With over 25,000 structures representing 275,000 jobs, over 50,000 students and 200 research laboratories, Nantes is the second most successful city in France in terms of employment growth (excluding Paris, 1999-2012) and the leading economic hub in western France. Over 3,500 companies are set up in Nantes every year.
Nantes Métropole is safeguarding and developing the quality of life for citizens, maintaining a balanced economic fabric which is boosted by a diverse range of tertiary and industrial sector activities. Nantes is regularly quoted as being a choice destination by students and companies and their employees.
Its original feature can be found in the duo it forms with the Saint-Nazaire metropolis, located downstream of the Loire estuary, in addition to its cooperation with other major cities in western France as part of the Loire-Brittany metropolitan cluster. Together, they form a powerful hub for research and economic development.
With a solid tradition in the industrial, maritime and food processing sectors and a major healthcare centre that is the university hospital, Nantes boasts cutting-edge skills in several areas of excellence.
Nantes' strong suit lies in collaborative and multidisciplinary work to invent the city as well as economic and societal innovations of the future.
This work covers mechanics, materials, digital technology and robotics to dream up future transport and energy solutions for aeronautical engineering, shipbuilding and renewable marine energies, health and well-being, marine bio-resources, food and services for people to develop the medicine and food of tomorrow and new services related to the onset of old age as well as cultural and creative industries and digital technology to design new tools and new communication methods.
These sectors rely on competitiveness clusters and centres which bring together academic and industrial stakeholders as well as SMEs: EMC2 (materials), Pôle Images & Réseaux (Telecoms, Electronics, IT), Atlanpole Biotherapies (bio-technology/health), Atlanpole Blue Cluster (marine bio-resources), Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique (maritime activities including marine bio-resources), Valorial (food/nutrition), iD4CAR (vehicles), NOVA BUILD (Centre for Sustainable Construction and Resources) and the Creative District cluster (cultural and creative industries)
The Jules Verne Technological Research Institute, which won the Investing in the Future scheme in 2012, is a major centre in the field of Advanced Technologies for Production (manufacturing).
Nantes strives to offer foreign nationals the best conditions for living and carrying out their activities. International students account for over 10% of student intake every year at the University of Nantes campus. Specific services such as the University of Nantes' central reception desk and the Autour du Monde – ESN Nantes association help international students to settle in.
Researchers and their families are welcomed by the Nantes-based Association des Chercheurs Étrangers, which provides a local Euraxess point of contact. They are offered accommodation through the Maison des Chercheurs Etrangers.
- No. 1 port on the Atlantic coast (Nantes-Saint Nazaire)
- No. 1 centre for shipbuilding in France (Nantes-Saint-Nazaire) STX Europe, DCNS
- 2nd largest wholesale market for agricultural produce in France after Rungis in Paris
- 2nd most successful city in terms of employment growth (1999-2012) out of the major conurbations in France
- 2nd largest Airbus site, with 2 sites: Nantes et Saint-Nazaire
- 3rd most industrial French city
- Euronantes, the largest business cluster on the Atlantic coast
- 70% rise in the number of students in 15 years.