With 9 universities and 24 engineering schools, les Hauts-de-France is a major research and innovation center for the auto, rail, and sustainable mobility sectors. The region has also been the birthplace of important innovations, like hybrid vehicles, automated subways, tram-trains, and more. The University of Valenciennes and Hainaut-Cambresis (UPHF) serves as an anchor for education and research in the field of transportation.

This scientific capability has a solid foundation that includes:


Banc moteur

his international campus devoted to safety and intermodality in transportation builds synergies between the basic research conducted at 12 partner laboratories and technological innovation in concert with industrial partners. The laboratories are those of National Research Centres (IFSTTAR, ONERA and CNRS), three Universities (Valenciennes, Lille, and Artois), and three engineering schools (Centrale Lille, Mines Douai, and Arts et Métiers Paritech).
CISIT has set four major strategic targets for research and innovation:

  • Human mobility and use of transportation
  • Optimizing logistics and mobility systems
  • New materials and structural concepts
  • Vehicle feature design and performance

The University of Valenciennes is running the CISIT program.


A global competitiveness cluster for sustainable ground transport and logistics. The cluster includes more than 100 companies and 30 institutes of research and education. Its mission: To coordinate and structure collaborative innovation projects in the fields of rail, automotive, and multimodal transport (freight and passengers).



An Institute of Technological Research and railway testing with an international pedigree. Railenium is an interconnected community of businesses and researchers (which will eventually include 200 people) with the goal of helping railway industry players compete better through innovation. Applied innovation to enhance the performance of rail systems (in urban, high-speed and conventional settings) and rail network operators.

Testing centers

Designed for the rail and auto industries: Valutec C3T, CRITM2A, CREPIM, and the railway testing center. These facilities allow businesses to quickly test and validate their innovations, and get them to market quicker (crash testing, wind tunnels, acoustics, and more).