GRENOBLE ALPES, 
in the heart of the french alps

A place for trailblazers
champions of innovation

Capital of the French Alps, host to the 1968 Winter Olympics, and home to countless internationally-renowned corporate trailblazers, Grenoble Alpes has provided endless opportunities for the sports & mountain industries.

Thanks in part to the innovative mindset that has become a trademark of Grenoble Alpes, the area’s outdoor & mountain sports industry has thrived. This is true for both large corporations, like Petzl, Poma and Rossignol, as well as for smaller operations, like app developers and web platforms designed for sports (hiking, biking, skiing) and tourism (ski resorts, tourist offices)…

Today, the local sports industry counts 5,600 jobs – 2,100 dedicated to mountain development and 3,500 to sports & recreation.

Mountain development & engineering

Grenoble Alpes’ mountain development & engineering industry is made up of over one hundred companies, each with its own unique activity. Together, these companies cover the industry’s entire value chain:

x  Winter & summer mountain development for recreational activities: Poma & GMM (aerial lifts), CM Dupon (snow groomers), Lumiplan (signage for ski resorts)

x  Subcontractors: Alpes Vérif (security controls), CIC Orio (mechanics), Serge Ferrari (flexible, innovative composite materials for construction & the environment)

x  Engineering consultancy: Dianeige (consulting for mountain design & development), Geolithe (consulting in geology, geophysics & geotechniques), Espace Gaia (architecture firm), Tim Ingenierie (engineering, project support)

x  Operations: Ski resortsAlpe d’Huez, Deux Alpes, Chamrousse, Les 7 Laux, Villard de Lans, and more…

Chamrousse
Promising startups

Grenoble Alpes’ trailblazing mindset also drives local entrepreneurs. The region has been a launchpad for countless promising and ambitious startups, among which:
x AlpinovX, local gem that has raised €4.8M for their cutting-edge technology that makes efficient snow production possible in all weather conditions.
x Skaping, expert in optics, this startup has introduced a new generation of static, panoramic webcams that contribute to the promotion of tourism in various mountainous destinations.
x Bluecime, has designed a “third eye” for ski lift operators that detects anomalies at lift take-off.

A diversity of mountain activties

No less than 25 ski resorts are spread out over the 4 mountain ranges surrounding Grenoble Alpes: Belledonne, Chartreuse, Vercors and the Oisans. From expansive ski resorts with international patronage, like Alpe d’Huez2 Alpes or Chamrousse, to smaller, familial ski resorts, like Autrans-Méaudre en Vercors and Villard de Lans/Corrençon, the opportunities for Alpine (downhill) and Nordic skiing are endless.

With a significant international clientele, Alps d’Huez is one of the region’s most well-known ski resorts. It is ranked among the best ski resorts in Europe for the quality of its ski slopes and its infrastructure. Its tourist office is recognized for its constant drive to improve facilities from one season to the next.
In 2019, former basketball star, Tony Parker, invested in the region’s ski industry with the acquisition of Villard de Lans, a ski resort 25 minutes outside of Grenoble. His goal is to further develop summer outdoor recreation activities at the resort.

Mountain Planet, international mountain development expo

Once every two years, Grenoble Alpes hosts Mountain Planet, the world’s largest international event for mountain industry professionals. The event has been crafted to represent a true cross-section of the industry. The exceptional quality of Mountain Planet’s trade exhibits has turned it into an “unmissable” industry event for concluding business negotiations, meeting new partners and gaining prospects.

Mountain Planet brings together professionals from the winter & summer outdoor recreation industries, as well as urban development professionals. Companies of all sizes attend the event: large multi-nationals, startups, SMEs, professional trade associations and more.

Sports industry

In terms of sports and recreation, Grenoble Alpes has become synonymous with inventiveness. It was here that Mr. Rossignol imagined his first pair of wooden skis at the beginning of the 20th century. A century later, Rossignol is still the #1 ski producer in the world, extending its product line well beyond skis.

Another « Made in Grenoble Alpes” success story: Fernand Petzl, one of the first creators of mountaineering headlamps in the region in the 1970s. The Petzl brand has become internationally associated with mountain sports equipment.

Companies producing mountain gear and materials, like Rossignol (skis, bikes, trail running products), Petzl (headlamps, climbing gear), Béal (climbing ropes), and Entre Prises (the official supplier of climbing holds for the Tokyo Olympic games) were all founded in Grenoble Alpes and have become international leaders in their industries. By their sides, entrepreneurs continue to innovate, with new products like La fabrique du Ski (high-quality skis and snowboards made in the Vercors), G Tech – Guidetti (hiking and Nordic walking poles), or Athletics 3D (3D rifle for biathlons).

 Go Sport (sports equipment & material retailer), was founded in Grenoble after the 1968 Olympic Games. It chose to set up its headquarters in Grenoble Alpes. A choice also made by the Fitness Boutique brand, Netquattro.

