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Devastated by an industrial explosion in 2001, 220 hectares of an old industrial neighbourhood on the southern edge of Toulouse are benefitting from an ambitious regeneration plan. Unique in Europe, the Toulouse Oncopole brings together on a single site all stakeholders involved in cancer treatment: clinicians, public and private researchers and others. The neighbourhood community groups are members of the managing umbrella organisation. The project, although strongly developed through industrial and scientific governance, offered the Metropolitan Council a test bed for setting up local employment initiatives linked to health and care, in partnership with the Public Employment Services and training organisations. By 2014, around 4 000 persons will be working on the site, and half of them will be in newly-created jobs, mostly in the service sector (nursing, caring, catering, transport, etc.).

Executive summary

The Toulouse Oncopole project brings together the region’s considerable expertise in cancer research and care to create a new facility which will bring life to the derelict site of an industrial disaster in 2001. Through the involvement of local people, care is being taken to ensure that as many jobs as possible go to residents of the neighbouring communities.

At the centre of the Oncopole is a public hospital for treating patients with cancer. Now decontaminated, the site already hosts several new buildings (two private laboratories, a service centre dedicated to biotechnologies, a hotel, etc.). These are the first in a series of amenities allowing Toulouse to diversify into the field of health and care. A city within the city, the development is generating new transport infrastructures and other neighbourhood services benefitting the entire population, such as cycle paths along the Garonne river, and a memory lane to honour the victims of AZF catastrophe in 2001.

With over €1 billion invested, the Oncopole is not only an ambitious scientific project, but a vast public health scheme and an integral part of the national plan to fight cancer. It also represents a major economic development initiative for the Metropolitan Council within an extensive urban planning programme to rebuild the southern part of Toulouse.

The mission of the Oncopole is to pool resources for common projects, to encourage synergies between different fields and technologies, to nurture partnerships between public and private research, and to encourage transfers and exchanges between fundamental research and patient care, thereby driving therapeutic innovation and improving the quality of treatment. It has been conceived in an integrated way, as a huge science park with additional public amenities for recreation (riverside park with cycle paths), health (hospital) and services (hotel, parking, restaurant) with extended public transport links to the city centre.

By 2014, around 4 000 people will be working in the science park, of whom half will be working in newly-created jobs, mostly in the service sector (nursing, caring, catering, transport, etc.).

Many stakeholders are receiving ERDF support for their part this major regeneration plan, but this case study examines two projects: the Cancer Research Centre of Toulouse (CRCT) with ERDF support of €10 900 000 going to the National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and the ‘Neighbourhood growth booster’ (Accélérateur de croissance pour les quartiers) for which ERDF support amounting to €194 725 is being paid to the Greater Toulouse Metropolitan Council. The latter is conceived in partnership with the public employment service in order to include inhabitants of neighbouring deprived areas in the dynamics of business and job creation.

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Technical information


Cancer treatment with neighbourhood community care

Member State and Region

France, Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse

Duration of project

Research centre: 30 months (11.2010 – 05.2013)

Neighbourhood booster: 36 months (10.2008 – 10.2011)


Public research centre in oncology: total budget > 38 000 000 € – ERDF contribution 10 900 000 €

Neighbourhood growth booster: total budget > 389 450 € – ERDF contribution 194 725 €

Cohesion Policy Objective

Competitiveness and employment

Managing Authority

Secrétariat Général aux Affaires Régionales (SGAR) - Préfecture de la Région Midi-Pyrénées

CCI nr of OP

2007FR162PO021 Regional OP ‘Midi-Pyrénées’


Mrs Colomba Dussart - SGAR, Secrétariat général pour les affaires régionales - Mission Europe - 31038 Toulouse

Tel.: +33 5 34 45 33 15

Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


http://www.oncopole-toulouse.com/spip.php?article44 (FR, EN)


Research activities, infrastructures or science parks, Health, Social Inclusion