Research facilities

Centrale Nantes is committed to ensuring that industry benefits directly or indirectly from our research through technology transfer. This transfer can take the form of patents and licences, research partnerships, bilateral collaboration, and joint teams and facilities.

Our research facilities allow us to forge strong links with industry through the shared use of very large scale equipment. Researchers from the national and European academic community can benefit from those facilities as well as industry players in order to conduct experiments on prototypes of relevant size.

THeoREM - unparalleled research infrastructure in Europe

Ifremer, Gustave Eiffel University and Centrale Nantes have combined their test resources to create the THeoREM Research Infrastructure and provide France with unparalleled marine engineering resources in Europe. 

Our exceptional research facilities include 13 platforms:

Additive Manufacturing and Biofabrication Platform

The platform brings together several manufacturing processes: additive manufacturing, machining, forming, welding, bioprinting. It is currently used, for example, in an ongoing H2020 project in partnership with Naval Group whereby metal additive manufacturing is helping to reduce the environmental footprint of ships.

Automatic and Systems Control

Smart Factory - A reconfigurable production platform was opened at Centrale Nantes in November 2018.
This demonstrator is used for innovation and research. The platform also plays a role in terms of outreach because it illustrates the practical use of 4.0 technologies for the local ecosystem.

Electric vehicle test bench - Centrale Nantes has an electric vehicle test bench specifically for electric vehicles, Bemeve, for automotive electric propulsion.

Autonomous Vehicles and Drones

The Autonomous vehicles facility allows us to deploy new sensors and evaluate the approaches we are developing in autonomous mobile robotics in the areas of environmental perception, scene understanding using artificial intelligence, multi-sensor control and collaborative navigation using V2X communications.
The Aerial Robotics platform comprises various multi-rotor UAVs, their equipment (sensors and associated hardware) and a flight arena specifically for the LS2N's research activities.

Composite Materials and Processes Platform

This experimental equipment makes it possible to produce organic composites and to characterize materials in physical terms. The platform provides the right conditions for the world-class research activity conducted in the field of mechanics of materials and processes.

Dynamic Testing Resources and Expertise (PREED Platform)

Through this facility, our industrial partners can benefit from the tools and skills of our researchers in terms of thermomechanical behavior of materials applied to real situations.
Whether for academic or industrial research, CRED provides valuable input into optimal product design.

Engine and vehicle test benches

These test facilities allow experimental characterization and numerical modeling of complex energy systems. This research is accompanied by a societal challenge: reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and polluting emissions.
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The experimental platform "Geomechanics" at Centrale Nantes is a cutting-edge facility designed to advance research in geomechanics, structural dynamics, and geomaterial science. It houses a diverse array of experimental setups, each tailored to simulate and analyze various complex phenomena under controlled conditions. These setups enable multidisciplinary research that bridges theoretical knowledge with practical applications, fostering advancements in disaster resilience, earthquake studies, soil dynamics, soil-structure interaction and innovative developments in geomaterials.

Micrometeorology and Wind Engineering

  • Atmospheric wind tunnel
  • Aerodynamic wind tunnel
  • LiDAR-Light Detection And Ranging
  • The Nantes Observatory for Urban Environments (ONEVU)

Ocean test facilities

Amongst the largest in Europe, Centrale Nantes' ocean test facilities include a towing tank, a hydrodynamic and ocean engineering tank, a shallow water tank and a recirculating canal. Experiments carried out in the ocean tanks allow different structures, such as ships or wind turbines to be tested in their environment of use - river or sea. 

Robotics and Interaction

The Laboratory of Digital Sciences of Nantes (LSDN) is equipped with a CRAFT prototype, a cable-driven parallel robot. Cable-driven parallel robot can be used for many applications, such as the precise handling and assembly of large and heavy parts, additive manufacturing of large parts, and the laying of fibres to make composite parts.

The LS2N has developed extensive expertise in the field of biorobotics through projects mainly concerning bio-inspired modes of locomotion such as fish swimming, snake slithering, insect wing flapping, etc., as well as perception using electric fields.

SEM-REV Offshore test site

The first European site for multi-technology offshore testing that is connected to the grid. It will play a decisive role in meeting the challenge of Marine Renewable Energy development in France.


The supercomputer is one of the most powerful in its category in France (Tier-2).

Intensive numerical calculation is an indispensable tool for both research and industry: it reduces the cost of testing, facilitates optimization and promotes creativity and the search for new solutions.

Sustainability and Green Building Platform

This platform provides researchers and companies with exceptional experimental and digital resources.

In order to meet the challenges of environmental civil engineering, the platform brings together simulation tools adapted for design and management of the lifecycle of structures.
Published on March 9, 2017 Updated on June 13, 2024