The Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées Genopole, a research program set up in 1999 in southern France by the French Minister of Research, is part of the massive French research initiative known as the National Genopole Network. The genopole name is metaphoric. It brings to mind a magnetic pole that attracts researchers and entrepreneurs to the potential of genomic research. And it is working: the initiative has drawn together, at seven locations across France, a symbiotic mix of public laboratories, biotech companies, and educational institutions. The genopoles stimulate genomics research and may provide an incubator for biotech enterprises.