Joseph FourierPolytech GrenobleGrenoble INPMinatecINRIAEPNInovallée

Scientific Center

Grenoble is a major scientific center, especially in the fields of physics, computer science and applied mathematics. Grenoble’s high-tech expertise mainly revolves around 3 fields :

  • Information technology
  • Biotechnologies
  • New energy technologies

Many fundamental and applied scientific research laboratories are jointly managed by Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble Institute of Technology, the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA), INRIA, and other institutes.

International research centers in or near Grenoble include the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the Institute Laue Langevin (ILL), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and two of the CEA main research facilities, the MINATEC Campus and the Institute on renewable Energies.

The city benefits from the second highest concentration of strategic jobs in France with 14% of the employments, 35 186 jobs, 45% of which specialized in design and research. Grenoble is also the second largest research center in France with 22 800 jobs.

In order to foster this technological cluster, university institutions and research organizations united to create GIANT (Grenoble Innovation for Advanced New Technologies) Innovation Campus with the aim at becoming one of the world top campus in research, high education and high-tech.

University Joseph Fourier


Located at the heart of Alps, in outstanding scientific and natural surroundings, the Joseph Fourier University of Grenoble is a leading University in Science, Technology and Health.

The origins of this scientific university can be traced all the way back to 1811 when the mathematician and physicist Joseph Fourier established a faculty of science in Grenoble.

Featured in all of the major international rankings (Top 200 World Universities - Shanghai Ranking), the UJF offers initial and further education for jobs of the future in a wide range of fields : 

  • Physics and Chemistry
  • Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Biology
  • Medicine and Pharmacy
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Earth Science and Astronomy/Astrophysics
  • Environmental Studies
  • Geography and Territorial Sciences
  • Science of Physical and Sports Activities

Polytech Grenoble

Polytech Grenoble

Polytech Grenoble is the engineering school of the Joseph Fourier University. Currently, Polytech Grenoble has 900 students. Its creation is due to the combination of engineering educations in the same building in 1996 and its first name was ISTG.

This engineering school belongs to the Polytech network, a French engineering school network, which relies on a strong partnership with industries and provides a choice among seven high-level departments:

  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Material engineering
  • Prevention of industrial risks, occupational health and environment engineering
  • Instrumentation and industrial information
  • Information technology for health
  • Computer networks and multimedia communication
  • Electronics and computer industry

Grenoble INP

Grenoble INP

Grenoble INP (Grenoble Institute of Technology) is one of the Europe’s leading technology universities. It plays a key role in making Grenoble one of the most attractive scientific and industrial location worldwide. Moreover, Grenoble INP is the biggest « grande Ecole » in France.

This school was born in the Alpine environment and was founded in 1900 with the Electrical Engineering Institute. It grew all over the years and became INPG in 1971 with Louis Néel, Nobel Laureate in Physics, as its first President.

Today, Grenoble INP possesses 6 skills center :

  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Information and communication
  • Materials
  • Micro & Nanotechnologies
  • Production Systems

Those skills are shared out between 6 schools.


Minatec (Micro and Nanotechnology) is the first European research center focused on micro-nano technologies. Minatec’s research adresses vital issues in the fields of health care, energy and communication in order to find solutions to the economic, technological and environmental challenges facing modern society.

Minatec has sparked a multitude of new businesses developing micro and nanotechnology applications in optronics, biotech, components, circuit design and motion sensing fields.

This scientific center brings together fundamental research labs, a major technological research lab (Léti) and Start-ups. Minatec is an International hub for micro and nanotechnology research.



Public science and technology institution established in 1967, Inria is is the only public research body fully dedicated to computational sciences. Combining computer sciences with mathematics, Inria’s 3,400 researchers strive to invent the digital technologies of the future.

Educated at leading international universities, they creatively integrate basic research with applied research and dedicate themselves to solving real problems, collaborating with the main players in public and private research in France and abroad and transferring the fruits of their work to innovative companies. The researchers at Inria published over 4,800 articles in 2010. They are behind over 270 active patents and 105 start-ups. In 2010, Inria’s budget came to 252.5 million euros, 26% of which represented its own resources.

EPN Science Campus

The EPN (European Photon and Neutron) Science Campus is an international science hub in Grenoble, hosting 3 major European Institutes :

The EPN Science Campus builds upon the co-location of the world’s most powerful neutron source, the ILL, and the world’s premier photon source, the ESRF. Those 2 Institutes make their facilities available to visiting scientists from 19 member countries and all over the world.

The Grenoble outstation of the EMBL on the Campus has a scientific programme strongly related to the neighbouring neutron and photon facilities.

Ground breaking experiments at the very frontier of current research take place on the Campus in fields as far apart as structural biology, fundamental physics, material science and environmental studies.

The Institute operates the most intense neutron source in the world, feeding intense beams of neutrons to a suite of 40 high-performance instruments that are constantly upgraded. Research focuses primarily on fundamental science in a variety of fields : condensed matter physics, chemistry, biology, nuclear physics and material science.

ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) operates the most powerful synchrotron radiation source in Europe. Each year around 4000 researches from over 45 countries travel to Grenoble where they work in a first-class scientific environment to conduct exciting experiments at the cutting edge of modern science.

The facility operates over 40 high-intensity beamlines and over 1500 experiments selected by the beam time allocation panels are performed annually. At the ESRF, physicists work side by side with chemists and materials scientists. Biologists, medical doctors, meteorologists, geophysicists and archeologists have become regular users Industrial applications are also growing, notably in fields of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, petrochemicals and microelectronics.

EMBL Grenoble has 3 main activities.

  • The Institutes develops methods and instrumentation for structure determination by x-ray and neutron crystallography.
  • They conduct research in molecular structural biology notably in the fields of protein-RNA complexes involved in RNA metabolism and translation ; protein-DNA complexes involved in transcription ; structure assembly and host-cell interactions of viruses and proteins involved in membrane fusion.
  • EMBL Grenoble develops instruments and technologies dedicated to automated expression and crystallisation of proteins.


Inovallée is the first science park in France whose ambition is to encourage the connection between Industry and Research. It is placed in the heart of the Alps valley. Today, the park is home to 320 high-tech companies.

As an ultimate land of innovation, this science park has seen the rise of outstanding set-ups, a number of patent pendings, the creation of notorious start-ups, and participates in the activity of Tenerrdis and Minalogic clusters.

18 000 m2 are still available today for rental or ownership, and more areas dedicated to innovation should soon see the light of day.

An unchanged purpose : encouraging the connection between research and industry. By having taken part in the creation of companies and innovations, Innovallée has been fulfilling its historical, technological purpose more than ever.

  • A start-up generation : 46% of the park’s innovative companies were created on the site itself and some notorious start-ups have seen the light of the day in this same place.
  • A strong R&D activity
  • A high-tech vocation
  • An active role of the companies in research centers
  • Successful collaborations with the research world
  • Patents innovations
  • Numerous awarded companies
  • Fund raisings confirming start-ups’ dynamism
Inovallée was launched in 1972 as part of the economic territorial development of Grenoble, and now continues to achieve the founders’ goals :
  • Encouraging the establishment of highly technological companies while offering essential services near-at-hand
  • Encouraging relations between research, university and industry
  • Maintaining this zone as a non-polluant, environment-based place