Research Partnerships

TSE has a unique and recognized expertise in developing research partnerships with corporations and other organizations for the benefit of all stakeholders and the wider society.

Our research partnerships connect researchers and public - or private - sector partners to explore new areas of research, improve the relevance of research in economics and provide new means for carrying out and disseminating academic work.

TSE actively encourages academics to take part in research partnerships. Our researchers aim at:

  • producing high-level academic research on key topics of common interest to academics and partners;
  • bringing academic insights to practitioners to help corporations, NGOs, governmental bodies, and regulatory institutions make well-informed decisions.

Building on a strong international reputation and its in-house expertise, TSE has been developing long-lasting partnerships in a wide range of fields: digital, energy and climate, health, infrastructure & networks, sustainable finance, often with a special focus on issues related to regulation.


« Our close collaborations with industry players and policymakers over the past thirty years have helped us become one of the world's top research centers in economics and quantitative social sciences.” 

Jean Tirole, Scientific Director, TSE-P

Core principles

Our approach to research partnerships is underpinned by three core principles:

1. Pursuing ambitious research

We collaborate with others with the ambition to produce leading ground-breaking research, and thus contribute to the academic excellence of TSE and to the advancement of knowledge.

2. Developing economic knowledge for the common good

Our ultimate goal is to develop economic knowledge for the common good. In the context of research partnerships, researchers address key economic and social issues, with the ambition of designing and sharing solutions that can have a positive impact on society. By partnering with others, we want to increase the relevance, the reach and the impact of research.

3. Maintaining the highest standards of independence and integrity

In our research partnerships, we take our commitment to academic independence, integrity, and freedom very seriously. Researchers are solely responsible for the choice of research issues and methods, data acquisition, interpretation of findings, communication, and publication. Compliance with these principles does not conflict with the desire of researchers to be open to discussion on research matters with partners. Researchers involved in research partnerships indeed appreciate and welcome comments and suggestions that can help improve the relevance of their research.

TSE-Partnerships Foundation

Research partnerships at TSE are undertaken within the TSE-Partnerships Foundation (TSE-P), which operates under the aegis of the TSE - Jean-Jacques Laffont Foundation and in collaboration with the School of economics and quantitative social sciences.

TSE-P provides support at all stages of the necessary interactions with the partners. It is also entrusted with managing TSE thematic centers which substantially build on key research advances and outreach activities stemming from research partnerships.


TSE-P is governed by an Executive Committee and led by a Director and a Scientific Director, supported by a team.

  • Sébastien POUGET, TSE-P Director and Professor, Université Toulouse Capitole, TSE-TSM
  • Jean TIROLE, TSE-P Scientific Director
Members of the Executive Committee:
  • Pierre MONSAN, TSE-P Executive Committee President, qualified personality
  • Pierre CARLI, Former Chairman of the Board of Caisse d'Epargne Midi-Pyrénées,  representative of the Foundation JJ Laffont
  • Christian GOLLIER, Director of the Toulouse school of economics and quantitative social sciences – TSE
  • Hugues KENFACK, Head of the University Toulouse Capitole, representative of the UTC
  • Catherine LAMBERT, Chairwoman of CERFACS, qualified personality
  • Georges MOLINS-YSAL, Professor Emeritus, University Toulouse Capitole, qualified personality
  • Christian PONCET, Chairman of the Board of Régie Municipale d'Electricité de Toulouse, qualified personality
  • Patrick REY, Professor, University Toulouse Capitole, representative of TSE-P researchers
  • Sophie BÉJEAN, Rector of the Occitanie academic region, Government representative 

Our six thematic centers were formed around wide, overreaching research areas with the scope to cover a range of societal issues.

Their main objectives are:

  • Bring together and foster TSE’s scientific expertise within a given area
  • Organize TSE’s contribution to public debate
  • Facilitate relations with partners and policymakers

The centers' activities are supported and encouraged by our partners.

To receive the latest news from our centers, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter “TSE Reflect”.

We are extremely grateful to our partners for their support. Whether directed towards TSE thematic centers or other projects or initiatives, their support contributes to the development of innovative research on emerging issues.


Associated partners


"Join our community of partners and help us develop economic knowledge for the common good !"

Sébastien Pouget, Director, TSE-P

At TSE, we are passionate about working with partners to define and reach objectives that will positively impact society and the world we live in.

Main benefits

It has been our experience that research partnerships can act as a catalyst for significant research advances (platform economics being one example). By directly confronting academics with the real-world issues that private or public decision-makers need to address, research partnerships add a new dimension to academic research. Academics and partners draw inspiration and creative energy from one another and, by bringing a diversity of perspectives and experiences, our partners contribute to the relevance of academic research.

