The Alliance

The strategic alliance between Audencia and Centrale Nantes was formed in 2013. Our active cooperation over the years has led to joint undertakings such as:

  • a double degree programme,
  • two co-accredited Advanced Master programmes (Mastère Spécialisé®): ‘MS Marketing, Design et Création’, since 2005, and ‘MS Acteur Pour la Transition Energétique’ on offer since 2019),
  • a joint business incubator,
  • the BRIO social outreach programme,
  • joint research and training activities

Innovation and pedagogy

The Alliance is geared towards development and innovation in teaching and research at the interface between engineering and management, but also international outreach and corporate partnerships. It is based on shared values of CSR, hybridization and innovation. It is in keeping with the regional structuring of Higher Education and Research following the enactment of the July 2013 law.

The year 2014 marked a new milestone in the collaboration between Centrale Nantes and Audencia: the École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Nantes (ensa) joined the Alliance, thus creating a higher education and research hub of over 8,000 students and 710 faculty, covering the fields of Management, Engineering and Architecture, with more than 510 international academic partners.

A programme jointly designed and taught by the 3 schools

Another significant step was taken, in 2019, when the first intake of students joined the first programme jointly designed and taught by the 3 schools: the MS Acteur Pour la Transition Energétique. This programme is taught jointly by Audencia (40%), Centrale Nantes (40%) and ensa Nantes (14%). The remaining 6% is taught by lecturers from the Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique, another major player in the Nantes higher education community.

Other major initiatives stemming from this alliance include:


  • A joint business incubator, with a mainly technological focus, brings together the skills and experience of the three institutions for the benefit of their students, graduates and researchers with a mature business project to develop. The incubator aims to boost the creation of innovative start-ups in the Pays de la Loire region.

  • The Alliance Days: a 2-day event designed to bring together students from the three schools for themed seminars given by Alliance faculty.

  • Citylab Alliance Hackathon: a three-day event involving students from the three schools, grouped into small teams to combine their different skill sets. Each team deals with a project proposed by an external partner in hackathon format. During the last edition in November 2019, the students were tasked with creating new services and/or objects to reinforce the notions of urban mobility.