Michelin breaks ground on EUR60 mn innovation centre in France

Tyre maker Michelin’s groundbreaking of the Collaborative Innovation Centre is said to mark a major milestone in this project dedicated to innovation, and the only one of its kind in Europe. Initiated in 2020 and spearheaded by five major local players: Crédit Agricole Centre France, Michelin Group, Banque des Territoires, Caisse d’Epargne Auvergne Limousin and Puy-de-Dôme Clermont Auvergne Métropole Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Centre has a EUR61 million investment. It will become a point of convergence for business and innovation players, accommodate 2,500 people daily and create 40 direct jobs.

It is scheduled to open in December 2025.

At the centre of the rapidly-transforming 42-ha site, the project, designed by Z Architecture, is spurring a new identity. 50 companies are involved in the program, the majority of which are regional firms, alongside 150 partners. They are constructing five building clusters in a single, multifaceted arena.

The centre could be described as a ‘city within a city’, providing opportunities to work, sleep, dine, relax and discuss ideas.

The ubiquity of wood, both in the structure itself and in its siding, in the food-court and on the southern gables of the co-living and co-working spaces, dovetails seamlessly with the greenery that enhances thermal comfort in summer, both inside and out.

The architecture and landscaping have been optimized, contained and compressed to limit the use of raw materials and energy-intensive systems, while ensuring optimum comfort for users.

Outside, vegetation has been planted across a 11,000 sq m area, mainly in internal gardens (between each nave) and in Gordon Bennett Square, resulting in a veritable urban biotope.

Management company, Turing 22, will offer a wide range of services including a co-working space, co-living accommodation, a food court with five food kiosks, a bar, bakery, gym, beauty salon and performance space.

Based on its founders’ designs, the centre will not only be a physical space, but also a meeting point for a committed community, that will significantly enhance the image of the local area and its economic vitality. It will play host to businesses of all sizes and innovation stakeholders who share the same values and develop projects to make a positive impact.

It is one of the four pillars of Cataroux Park, a vast project undertaken by Michelin to breathe fresh life into unoccupied space at its historic Cataroux site in Clermont Ferrand city centre.

Announced in Jan