When joining us, our partners are given the opportunity to:

  • Build a privileged and lasting relationship with a team of researchers;
  • Encourage independently conducted and validated research on emerging issues of common interest to them and our researchers;
  • Create long-term value for society.

Partnership design process

We’ve got a collaborative approach to design our partnerships.

Here are the usual prerequisites for setting up a partnership with us:

  • Brainstorm to understand and identify the key issues and challenges;
  • Establish roles and expectations, as well as a timeline for research, interactions and communication;
  • Formalize the research partnership.

Partnership formats

Collaborations can take different forms, such as support to a thematic research center, the creation of a research chair and other specific research initiatives.

Most of our partnerships are covered by gift agreements. In exceptional cases where partnership terms don't align with gift conditions, we enter into specific research contracts, eligible in France with certain limitations for the Research Tax Credit scheme. 

Whether with corporations, institutions or foundations, we conceive all our partnerships with the ambition that they will last over the long term. As a result, most of our partners make multi-year commitments to support research at TSE.

A few testimonials


“[…] the TSE-EDF partnership has been able to solve essential issues for the electricity sector, following the pace of the eventful reorganizations of the sector.” Full interview 

Charles Weymuller - Chief economist, EDF Group 

“In the case of digital technology, the extremely fruitful collaboration between the JRC and TSE dates back several years. […] TSE colleagues are always available to provide advice and expertise […] for specific policy initiatives.” Full interview 

Néstor Duch-Brown - Scientific officer and team leader at the Digital Economy Unit of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) 

[…] what's most exciting about TSE is the culture of collective collaboration for intellectual investigation. It is great to see people sitting around on a regular basis talking about topics together and work through the nitty-gritty process of identifying what the real questions are.” Full interview

Seth Garz - Senior Program Officer for Research, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“There are many benefits [of our partnership with TSE]. […] the work carried out feeds our internal reflections and informs the company's strategy. ” Full interview 

Claire Borsenberger - Head of the Doctrine and Modeling Department - Regulation, Competition, and Institutional Relations division, La Poste Groupe

“ENGIE wishes to call upon the economic expertise and modelling know-how which TSE can provide. We seek the objectivity of academic work carried out over the long term.” Full interview

Pierre-Laurent Lucille - Chief economist, Engie

Interested in working with us?

We'd love to learn about your priorities and explore partnership options with you.

Contact us to get started and find out more about our partnerships by having a look at our last “Impact report”.


Find out about the different ways to support TSE

Our Activity Report “Research Partnerships in 2023” provides an overview of the achievements and goals of research partnerships at TSE, celebrating another year of highly productive interactions between academics and decision-makers. 

Read the full report


Past report:
2022 Activity Report "Research Partnerships & Centers"

See also:
Activity reports of TSE

TSE-P brings together a diverse community of individuals passionate about research and fostering connections beyond the academic realm. Researchers and support staff play crucial roles in the success and development of our research partnership activities.

Research teams

Around a hundred researchers are involved in the activities of TSE-P. Most of those currently engaged in a research partnership are from the TSE academic groups in Economics. Several of our partnerships also involve researchers from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Each partnership has a dedicated research team led by a researcher or a pair of researchers, depending on the size and format of the partnership.

Moreover, each thematic center is led by a researcher who is an expert in the field.

Two researchers take on the general management and scientific leadership roles at TSE-P:

  • Sébastien Pouget, Director of TSE-P
  • Jean Tirole, Scientifique Director of TSE-P

Support services

To ensure the smooth running of the partnerships, we also offer dedicated support services to help with development, communication and administration.

Administration, Governance & Finance

Development & Communication

Contact us

The first research partnerships at TSE were born in the 1980s from a match between a need and an opportunity.

The need was to find a new approach to funding economic research in France. Jean-Jacques Laffont, founder of the Toulouse group of economists, had identified France's lack of attractiveness for researchers. He succeeded in convincing a few renowned economists to come to Toulouse and created a world-renowned economics department: Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI) in 1989. The challenge was to find funding without compromising the independence of researchers or diverting them from their scientific approach. This is how TSE has developed long-term partnerships with private and public economic actors.

The opportunity was thus given to put researchers in contact with practitioners, allowing them to better understand the major emerging strategic and societal issues. The scope of these partnerships, coupled with close exchanges with economic actors, has enabled researchers to develop original research subjects that meet two criteria: on the one hand, they must be relevant to the company's strategy and, on the other hand, they must be validated by the scientific community.

In 2018, the TSE-Partnership Foundation (TSE-P) was created, dedicated to partnership research, under the aegis of the Jean-Jacques Laffont-TSE Foundation. Until the creation of TSE-P in 2018, the partnership research was managed by the IDEI.

Find out more about the history of TSE