Spotlight on the Provence Promotion’s strategy to draw U.S. companies
American businesses are among the leading foreign investors in France and, more particularly in Provence (South of France).
In the last few years, of all the international companies that set up operations in Provence, the opening of R&D centers and engineering subsidiaries by American companies is the most common trend. Provence Promotion conducts regular prospecting campaigns that enable it to reach about 200 U.S. businesses looking for a European outpost. Throughout the year, the agency participates in collaborative projects with the United States.
New partnership agreements have been arranged for 2021. Provence Promotion is deploying a reinforced, adaptive strategy to work around the near-impossibility of traveling overseas and shifting into a higher gear to attract American companies to Provence.
After initiating a partnership with the San Diego biotech cluster Biocom, currently steered by Eurobiomed and risingSUD, and working with the Arts & Métiers elite school of Aix-en-Provence to attract the European campus of Texas AM (one of the best mechanical science universities in the New World) to the territory, the agency is again this year undertaking new actions and refining its U.S. strategy.
To gain a better understanding of Americans’ investment motives and to further structure its offer, Provence Promotion have signed a partnership agreement with the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.
For the last two months, students have been studying the American businesses that fit most closely with the Provence tech ecosystem. According to Dr. Jim Davis, Marketing and Strategy Department Head at the Huntsman School of Business: “This strategic partnership with Provence Promotion is helping us to introduce groundbreaking topics into our academic programs and will, at the same time, help Provence Promotion shake up its targeting strategy.”
Provence Promotion has also opened a “liaison office” to cover the East Coast, West Coast and Midwest so that it can hold face-to-face meetings with business prospects. Mr. Brenner Adams, who represents the agency, have noted: “I am honored to oversee the Provence Promotion liaison office and to help Provence target the American market more effectively.”
Lofty ambitions to land new businesses
A campaign to identify the 100 best American entrepreneurs with an international focus will be launched with the goal of encouraging them to consider organizing their European expansion from Aix-Marseille-Provence, a natural “port of call” in international trade for centuries.
Provence Promotion seeks to bring businesses with strong technological expertise in digital, cleantech, health and manufacturing to the region, along the lines of California’s Principle Power, which specializes in offshore wind turbine design, or the New York company Computer Task Group, which just acquired the Marseille success story, StarDust, to drive its growth.
The agency’s new strategy is designed to attract not just new business sites, but also capital and goods flows, especially with Euroméditerranée and the Grand Port Maritime, while relying on the Marseille-Provence airport to win the future addition of a direct route when the air travel market comes back on line.
The Big Four are also bringing new activity to the Marseille digital hub through their submarine cables connecting America to Europe and in their giant servers which deliver video and internet content to their subscribers in the Old World.
What better way to publicize this new American ambition than an ad in the New York Times, backed by the national marketing agency Choose France? The advertisement shines a light on Bovlabs, a Silicon Valley start-up that moved into the camp with help from Provence Promotion and has been singled out by VC investors as one of three mobility disruptors to watch thanks to its innovations. For Bovlabs, the 125 million electric vehicles that will be circulating in our cities in the future hold mighty energy potential to power our buildings.
The rapprochement between the United States and Europe, along with Brexit, augurs well for Provence in its quest to attract American entrepreneurs.