Totem buildings of Métropole Européenne de Lille

  • knowledge society

In recent decades, Lille métropole has undergone a full reconversion of its economy and urban environment. As a former and important industrial area in Northern France, Lille métropole had to develop new strategies to reorient its development and foster new job creation and innovation.

On the basis of its strengths and potential, Lille métropole prioritised 3 leading sectors to invest in.
  1. Digital and Image
  2. Health and Food
  3. Innovative Materials
Lille métropole invested in the creation of districts that involve all the players of the Quadruple Helix across different sectors. 'Totem buildings' or flagship buildings, host incubators, accelerators, and common facilities for start-ups as well as monitoring structures.
Most of the buildings are former factories and Lille métropole had to carry out huge and costly remediation work to transform former brownfield sites into significant innovation clusters. This public action, made possible by both national and European funding, is a real boost to private investments in the surroundings areas of these totem buildings.
One of the most telling examples regarding this strategy is Lille métropole's investment in EuraTechnologies’s totem building, the former textile factory Le Blan Lafont. After the initial rehabilitation, 150,000 m2 of office space was developed in the district, which is now devoted to information and communication technologie industries.
These metropolitan sites of excellence currently support the dynamism of the cities’ main economic drivers: Euratechnologies (digital), Eurasanté (Health), Euralille (Upper Tertiary activities), La Haute Borne (Innovative materials), Plaine Images (Digital & Image), the CETI (Innovative Textiles) and Euralimentaire (Food). They create jobs by catering to start-ups and cutting-edge companies, fostering the emergence of tomorrow’s economic actors.
Further examples include: 
  • EURATECHNOLOGIES (Digital and Image – Lille)
  • MEL’s Frontrunner in digital economy developed around the former textile factory Le Blan Lafont
  • Incubator & accelerator for start-ups
  • +150 companies (e.g. IBM, Microsoft, Tata consulting)
  • 3,600 employees
  • 150,000 sqm business office space
  • 5 offices abroad (New York, San Francisco, Dubai, Shanghai, and Belo Horizonte)
  • Over 80 complementary professions
  • BLANCHEMAILLE By EURATECHNOLOGIES (Digital and E-commerce - Roubaix)
  • A site symbolizing the reconversion of distance selling into e-commerce and located in former buildings of the most renowned distance selling stakeholder in France: La Redoute
  • 100 new jobs since its creation in May 2016
  • 11 companies
  • 18 start-ups in incubation
  • 6,600 sqm business office space to be delivered in 2017

EUROCITIES staff contact

Federica Bordelot