4.0 Teaching innovation

Group work in one of the active education rooms

Given our will to address professional issues and those of upcoming generations of students, the curriculums at Toulouse INP-ENSIACET are permanently under scrutiny and undergo great discussion: project-based learning, changes in the final year course, the Innov’Ens project, “fils rouges” projects, integration of new teaching methods and new technology used through the course. These modifications in the graduate school have led, since 2014, to the A7 4.0 project.

“A7 4.0” is a project platform, a tool for engineer students to acquire skills, to contribute to research lines and innovation transfer to companies.  

A learning center/library

The learning center / library in Toulouse INP-ENSIACET is a vital place where students, research faculty members and personnel at the Toulouse Labège campus can get together.

Its main aim is to offer an ideal place for learning, to encourage discussion and where information may be freely shared. It is also intended as a cultural area where people can be comfortable and relax. 

A comfortable learning area to encourage dialogue!
When we think of the Toulouse INP-ENSIACET learning center/library, it can be defined by certain key points: the fact that spaces can be adapted and moved around to suit its users, its innovative facilities and various services offered. 


  • To provide comprehensive literature, both varied and adapted to all kinds of tools, in particular digital devices. 
  • To help teaching staff evolve towards innovative teaching practices:
    • modular active teaching rooms fitted with mobile furniture, video screens, a video projector, wheeled tables.
  • To offer students collaborative working zones:
    • rooms for group work may be reserved without going there in person (MédiA7 Résa).
  • To give easy access to digital resources and information research tools:
    • self-service laptop loan,
    • good enough WIFI to have simultaneous connections,
    • distant access to resources via the site Biblio’Tech.
  • To enable students to widen their general knowledge, to relax:
    • comfortable areas with sleeper chairs and huge cushions,
    • wide collection of comic books and DVDs.


These openlabs, as their name implies are organized around ultramodern technological equipment available at Toulouse INP-ENSIACET. In this way the students share the same working area with researchers or professionals from industry to deal with current, societal and industrial topics. These co-working areas allow access for projects with technological resources.

Additive manufacturing workshop INPRINT-3D

The school has set up a 200 m2 additive manufacturing workshop housing different teaching and LGC and CIRIMAT lab machines on one site (currently six 3D printers and one 3D scanner).

The personnel is allocated to this area to enable all students, administrative staff and research faculty members to benefit from this innovative technology.

ChemLab room

The school’s ChemLab room welcomes students during their study projects around inorganic and organic chemistry. It has a multi-function configuration and is connected, so perfectly adapts to constraints and needs in terms of high level experimentation. It safely gathers all characterization and synthesis equipment.  

Active teaching rooms

Vue extérieure salle pédagogie active

The active teaching rooms have been set up at Toulouse INP-ENSIACET to give real flexibility in our teaching methods. Teaching is done by alternating theory and practical work during a project in one area and in small groups. 

Active, collaborative learning areas integrating digital tools

The active teaching rooms in Toulouse INP-ENSIACET are new learning zones that help encourage active learning methods. They create active, collaborative learning integrating digital tools.

These new spaces for teaching and learning have been integrated into an ambitious project to reconfigure the library into a learning center.

Active teaching methods

Active teaching methods are groups of tasks offered by the teachers to develop the learners’ cognitive activity during their learning processes.

The students are active, work in groups on contextualized projects.

To solve the problems they have been given, students must use the skills they have learnt during previous teaching sessions.

Business Game en salle de pédagogie activeThe digital tools at their disposal enable them to search for information, to be connected or even to work in a project mode with students from other sites (be it in France or abroad). 

Adapted facilities

The rooms are adaptable thanks to the modular furniture and due to the digital tools available (off-center screens, video-projector...) which mean that different styles of teaching can be mixed (project, debate, classical lessons...) and through this, grab the attention of our students. The environment (lighting, soundproofing, comfortable furniture) is beneficial to develop thinking.


Everything can be found in your pocket and bag with A7ok!

Our concept: your applications and teaching data are always with you, whether you are on the academic campus, in a park, in a café, at home, on vacation... available through your cell phone, tablet or smartphone.

A7ok! is a web service resembling a remote digital office enabling the user to use tools, business software and the school’s teaching platform.

The main aim of this digital service is to address the hypermobility needs of current students and new teaching uses. 

