OnlyLyon - No. 2016 : Press kit 2016





Lyon French Tech in figures

7,000 companies

42,000 jobs

300 digital courses

3 fablabs

1st accélérateur de France labellisé French Tech : AXELEO

5 start-up lyonnaises labellisées « Pass French Tech »

The image sector in Rhône‑Alpes


An image factory

The exterior design of the building, a former flour mill, sets the stage: in Villeurbanne, the Pixel Cluster has devoted its 16,000 square meters to the image, sound and creative industries. It is home to three film studios, a business complex, production companies, technical service providers in the image and sound industry, together with video game developers, new media companies and even a film school. It all adds up to 50 companies and over 260 jobs.

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Innovation and imagination are the driving force of the city

Lyon is distinguished by the vitality of its creative industries in the digital and software fields. Other sectors are full of promise for the future, such as robotics and technical textiles. What these activities have in common is unique know‑how based on innovation.

The connected city

Levers of competitiveness and vectors of innovation, the digital and the software sectors drive development in the region.

Lyon French Tech in figures

Indeed, in 2001 Lyon was the first French urban area (outside of Paris) to deploy a Global Internet Exchange (GIX). It now has four interconnected GIX points. What is the purpose of this type of infrastructure? Facilitating access for everyone to super‑fast Internet connections. And that means staying a step ahead, with the newest services and uses offered by the community. After the success of the International Web Conference hosted in 2012, a new event was held in 2013: the Blend Web Mix set the objective of bringing together the talents that make the Web come to life.

The software sector represents nearly 1,000 economic stakeholders, 33,000 jobs, and €3.5 billion in sales. This economic sector has been growing and creating jobs for several years (2,000 jobs created between 2006 and 2011 including 80% in the Lyon metropolitan area). Lyon has successfully generated a strong digital ecosystem, by supporting players such as the Edit Cluster and by building a facility devoted to digital companies (Lyon Vaise Digital Cluster).

Creative images and industries

With 22,000 jobs in the metropolis and 650 companies in the region, Lyon represents the second‑largest employment area in the creative industries sector after Paris, and 40% of all French businesses in the digital entertainment industry.

The image sector in Rhône‑Alpes

The dynamic in Lyon is driven by a major competitiveness cluster: Imaginove, which has more than 200 members. It is dedicated to the manufacture and distribution of multimedia content, and aims to be the European benchmark in the field within five years.

The wide variety of companies operating in the area fosters the development of cross‑media projects between players in the digital entertainment industry, such as Electronic Arts and Namco Bandai, software and services, such as Cegid, Esker and Teamlog, or telecoms. Further evidence of just how anchored these new activities really are: trade fairs are booming. They go by names such as Cartoon Movie and Serious Game Expo, and have built up an international reputation for themselves.

An image factory

Lyon is French Tech

Thanks to the mobilisation of the digital sector, last November, Lyon was awarded the French Tech label. Indeed, the city had all the pre‑requisites necessary. It’s dynamic digital and IT sectors are supported by a complete and diverse ecosystem: major groups such as Cegid, PME, start‑ups such as Digischool and Esker, as well as schools and universities.

Clusters, such as Cluster edit, and competitive clusters illustrate the tradition of operating through a network and the region’s proactive policy. This label is the starting point of an ambitious Lyon‑based French Tech project: over the next three years, 100 new start-ups will be presented each year as part of an acceleration programme and 15 new "tech champions" (high growth international companies) will be created in the territory over the next 10 years.

These objectives are based on 3 main lines of action: specialisation in a field of digital excellence, a high-added value service offer across the entrepreneurial chain and the integration of French Tech Lyon to the city’s economic policy.

The digital sector can also draw upon the start‑up accelerator programme launched in April 2015: Big Booster - Bio & Tech & Global Impact. Organised by Boston (Massachusetts) and Lyon, this competition selects and supports innovative projects of a high economic potential. The epicentre of Lyon’s expertise in this field will be the Halle Girard, located in Lyon‑Confluence. The venue will be the international showcase of Lyon’s web ecosystem. This multipurpose venue (co‑working space, digital events venue, head of ces of associations etc.) will open its doors in late 2016.


Lyon also showcases its talent through other sectors full of promise, such as robotics and technical textiles. Like the digital sector, robotics is likely to revolutionize the way things are used and become a driver of growth for the community. The industry is still in its infancy: there are barely 10 companies in the region, totaling about a hundred jobs. But they are characterized by strong growth.

Robopolis, specialised in the creation and distribution of personal robots, recorded sales of 100 million euros in 2012. The project “Robot Populi” was approved by Imaginove in 2012. The aim is to produce the first robot for the mainstream market. Technical textiles, another area of innovation closely linked to Lyon’s industrial past, feature among Lyon’s most important specialties. Indeed, the region has become the leading European center in technical and functional textiles.

It represents 65% of French production and 12% of European production. About one hundred companies are members of the Techtera competitiveness cluster, which aims to develop increasingly smart textiles and remarkable applications. For example, Maison Brochier, which has been producing silk since 1890. But that’s not all: in the 21st century, the sector created new market outlets for itself by weaving glass fibers for industrial applications and optical fiber for aeronautical applications.

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