Sectors of excellence

Bordeaux and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region are breeding grounds for excellence in innovation and research. 11 competitiveness clusters and more than 60 clusters with an international outreach are established there, in sectors such as aeronautics, optics & laser, geosciences, eco-housing, digital economy, health ICT and neuroscience. The region is also home to 175,000 students, including 100,000 in Bordeaux, 10,700 researchers and an international competitive Bordeaux research university (initiative of excellence label).

In a few figures, the Bordeaux metropolis is:

  • 69,000 companies
  • 450,000 jobs in the metropolis
  • 61,000 jobs in the health sector
  • 1st university hospital in France
  • 1,200 invention patents

Nouvelle-Aquitaine and the metropolis have also experienced average annual growth in the digital economy for 10 years:

  • 14.8% annual growth
  • 3rd among French metropolises for the creation of digital businesses
  • + 12,000 jobs created
  • 2,500 companies
  • 1,000 researchers
  • 1st region of France in healthcare informatics

Without forgetting the breeding ground of students and universities:

  • 180,000 students across the region
  • 88,000 students and 11,000 researchers in Bordeaux
  • 6 university centers
  • 1 University of Bordeaux labeled "IDEX" Initiative of Excellence, program driven and supported by the State in order to develop R&D and internationalization

The sectors of excellence of the region through the camera

Each year, the Bordeaux Convention Bureau highlights the sectors of excellence in the region through video reports. With the aim of supporting the candidacy of major congresses, the Bordeaux Convention Bureau wishes to become more involved by supporting the sectors of excellence in the region. Between a journey to the heart of innovation and professional interviews, these video reports highlight the engineering and research capacities of the stakeholders in the territory. Local impetus, driven by an ambassador from each sector, places the metropolis in the status of a world-renowned research center.


The Bordeaux Convention Bureau presents reports on two new sectors of excellence in the region. These show the engineering and research capabilities of players in the region, focussing on innovations and featuring interviews with professionals. With local efforts driven by ambassadors for each sector, the city enjoys the status of a research centre recognised the world over.


The Cycl’Eau congress for professionals took place in Bordeaux from 22 to 23 of March 2023 at the Palais 2 l’Atlantique. At the same time, the Village de l’Eau, held during the weekend of the Word Water Day, is intended to make water a key concern for the inhabitants of Bordeaux and the Gironde, by providing areas for information, learning and discovery. It took place in the Darwin Ecosystem.

  • Water has been a major issue for the last twenty years. It is central to numerous scientific as well as political and economic issues. As a result, it is frequently mentioned in the media due to the consequences of global warming and water pollution, contributing to a high level of awareness.
  • Summer 2022 was particularly marked by extreme weather events. These emphasise the effects of climate change, which are particularly severe in the South-West of France. It will be one of the worst affected areas in the years to come, and the water cycle will be greatly changed. Cycl’Eau and the Village de l’Eau are therefore part of an information and awareness campaign on these vital topics.


The optics and laser industry is now internationally recognised for its excellence in several fields: high-energy lasers, hot-plasma physics, laser-plasma interaction and materials science.

  • The ALPHA - Route des Lasers & des Hyperfréquences (ALPHA-RLH) competitiveness cluster, is one of five international competitiveness clusters located in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It assists companies and laboratories in preparing, assessing and financing innovative projects involving photonics and microwave frequency technologies.
  • The LAPHIA (Laser and Photonics in Aquitaine) excellence cluster aims to combine academic and industrial research units in innovative laser, imaging and materials projects, and originated at the University of Bordeaux. The PETawatt Aquitaine Laser + (PETAL +) facility of excellence (EquipEx) is also being built here. It is a civilian research instrument that will become a global benchmark for plasma physics, with plasma being created by high-power lasers.


Since the advent of neural imaging in the 1990s, there has been a renewed interest in hypnosis from a neuroscience perspective. Numerous studies have demonstrated the existence of a unique cerebral state during hypnosis, one which differs from other states of consciousness.
Medical, therapeutic hypnosis as practised by healthcare professionals is based on the pioneering work of Milton Erickson: “Hypnosis is a living interaction within a person which is brought about by the warmth of another person”.

At Bordeaux’s university hospital, staff have been trained in the use of medical hypnosis since 2007 (University Diploma in Medical and Therapeutic 
Hypnosis, and other in-house training organised by the CFPPS). Currently, more than 500 trained experts  (nurses, anaesthesiology nurses, childcare specialists, executives, auxiliaries, psychologists, physiotherapists, radiology operators, midwives, dental surgeons and consultants from various departments) use hypnosis in their work, with patients of all ages.

The use of hypnosis is now recommended in certain cases, with an abundance of studies and publications on the subject (pain relief, in 
operating theatres etc.).


Since 2020, Bordeaux Métropole has expanded its efforts to support the social and solidarity economy (SSE), a movement the city has backed 
for over 15 years. Bordeaux Métropole thus provides financial backing for SSE stakeholders, helping to imagine the economic model of the future. This ambition has been translated into 3 operational objectives: to develop a structured policy of support for priority sectors with a strong societal impact, to nurture a thriving SSE community, and to strengthen the public-sector ecosystem. In 2021, the Nouvelle Aquitaine regional chamber for the SSE published a review of the current 
state of the SSE in the metropolitan area of Bordeaux, finding that the SSE accounted for: 10% of salaried employment in the metropolis, with 34,240 full time equivalent employees working in 2,968 establishments.

Sources :

The Bordeaux Ambassadors Club

Created in 2007, this program initiated by the Bordeaux Convention Bureau has now more than 350 members belonging to the scientific and academic sphere of Bordeaux. These ambassadors represent Bordeaux to national and international associations and constitute an essential link for hosting large-scale congresses and exhibitions in the region.

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