A7ok ! is the result of a project to gain universal and itinerant access to application services and data through an ergonomic and intuitive student-machine interface.  

An innovative service

Based around hypermobility and new students’ needs (work placements, work-study programs, international mobility, out of class work, new practices of the Y generation, saturated computer rooms, active and dynamic teaching, 24/7 accessibility…), the graduate school offers an itinerant and universal access to applications and data from any connected device.

After a year of analyzing, quickly prototyping inexpensively and validating the demonstrator through a panel representing students and apprentices, the service was launched 6th February 2017 for the students in the GPI and GI departments and all apprentices, representing 350 users. This web service has been open to teachers and all students since September 2017, meaning a total of 900 users.

Technology used

The main technology used is Citrix XenDesktop on a VMware VSphere virtualization base. It is based on a BYOD-type approach. Students can access their data and their business application services, 50 applications (Office Pro 2016, Comsol, ProSimPlus, Simulis, Aspen Plus, Matlab, Cast3M, Spartan, …) directly and permanently from their own smartphone, tablet or connected computer. From a browser through a computer, tablet or smartphone (with iOS, Andoid, Linux, Windows), students can use the pinned software or open a working space safely.


This project has been talked about at:

  • XVI conference of the Société Française de Génie des Procédés, (French Society for processes engineering) 11-13 July 2017, Nancy, 2017, “Concepts from digital factory for education and related services”,
  • 10th World Congress of Chemical Engineering, WCCE10, 1-5 October 2017, Barcelona, 2017, “Framework based on concepts related to digital factory 4.0 for better Education purposes”




Shared values

The Toulouse INP-ENSIACET educational programme is developed around shared values

  • The Toulouse INP-ENSIACET engineering course aims at professionalising students to a high scientific and technical level.  It is supported by leading research laboratories which meet the needs of industry in the field of matter transformation.
  • ENSIACET engineering-students are offered a broad course in a specialized field of matter transformation. They also have general courses in economics, management and humanities in order to give them a comprehensive view of the industry. Throughout the degree course, interpersonal skills like communication and teamworking are developed as well as work and time management.
  • The transmission and acquisition of knowledge and the educational programme at the school aim at improving the adaptability and mobility of the ENSIACET engineering-student.
  • The international dimension is at the heart of the curriculum. ENSIACET engineering students have to master a foreign language (B2 English level) and realise an international mobility of at least three months in order to graduate. They must be highly skilled and able to work in multicultural teams. 
  • ENSIACET engineering students organise their curriculum according to their individualised professional projects. Therefore, they must display responsibility, dynamism, openness and independence.

The teaching staff

Courses are given by:

  • teacher-researchers,
  • part-time associate teachers,
  • associate Professors,
  • CNRS and INRA researchers,
  • industrialists, researchers and teachers from other faculties,
  • temporary lecturers and research assistants,
  • Toulouse teaching assistants.

Occasionally for some courses, experts (from industry, researchers, teachers from other engineering faculties,etc) participate and give the engineering students their knowledge of industrial needs.

The importance of soft skills

Engineers are not only scientists, and they should also display human skills in communication, management and responsibility towards society. This is why the school offers courses and activities to help the engineering student to acquire these skills throughout the three years of the degree course.
For example at the end of the 1st semester of the third year, before leaving for their 6-month placement, all the students are brought  together to follow a two week course on the following themes:

  • management
  • communication
  • innovation
  • ethics
  • business knowledge
  • competitive intelligence


Finally, the international dimension is at the heart of the curriculum. ENSIACET engineering students have to realise an international mobility (in a company or in a partner university) of at least three months in order to graduate.


For all ENSIACET students taking the engineering course, a minimum level of English is required. All must obtain the B2 level (high range) defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

This required level must be certified by a recognized external test (a minimum score of 87 on the IBT TOEFL exam or 785 on the TOEIC exam) and by the successful completion of  the English course.


Every year, a session is organized at Toulouse INP-ENSIACET by the academic dean and the language coordinator. This session is free for second year students. Other students have to pay for it.

For apprenticeship engineers, the requirement is a B1 level, i.e. a minimum score of 57 score on the IBT TOEFL exam or 550 on the TOEIC exam.


Contact Toulouse INP-ENSIACET

L'école de la transformation de la matière et de l'énergie

4, allée Emile Monso - CS 44362
31030 TOULOUSE Cedex 4, France

+33 (0)5 34 32 33 00