The Centrale - Audencia - ensa Nantes Alliance

A strategic alliance formed in 2014

Because they share the belief that promising and innovative projects emerge when ideas meet and merge, Centrale Nantes, Audencia Business School and ensa Nantes decided to strengthen their cooperation.

A strategic alliance

The strategic alliance between Centrale Nantes, Audencia Business School and ensa was thus formed in 2014. This alliance brings together engineering, business studies, architecture and design in order to enhance teaching, research, industrial partnerships and international visibility with regard to the three establishments. The resulting blend of expertise leads to value creation and provides an excellent breeding ground for innovation. The three establishments combined have 8000 students, 710 researchers, teachers and research staff as well as over 450 international academic partners.


Active collaboration has been in place since 2007 between the three establishments leading to the creation of double diploma programmes, notably in Engineering and Management and Architecture and Engineering.
With this early collaborative success and in today's context of stronger international competition, restructuring of higher education and research, implementation of future investment programmes, and the increasing importance of rankings and accreditation systems, Centrale Nantes, Audencia Business School and ensa Nantes - the "Partners" - strengthened the integration of their activities through the adoption a joint strategy.
Emphasizing their differences and their complementary nature, the creation of Alliance Centrale Nantes / Audencia Business School / ensa Nantes confirms their position as a leading institution for engineering, management and architecture studies and creation.

An established reality

The already effective consequences of this alliance result in numerous collaborations, the first of which date from 2007.
  • The double diplomas of engineering &management and engineering &architecture;
  • The AAU laboratory (Ambiances, Architectures, Urbanités) common to Ensa Nantes and Centrale Nantes
  • Inter-school projects have been set up and carried out, such as the "Solar Décathlon Europe 2014", an innovative town planning project, and
  • theses are co-supervised between Audencia and Centrale Nantes on themes such as energy issues, investment
  • The 3 Schools share the Centrale-Audencia-ensa incubator for the support of business creators of all types
  • The executive education of international teachers
  • The creation of a joint research laboratory in management sciences

Ever-expanding prospects for the future

Our main ambitions are to:
  • establish new training profiles - based on an anaylsis of the professions of tomorrow - for future Alliance graduates enabling them to adapt to the skill set required by future professions and businesses
  • enhance the attractiveness of the three schools through the creation of international masters with distinctive training characteristics
  • deploy an international network based on the three institutions' alumni networks
  • initiate new teaching methods adapted to these types of training
  • develop research projects in priority fields of application: urban environment, data, ocean.
  • be a pillar in the strategy for the development of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, which was initiated by Nantes Métropole in its scheme adopted in June 2014, under the title "Campus Nantes"
  • support the "French Tech"collective via its "Nantes Tech" ecosystem and deploy a strategy to support digital start-ups through training and expertise.
The mutual knowledge and trust that has been established between the three institutions was built up through a series of cross-disciplinary projects involving the three schools over many years.


A rotating presidency is in place for the Centrale-Audencia-Ensa Nantes alliance whereby the director of each of the three institutions ensures this role for a 12-month term.

The President of the Centrale-Audencia-Ensa Nantes, together with the Directors of the other two schools, is responsible for further strengthening this alliance, which brings together the engineering, management and architecture schools.

In the same spirit of culture sharing, each director is a member of the board of governors of the other two establishments. Operational implementation falls under the responsibility of the alliance's representative and a steering committee.
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Published on November 10, 2016 Updated on October 4, 2022