Alliance at the Summit for EM Lyon and Grenoble School of management

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Fête comme chez vous Ville de Grenoble

FOCUS – Grenoble School of management (Gem) and EM Lyon Business School announced their alliance, at the end of March. Even though it isn’t a merger, the creation of the Lyon-Grenoble Business School Alliance should lead to profound changes, as well as making this new entity a major player at national and international level.




In front of the Grenoble School of management. © Joël Kermabon - Place Gre'net

In front of the Grenoble School of management. © Joël Kermabon – Place Gre’net

“The strength of our two schools is such that, if we combine them, we obtain the best French school results”, says Loïck Roche, Director of the Grenoble School of management.


He adds: “It’s an alliance, it is not a merger. The idea is to find ways to further improve what we both do on our own already, and to find how to do new things together that we cannot do alone.” An alliance according to territorial and academic logic, which knows how to disregard the competition between these two schools.


“Our schools will be a support for the development of the region”, says Loïck Roche. Wanted by Rhône-Alpes businesses. The main objective is to restore value to the territory, both economic and academic, by pooling forces in a progressive manner.




Research and common innovation strategy



What is interesting for the students? Firstly, the course content specialization, which will build on the areas of choice for each of the schools. According to what students are looking for, the orientation of a specialization in innovation will be in Grenoble, or for an entrepreneurial specialization, it will be in Lyon.


Loïck Roche, Director of the Grenoble School of Management

Loïck Roche, Director of the Grenoble School of Management.

The second advantage: academic development. The directors intend to organise a joint research and innovation strategy, which will consist of the creation of an Innovation-entrepreneurship Foundation. Effective from September, 2016, the joining of these two schools should see the creation a teaching staff made up of 200 permanent employees, able to accommodate 10,000 students in initial training.


Another highlight of these changes: the training programs. “It has not yet been decided, but the two schools might develop programs together, rather than develop them individually. We will strengthen a certain number, especially in the MBA programmes [Master in business administration, Editor’s note], as well as the Bachelors program, for the most part. Perhaps, we will create a common MBA for top management. In the future, maybe we will add other programs into this alliance, in order to accelerate their growth.”


The economic plan? The major change is the offer of continuing education, which will be developed in Grenoble. But not only that; the Lyon Business School and the Grenoble School of management also plan to offer business advice to companies.




“An extremely important strike force”



With nearly 120 million euros added to the budget, there is no doubt that the Lyon – Grenoble Business School Alliance will weigh heavily in the midst of the grandes écoles. It will increase its visibility, after the recent merger of Sup de Co Lille and Nice (Skema), and that of the European Institut d’Administration des affaires (Insead) and Wharton.


“By adding to our resources, we will have an extremely important strike force, with more money. We will thus create a faculty that will compete with the best, such as HEC [École des hautes études commerciales in Paris, Editor’s note]; we’ll be almost on par with them”, welcomes Loïck Roche.


By 2021, the Alliance hopes to attract some 14,000 students and 250 teachers, with a budget at the height of their expectations: EUR 180 million.



Cassandre Jalliffier



Grenoble Ecole de Management

The Grenoble School of Management ranked twentieth of European business schools. © Gem




Gem and EM Lyon play in the same league: same number of students (5,000) and teachers, equivalent budget (approximately EUR 50,000).


According to the top-ranking list, Gem is ranked ninth, and EM Lyon fourth, in the table of the best French business schools. At European level, Grenoble occupies the 20th position, nine places ahead of the Lyon school.


Furthermore, Grenoble and Lyon are two of thirteen French business schools, which have triple accreditation: AACSB (Association to Advance collegiate schools of business), Equis (European quality improvement system) and AMBA (Association of masters of business administration). These accreditations meet highly selective and rigorous criteria regarding training courses and programs.




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