Business sectors

R&D solutions for all business sectors

The Carnot Institutes comprise a multidisciplinary network capable of delivering responses for businesses’ innovation projects across all economics sectors.

Agriculture Agri-food

This sector covers crop growing, forestry, sea, lake and river farming (aquaculture, fishing) and livestock farming.

The agri-food industry covers all industrial activities involved in processing foodstuffs derived from agriculture or fishing into industrial foods, mainly for human consumption

Chemicals Materials Construction

The “chemicals and materials” sector brings together the chemicals, paper-cardboard, plastics, rubber and ceramics industries. It also includes industrial bio-technologies ("white biotechnology") and the production of biofuel and biomaterials.

The Construction sector covers:

  • industrial producers of construction materials, products and components and the road building industry,
  • engineering businesses,
  • general construction and public works businesses.

The timber sector groups together activities relating to forest management and logging, industry, construction (manufacture and/or installation of timber-based products) and distribution.

Industrial activities include sawing, wood panels, wooden furniture, manufacture of construction components and the production of energy or molecules derived from wood (i.e., green chemistry).

These businesses provide packaging products and services that enable products to be conserved, protected and transported for consumption by households, craftsmen and  industrial companies, etc.


Extractive and first-stage processing industries cover sub-soil exploration and the extraction and use of resources.

This sector covers renewable energies (electric, gas-based and thermal), storage, energy efficiency and energy grids.

The French nuclear energy sector includes all players involved in the production of nuclear power.


The French water sector includes all of the activities required to supply water to the public (i.e., supply of potable water, sanitation, monitoring aquatic environments, etc.).

This category includes all environmental activities not specifically covered by “Recycling and waste processing” and “Water”, particularly protection and monitoring, natural and climate risks and soil decontamination, etc.

Recycling and waste processing combines all of the activities involved in collecting, processing and extracting value from waste.

Marine industry

This sector may be broken down into four components: the naval industry, Offshore O&G, renewable marine energy and the sailing industry and services.


The manufacturing industry covers the design, manufacture and processing of products (parts, components or equipment) for many different sectors of the economy: from extraction to distribution of materials; from production to marketing and use of products. It has three components:

  • metal processing, including metal working and tooling;
  • equipment, including machines, production systems and components;
  • precision instruments, including optical instruments and measuring instruments.

Fashion & Luxury

Industrial and distribution activities in haute couture and ready-to-wear clothing, jewellery, watch making, textiles, leather and leather goods, footwear, etc.

Beauty product industry (substances to be applied to the skin, teeth and lining of the mouth to clean, perfume, protect and maintain.)

Digital Electronics Security

This sector breaks down into two sub-sectors:

  • the electronics industry, which brings together all players involved in electronics manufacturing in France: production of electronic components, connectors and circuit boards; design and assembly of electronic boards and sub-assemblies; distribution or publishing of embedded software and software applications for designing electronic systems.
  • digital infrastructure: covers all activities and businesses involved in production of the products and services needed to deploy the networks of tomorrow, i.e., very high-speed mobile broadband – including bandwidth required for the Internet of Things – and fixed high-speed broadband for connecting local territories.

The security sector covers all stakeholders involved in developing security products and services designed to protect the government, business and private citizens from malicious acts and their effects. It deploys solutions or systems designed for observation, analysis, detection, access control, protection, alert, intervention or communication in physical and/or logical (digital security) domains. The sector includes physical security products and solutions.

 Companies specialised in the development, maintenance and publication of software tools

This sector breaks down into two sub-sectors:

  • digital and media applications: all players involved in producing and distributing real or virtual images for the cinema, audiovisual, animation, video games and multimedia markets. This sector includes e-learning and online services such as e-commerce. Content production for telecoms operators is also part of this sector.
  • services (finance, banking, training, etc.)

Healthcare & Sport

The healthcare sector brings together all businesses with a shared objective of promoting access to sustainable healthcare systems for everybody through prevention, diagnosis, overcoming disability and treatment of diseases.

It breaks down into two sub-sectors:

  • “Pharmaceuticals" (which include the related clinical trials)
  • Health technologies" (covering "Medical devices", "In vitro diagnostic medical devices" and "Health information and data technology").

The healthcare sector brings together all businesses with a shared objective of promoting access to sustainable healthcare systems for everybody through prevention, diagnosis, overcoming disability and treatment of diseases.

It breaks down into two sub-sectors:

  • “Health technologies" (covering "Medical devices", "In vitro diagnostic medical devices" and "Health information and data technology")
  • Pharmaceuticals" (which include the related clinical trials).

This sector concerns all economic stakeholders in sport (businesses, sports federations, etc.) and sports equipment suppliers.


The automotive industry comprises original equipment manufacturers and automobile service companies. The original equipment sector is made up of manufacturers (OEMs) (of cars, two-wheeled vehicles, trucks, buses, etc.), Tier 1 parts manufacturers and suppliers, and mid-caps and SMEs working wholly or partly for the sector. The aftermarket consists of service companies (marketing and distribution, testing, maintenance, mobility solutions, etc.)

The aeronautics sector includes all businesses involved in the design, manufacture and maintenance of civil and military aircraft (i.e., planes, helicopters, drones, airships).
The space industry covers the manufacture of all or part of a space system component: spacecraft such as  artificial satellites, launchers, etc.

The rail industry comprises all activities from rolling stock manufacturing to engineering, and including rail equipment and track and signalling manufacturing, designing and testing.

This sector covers the design and production of all equipment required for the armed forces.