In terms of specialized media, Grenoble Alpes was home to the founding of Glénat (leader in publishing in relation to mountains) and  Nivéales (magazine for mountains, winter sports and outdoor recreation).

industrie de ski rossignol grenoble alpes

New recreational activities and society’s natural evolution have led to the emergence of new companies in the region. Supported by Grenoble Alpes’ innovative community, digital entrepreneurs have imagined tomorrow’s connected sports. Some examples are: Moovlab (interactive sports training), Mhikes (digital solutions for tourism professionals), Sentio Sports Analytics (analytical solutions for real-time team sports) or Drone Interactive (drones & augmented reality).

 

Une spécificité made in Grenoble Alpes : les living labs

These are user-centric laboratories geared towards innovation through consumer experiences. They consider consumers/users to be essential parts of the research and innovation process, meaning that they are “open innovation labs”.

Grenoble Alpes hosts three such living labs:
x The Brunerie Campus (multi-sport)
x Oisans Cycling Lab (biking)
x Station de Trail (trail running)

Grenoble alpes, host to major sporting events

Grenoble Alpes enjoys a supportive local community and, each year, the surrounding area hosts several internationally-renowned sporting events: the Tour de FranceFoulée Blanche (Nordic skiing), UT4M (Trail running), La Marmotte (cycling in the Oisans), international figure skating championships, Coupe Icare (paragliding event), and, in 2019, the city was host to part of the women’s soccer world cup.

Grenoble’s home teams are quite competitive. They include: GF38, competitive men’s & women’s league 2 soccer teams, FCG men’s top 14 rugby team and women’s top 16 rugby team and the Bruleurs & Bruleuses de Loup, top-ranked men’s and women’s hockey teams.

KEY STAKEHOLDERS

Large Multi-National:

x GMM (Gimar Montaz Mautino)
x Go Sport (headquarters)
x Petzl
x POMA
x Rossignol
x Fitness Boutique ( Netquattro Group) 
x Salewa

x  CEA Leti
x  CNRM &CEN: National meteorological research center and center for snow studies
x  CNRS – Sports & Physical Activity Research in 4 areas: Human factors for performance (24 research units); Modeling, materials and instruments (31 research units); Sports, physical activity, health, well-being (46 research units); Societal Challenges (48 research units).
x  INRAE – (formerly INRA & Irstea): National research institute for science and technology in relation to the environment and agriculture. Leads environmental research concentrated around water, eco-technologies and regional planning. The goal of this institute is to respond to environmental and societal challenges of today and of tomorrow.

x IGE – Environmental Geosciences Institute
x SIMAP – Science, Engineering, Materials, Processes
x LECA – Alpine ecology laboratory that it interested in population movement, communities, and Alpine ecosystems; applications in biodiversity and sustainable development.
x OSUG – Observatory for Universal Science in Grenoble, takes stock of work being done in the domains of Universal Science, the Environment and Planet Earth: astrophysics, planetology, geophysics, climatology, hydrology, glaciology and ecology…
x UGA – Laboratory for Sports & Environmental Science (SENS)

x  GEM – Institute for Sports et Management, degree programs for elite athletes
x  CNPC Sport Business Campus – Sports Business & Management School
Université Grenoble Alpes – Training & sports performance optimization (EOPS), Adapted Physical Activties & Health (APAS), Mouvement Ergonomics & Handicap (MEH), Sports management: international tourism, the mountain & e-tourism

x Cluster OSV (Outdoor Sport Valley) – Develops and amplifies the dynamics inherent to the local sports & outdoor industry. OSV’s goal is to help existing companies grow and to create a context where new projects can see the light of day. The cluster recently certified the Brunerie Campus in Voiron and the Tarmac in Grenoble as a “Base Camp”. The 2 structures provide space for entrepreneurs with innovative projects in sports.
x Cluster Montagne – Does national and international promotion of the local mountain development industry and supports actors in the industry with their international development strategies.
x Pôle CIMES – Brings together subcontractors throughout the region.
x Minalogic – International competitive business cluster in digital technologies. The technologies, products and services developed within the cluster can be applied to any industry (TIC, health, sports…)
x Club Euro Alpin – Supported by Grenoble’s Chamber of Commerce, the Club Euro Alpin provides solutions to protect and grow the mountain economy by encouraging company dynamics bringing together research and development. Its scope is the entire Alpine arc.
x  Campus de la Brunerie

KEY FIGURES

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jobs in the sports/mountain industry in Grenoble Alpesjobs in the sports/mountain industry in Grenoble Alpes
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Rossignol patents its olympic skis, the basis for modern skis
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Creation of the Poma company, pioneer in ski lifts and international leader in aerial transportation
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Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, #1 region in the world for skiing

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MAJOR INDUSTRIES

With over 75,000 jobs in the private sector and a high concentration of established industry leaders, Grenoble Alpes has been attracting businesses and talents from around the world for decades. The city stands out in a number of domains thanks to its dynamic startups (among the most innovative in France), its local university (ranked among the world’s top 150 universities), and its collection of cutting-edge laboratories and international research centers, which span all types of research, from fundamental to applied.

With over 75,000 jobs in the private sector and a high concentration of established industry leaders, Grenoble Alpes has been attracting businesses and talents from around the world for decades. The city stands out in a number of domains thanks to its dynamic startups (among the most innovative in France), its local university (ranked among the world’s top 150 universities), and its collection of cutting-edge laboratories and international research centers, which span all types of research, from fundamental to applied.