A full schedule of visits and meet-ups throughout Région Sud

From 13 to 16 May 2019, some twenty entrepreneurs and economic players from California will be in Région Sud to discover everything the area has to offer. Local communities, harbors, competitive clusters, economic development agencies, research infrastructures and many more are mobilizing to give them a warm welcome. Besides Nice, Toulon, Marseilles and Aix-en-Provence, the delegation will also be going to Paris for the Vivatech show where they will meet our digital enterprises at the Région Sud stand alongside another Mediterranean delegation. The Alliance group(1) was the instigator of this initiative to promote the region and encourage companies to move here. Two BtoB appointment time session will give an occasion to identify business opportunities: one at CEEI in Nice and the other at the Technopole de l’Environnement Arbois-Méditerranée.

California and South of France are leveraging their expertise and company visits are taking place both ways in the wake of previous initiatives.

A cooperation agreement was signed in 2014 between the Eurobiomed competitive cluster in the south of France and the Biocom cluster in San Diego that includes over 1,100 Californian members from health care and biotechnologies. It has laid a solid bridge between the two ecosystems and led for instance to the American company Abreos opening offices at the Institut Paoli-Calmettes (IPC), and the Aix-based company Neuroservice integrating the global benchmark cluster in the US.

New areas of cooperation include the maritime and energy sectors with the signing of a partnership between the Mer Méditérranée cluster and The Maritime Alliance, which was consolidated in February 2017 with a cooperation agreement between the Mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer, and Bernard Deflesselles, Deputy and Regional Council Member for Région SUD Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

The goal of this “Sud Business Tour” now is to strengthen existing partnerships and create new synergies in IT and applied digital technologies.

Innovation ecosystem forms the core of the tour schedule

The members of the 20 delegation, which include company directors, startup entrepreneurs and partners from San Diego, will be received by heads of the local economic network in venues dedicated to technological innovation:

  • thecamp, an innovation campus with an emblematic architectural style that aims to design and test solutions to address future challenges through research support schemes and training programs.
  • Technopôle de l’Environnement Arbois-Méditerranée in the CleanTech business incubator that has been hosting and accompanying some thirty clean-tech startups since 2016. Several of them won rewards at the latest CES in Las Vegas*.
  • La Coque, located in the Euroméditerranée business district, for a guided tour of ConnectWave, the biggest IoT innovation and demonstration center in France, which specializes in RFID and contactless technologies.
  • Cité de l’Innovation et des Savoirs d’Aix-Marseille (CISAM), inaugurated on March 13, 2019, where public and private players come together to help develop French and foreign startups in various facilities: ZeBox, the M accelerator and Obratori.
  • ON[e]Life, a place in favour of open innovation in the health sector, dedicated to the hybridization of biotech and digital expertise with a strong focus on artificial intelligence.

For foreign companies that aim to go global, the “Sud Business Tour” shows that the south of France offers a host of partners, facilities and places that make it ideal for growing their projects.

R&D, a strategic growth point

The R&D ecosystem in Région Sud is worth taking note of as a source of opportunity, as will be demonstrated by the Southeast SATT during its presentation. As an expert in promoting public research and technology transfer, it will highlight its initiatives to bring the academic and financial worlds closer together through its patent portfolio.

Research in France is supported by a research tax credit scheme called Crédit Impôt Recherche (CIR). This tax incentive is an attractive benefit for companies that want to invest in new technologies to conquer new markets. It can be used for setting up an R&D center or a laboratory by a foreign company.

But to access these growth opportunities by taking your company or R&D global, you have to set up in France. This is why Provence Promotion has offered, in addition to the presentations, to organize a workshop on the legal, financial and tax aspects as well as global mobility. With 8 regional competitive clusters**, companies can also find European and worldwide collaboration opportunities and partnerships in the area.

(1) The Alliance group includes Région Sud, risingSUD, Provence Promotion, Team Côte d’Azur, CCI Var, the Mer Méditerranée cluster, Eurobiomed, Capenergies and CCI International.

* CES innovation Awards for Connected Garden, Protecto, BioPoolTech, Beelife – Best of innovation Award for Beelife and 3 CES Climate Change Innovator. 
** Food Wellness Naturalness (merger of the Pass and Terralia clusters), Capernergies, Eurobiomed, Optitec, Mer Méditerranée cluster, Water cluster, Safe Cluster and Secured Communicating Solutions (SCS) cluster