A “pôle de competitivité” is, according to the French Interministerial Delegation to the Territorial Planning and to the Regional Attractiveness (DATAR), an assemble, on a given specific territory and in a specific target domain, of small, medium and large enterprises, universities & laboratories as well as education & training institutions – both public or private. These organizations must work in synergy with the goal to create jobs and to economically develop the region and its industry. Thus, such “poles” can be seen as « innovation clusters ».

Created in 2005 as part of a new industrial policy in France, this type of cluster organization facilitates public investment as well as a particular fiscal policy to a certain group of activities. Their ultimate goal is to make the economy more competitive, to create new jobs, to bring the public and private sector closer and to develop certain regions - all while fighting against relocations of companies and employment.

Aerospace Valley represents the Regions Occitanie and Nouvelle Aquitaine, thus being the first employment area in Europe in the domain of Aeronautics, Space and Embedded Systems.

The cluster comprises several major cities (Toulouse, Bordeaux, Montpellier), as well as a population of over 10 million people. Moreover, some of the most recognized higher-education aerospace-related institutes in France are located in the area.


Regarding the Aeronautics, Space and Embedded Systems industry sectors, our two regions have almost 124 000 industrial jobs  - thus representing 1/3 of the overall French workforce in the aerospace sector. Also, the cluster is an European reference in terms of Training, Education and Research, containing the major French engineering schools in aeronautics and aviation (« grandes écoles » ISAE and ENAC) and over 8 500 researchers.

To know more about the Aeronautics, Space and Embedded Systems industries in the Regions Occitanie & Nouvelle Aquitaine, please visit our “Industry – Profile” page.

Aerospace Valley was created in July 2005 in order to develop, at a regional, national, European and worldwide level, the competitiveness of the Aeronautics, Space and Embedded Systems industry in South-West of France - being the largest French cluster in its respective domains.

Within the framework of the general French “pôle de compétitivité” program, which aims to stimulate employment by fostering local and regional competencies in technical and economic areas, Aerospace Valley has set six main objectives for the current third contractual Era (2013-2018).

These high-level objectives, that were signed in 2013 in the presence of the French Ministry of Defense, are the following:

1) Innovation, collaborative projects, networking

2) Support SMEs and the development of their competencies, their growth and their national and international competitiveness.

3) Partnerships with the public power to help develop the territory, the economy and the creation of jobs.

4) To connect the cluster’s domains with other Aeronautics and Space’s clusters, committees, professional groups…

5) To diffuse technologies from the Aeronautics, Space and ES to other industry sectors through inter-clustering.

6) Subscribe our projects and initiatives responsable for sustainable development.

In order to achieve those goals, our team works offers plenty of activities to our members, such as :

Establishments of formal cooperation agreements with international partners; Organisation of events, such as seminars, lectures and networking activities; Hosting of foreign delegations in France; Represent the cluster in international events; Support of export activities; Advisements/councils; Researches; Establishment of relationships with partners.


To read more about past and current projects with involvement of Aerospace Valley, please visit the page “Our Work - Projects”. 

To find out which offer Aerospace Valley can offer  you as a foreign aerospace stakeholder (such as a government entity, a inward industry of research delegation, or any other), go to the page “Working with AV”.