• World Biz Magazine

LYON - FRANCE'S SECOND CITY AND THE LAND OF INNOVATION



France’s ‘Silicon Valley’


​Over the centuries, many Lyonnais have made their mark in the history of science, art and creation: the Lumière brothers (inventors of cinema), André Ampère (for his achievements in Physics), and Claude Bernard & Marcel Mérieux (in the field of medicine).


Lyon has always been a land of innovation and it continues to develop research centres and scientific clusters at the cutting edge of life sciences, green-tech and digital technology.


Because it is a dynamic city that embraces growth and innovation, Lyon rivals a number of major European cities: > Lyon has the 2nd highest number of patents filed in France. > Spending on R&D in the Rhône-Alpes region is comparable to that of Finland, Denmark, Madrid and Barcelona combined. > R&D: 5,6 billion euros is invested in the region annually (12% of the national total).


Moreover, 5 international clusters are located in Lyon:

  • Lyonbiopôle (vaccines and diagnostics)

  • Axelera (chemicals and the environment)

  • LUTB Transport & mobility systems (urban transport systems)

  • Techtera (technical textiles)

  • Imaginove (Content and digital)

​Among other flagship projects, the Confluence district is one of the most ambitious plans to extend a city centre in Europe! Designed over 150 hectares, the Lyon-Confluence project will double the size of the city centre by 2025, while adhering to the climate plan.

1st smart


1st smart city in France | 2nd digital cluster in France | 600 public and private laboratories


Both a business and residential district, LyonConfluence has already attracted a number of investors who are seduced by its location between the Saône and Rhône rivers, the multiple transport modes that serve the area and its proximity to the historic centre.


Lyon has also played a pioneering role in other innovations in the region, such as a city bike system to encourage citizens to adopt environmentally-friendly behaviour; Lyon’s Vélo'V, gave rise to the Parisian Vélib'. The soft modes tunnel to Croix-Rousse, which can be taken by pedestrians and cyclists, is another example. Moreover, a 24hr self-service car-sharing system is on the rise in Lyon foreshowing the transport modes of tomorrow’s city.

The Lyon Gerland Biodistrict

With 5,000 jobs in health and biotech, 30 public laboratories and over 2,750 researchers concentrated over one hundred hectares, the Lyon-Gerland Biodistrict was launched in 2014. This district is a hive of innovation that groups together higher education & research establishments, high level infrastructure, key industrial players and a growing number of SMEs specialised in human and animal health. At its head are world renowned companies: Sanofi, Mérial, Genzyme among others.


Lyon French Tech, France’s ‘Silicon Valley’

Lyon has been awarded the ‘Métropole French Tech’ label, thanks to an enterprising digital ecosystem (including some of France’s biggest players), an ambitious development strategy, motivated actors, operational programmes to serve the growth and visibility of start-ups, dedicated workspace and infrastructure to aid the development of these companies. This label is the result of a strong collective effort within this digital ecosystem and by all of its actors and it proves that Lyon creates the right conditions for start-ups to develop and expand internationally through support programmes, infrastructure and networking.


For more info: www.lyonfrenchtech.com