The UTC Daniel Thomas Innovation Centre

The UTC-Innovation Centre is a real hive for creative exchanges. It houses innovation-conducive training, research and valorisation activities and brings together a wide range of pluridisciplinary skills and actors. There are meeting rooms, workshops, technological platforms and test rigs with the most recent equipment possible. The Innovation Centre is a space we see as conducive to “creative contamination” which today plays a key role in the transformation of new ideas into real innovative process and products.


For anyone who wants to create and innovate, the UTC Daniel Thomas Innovation Centre offers:

  • a site and focal point that is simultaneously open to the world, transverse, flexible and adaptable
  • a role as a leader, a catalyser whereby potential innovation sources can be identified and where the actors can be helped to put together and manage innovation projects
  • a place that facilitates new contacts, attracts talents and skills in numerous areas to enhance interactions through the possibility to implement a variety of approaches.
  • ways to integrate human factors in the projects and also in the atmosphere of the Centre, ensuring the well-being of all both physically and psychologically
  • a constantly maintained and upgraded 'excellence' site (in government lingo), strongly oriented to both creativity and innovation and serving to encourage risk-talking and entrepreneurship attitudes and decisions.
  • a fully operational technical environment with leading edge, interoperable tools that help implement innovative practice
  • a place that gets the students deeply involved in innovative projects and makes them become efficient actors for the benefit of their own training.
  • a way for lecturer research scientists to develop novel pedagogical styles and methods, promoting their research work and helping discover high added value innovative applications.
  • use of the Centre as a dynamic laboratory enabling and facilitating hands-on experimentation and creation of new business concerns (start-ups)
  • a place to develop close ties with the UTC authorities, students and personnel and with enterprises and/or partners who propose projects for the Centre's assessment
  • a place to design and implement innovative data handling and communication systems enabling projects to be implemented remotely, developing and enhancing cooperation and exchanges with other similar innovation centres and/or with other external partners.


The main objective assigned to the UTC Innovation Centre (as its name suggests) is to stimulate innovation whatever the format and creativity with an international vista. It is a focal point, a locus for exchanges, creative initiatives and enables those with novel ideas to update their scientific, technological and engineering knowledge bases and to exchange on their innovations with real field constraints, whether they are societal or technical.

An area for " creative contamination "

As well as associating the skills and resources need to ensure a flow of innovative projects and implementation, this UTC structure (the Innovation Centre) has the mission to offer:

  • support with tailor-made pedagogy (for every single project)
  • a place conducive to innovation-oriented research activities
  • support for industrial collaboration enabling added-value for UTC knowledge bases and skills


The UTC Innovation Centre covers:

  • maturation (after 'prematuration'), of innovation-intensive projects
  • prototype design and development
  • prospecting for financial support and aids
  • accompaniment to set up viable business models

The UTC-CI target groups

With a dominant projects-oriented approach, a wide variety of publics are invited to work together, namely:

  • the students: come to the UTC-CI on various occasions offering them opportunities to further develop their skills and knowledge (specific project and action training, entrepreneurship projects ...)
  • UTC personnel: lecturers, research scientists and UT admin staff also meet regularly and exchange on projects that involve entrepreneurship, project development, Continuous Education activities and programmes, project accompaniment and/or the spaces for various CCF training modules.
  • enterprises: numerous services are on offer (project development, Continuous Education schemes, project accompaniment, event management, expertise ...
  • associations and other bodies: there are also numerous external offers (event management, Continuous Education schemes, project development ...)

To meet the needs expressed by the populations above, the UTC Innovation Centre has 4 main 'poles' of activity.

Technological Platforms and Rigs

Various technological, platforms and test rigs were specially designed and installed in workshop areas to house the UTC lab workers and their equipment, to help them progress in their research and development work:

  • The Heudiasyc Hall (automation & control): driverless vehicles, a full-scale railroad test facility, a virtual reality (VR) room
  • The Roberval Hall (mechanical engineering): vibration and acoustics sciences and engineering

An entrepreneurship and creativity-intensive pole

In order to support and accompany project managers, various external service structures have offices at the UTC Innovation Centre:

  • l'INPI (Institut National de la Propriété Intellectuelle = the French national intellectual property rights agency)
  • la Bpifrance (French Government innovation-incentive investment bank
  • l'ADIT (Agence pour la Diffusion de l'information technologique = Agency for dissemination of technological information)

Entrepreneurship-oriented business coaches are on hand to constantly help, if needed, through their advice, to persons with projects in progress

An innovation-intensive pole

At the UTC Innovation Centre, you will also find spaces set aside for innovative creation, including:

  • standard, multi-use project 'stands'
  • specific stands (for given project configurations)
  • a Fab'Lab, prototyping area
  • open-spaces for students, lecturers, research scientists and industrialists to meet and exchange
  • 3 'creativity rooms'
  • project workshops

An event-intensive pole

An event-intensive pole for those who wish to put together events with a strong innovative touch.

Various services are offered, among which:

  • a 100 seat polyvalent lecture-hall
  • an exhibition area
  • a project show-room
  • convivial areas

Spontaneous, real-time communication between mobile devices

Designing and implementing a spontaneous, self-organized network of smartphones, as and when people, meet, exchanging data and requests, based on a relative guidance system used by wireless mobile devices with an assessment of power gradient of messages received.

Self-controlled, autonomous mini-drones

This project aims at designing and producing drones less than 1m in diameter, capable of stationary, autonomous or constant progress flight, with excellent manoeuvrability, notably in windy areas, fitted with high performance collision avoidance sensors.

New style games

The research groups propose various tactile, mobile and innovative game-oriented "apps" at the point of convergence of tow research trends: tactile interfaces (initially for the blind or those with impaired vision) and 'alternating' games, viz., a mix of video gaming and real world parameters.

Powdered water

The liquid looks like a dry powder but contains 908% liquid, in nanocapsules that free the water content when crushed. The advantages are safety for transportation of corrosive or toxic matters, and a slower releases rate for example for fertilizers ...

Safe horse riding (a student project)

Improving safety factors for both horses and riders during jumping events, allowing for an immediate drop of the fence jump bar with a safety sensor fitting and a magnetic lock

Rethinking access to fresh, drinking water (a student project)

Scaling, designing, making and implementing fully automated sea-water desalination units self-powered, using an innovative and sustainable solution that complies with environmental constraints via renewable energy power sources, for populations that really are in need of fresh water supplies.


Direction de l'innovation et du développement territorial
Pascal Alberti
Phone : 03 44 23 49 39 | Contact by email

Fouzia Zitouni
Phone : 03 44 23 45 91 | Contact by email