Louis Reed
© Louis Reed

Sectors of excellence

Bordeaux and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region are fertile ground for excellence and innovation in research. The region is home to 11 competitiveness clusters and 60 sectors of excellence of international standing in fields such as aeronautics,
optics and lasers, geosciences, ecohousing, the digital economy, ICT for healthcare, neurosciences and more. The region is also home to some 175,000 students, including 100,000 in Bordeaux alone, as well as 10,700 researchers and a research-focused university of considerable international renown (including “Initiative for Excellence” status).

Spotlight on two fields


In June 2021, Bordeaux will be hosting the RoboCup, the world championships of robotics and artificial intelligence, with over 3,500 competitors slated to arrive from 45 different countries. Four-time world champions and local heroes Rhoban, the team created at LaBRI (University of Bordeaux Computer Science Research Laboratory), will be putting their title on the line. The RoboCup is a high profile event which will contribute to the burgeoning economic and industrial reputation of France in one of our proven centres of excellence. Organised by the University of Bordeaux, with the support of Bordeaux Metropole and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the event will bring together experts from the fields of research, education and industry in the shared pursuit of innovation in the field of robotics, and its many practical applications in the world at large (emergency services, healthcare etc.).

“When the idea of hosting the RoboCup in Bordeaux was first floated in late 2015, we knew that Bordeaux Convention Bureau had been instrumental in organising
the ITS Congress (Intelligent Transport Systems). I immediately got in touch and we set about putting together the application. We were soon ready to make our pitch to the President of the RoboCup Federation in Leipzig. That was the moment when we realised that this crazy dream was in fact a very real possibility.”
Jean-François Laplume, Secretary General of Unitec and RoboCup France Delegate


“Alongside cardiology and neurology or neuroscience, oncology is a discipline that is gaining importance in Bordeaux. In recent years, an institutional and political drive to make oncology a field of excellence has emerged. Bordeaux’s strength lies in the large number of patients in the greater Aquitaine region (almost six million inhabitants), a large territory in which the city of Bordeaux occupies a central position. This epicentre effect was reinforced at the end of 2015 with the creation of new regions in France. Cancer treatment in Bordeaux has been accredited for its excellence by the National Cancer Institute (INCA), with the official recognition of an Integrated Cancer Research Site (SIRIC) which was renewed in 2017. There are only 8 in France, half of which are outside of Paris.

The Institut Bergonié, the only Cancer Centre or Unicancer Centre in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, is located in the heart of the city and plays an important role in oncology referrals with the Bordeaux University Hospital. Research activity at the centre is essential. It collaborates with public scientific and technological institutions (EPST) such as INSERM, CNRS and the University of Bordeaux. The Health Cooperation Group agreement signed at the beginning of 2016 between the University Hospital and the Institut Bergonié is supported by the Regional Health Agency, with the purpose of boosting synergies to drive innovation for cancer patients. The other two university hospitals in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Limoges and Poitiers, are not to be outdone and play a key role in the territorial network. A number of  biotechnology companies have come to realise the importance of the Bordeaux site and have chosen to set up in the city. In this age of video conferencing and “e-learning”, scientific communication by direct exchange remains essential to transform and validate exchanges between highly specialized teams in a given field. Many national and international oncology conferences have been organized in recent years and many more are planned for the next decade.”
Professeur François-Xavier MAHON
Directeur Général de l’Institut Bergonié