Why invest in the Sud region?

Provence, the Alps, and the Côte d’Azur

These three internationally renowned territories have inspired history’s greatest painters with their light and beauty, including Van Gogh, Cézanne, Matisse, Dufy, and Picasso. Today, these territories remain a vibrant source of creativity for art while also fostering global leadership in science, technology, and entrepreneurship because of their outstanding environment and international outlook.

The Sud region is also one of the few European regions that offers a mix of bucolic rural landscapes, stunning mountain territories, and important coastal areas. This natural diversity underpins the region’s ability to welcome people and companies, including:

  • a diverse range of cutting-edge professional activities
  • residential populations attracted by the incomparable lifestyle and quality of life
  • a vast number of tourists attracted by its cultural, culinary, and natural wonders

The Region Sud is actively positioning itself for the new economy and taking a leading role in sustainable development and environmental protection. Under its economic strategy, the Region Sud government is encouraging new forms of mobility, massively investing in renewable energies, and supporting companies that take a green approach to growth while also pursuing broader objectives to preserve our natural heritage and improve the well-being of the residents. This is a region that is embracing a sustainable future!

Discover the strengths of the Sud region

Eight reasons to invest in the Sud region

Many French and international investors choose the Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region because, more than any other place in France or Europe, this is the region that makes the world dream! But beyond the Sud region’s outstanding reputation, unparalleled climate, and beautiful landscapes, there are many other great reasons to invest here. Centrally located between Europe and the Mediterranean, the region has a highly appealing business environment with excellent logistics and easy access to national and international markets. It is also a recognized hub for innovation, is home to the headquarters of leading global companies, provides best-in-class support for business, and has state-of-the-art digital infrastructure that makes it one of the most connected regions on the planet….All of this is combined with the French art of living and the Mediterranean quality of life in a territory with a cultural and historical legacy that dates back thousands of years.

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The Sud region is a market of more than five million people, with an additional nine million people living less than three hours away from the region. This spurs economic activity and drives the region’s development. The Sud region ranks #3 in France for GDP per capita (2019), business creation, and new jobs. It is also one of the most dynamic and prosperous European regions (the 14th richest region in Europe)!

2 700 international companies

More than 1 900 000 people in salaried positions in 2019

regional GDP :€155 billion

regional economic value added€138 billion

Strategic location, major urban centers, top-class infrastructure… the Sud region is your company’s ideal location in Europe. The region’s opening onto the Mediterranean also makes it the perfect gateway to the African and Middle Eastern markets.A genuine hub for people, data, and goods!

  • Marseille-Fos, the #1 port in France and the Mediterranean
  • Nice is France’s #2 international passenger airport, and Marseille is France’s #2 cargo airport
  • 4 international metro areas(Aix-Marseille, Avignon, Nice, Toulon)
  • A global TOP 10 digital hub provides internet connectivity to 4.5 billion people

The Sud region is the #2 region in France for international investments in R&D, artificial intelligence, low-carbon energy, and smart mobility. Research centers are attracted by a pioneering ecosystem that already features a wealth of globally recognized facilities. The area is great for scientific collaboration as it features major international companies, emerging SMEs, innovative start-ups, and sector-affiliated training centers. The economy is further structured through a series of dynamic clusters and networks that have an international scope.

  • 8 competitiveness clusters in the region: Aqua-Valley (water), Capenergies (low carbon energy), Eurobiomed (health), Innov’Alliance (food – wellbeing – natural living), Optitec (optics & photonic), Pôle Mer Méditerranée (Blue Economy), SAFE (aeronautics & space – security & safety – defense – environment), SCS – Secured Communicating Solutions (IT)
  • 4 French Tech ecosystems based in Aix-Marseille, Nice-Côte d’Azur, Avignon, and Toulon
  • #3 region in France for innovation with 396 European patent applications and 29 000 researchers
  • ITER, the world’s largest scientific project, brings together more than 35 countries seeking to develop clean nuclear fusion to produce electricity
  • Sophia Antipolis, Europe’s #1 technology park, is home to 2230 companies and more than 36 000 jobs with an international composition that includes 63 nationalities
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Attractive, dynamic, inventive, there is no shortage of superlatives for industry in the Sud region. The sector is embracing change, looking to the future, and recruiting top talent, and it wants to share the news with the world!As part of a national plan to help boost the industry of the future, the French government has developed a program to support the digital transition and enhance the attractiveness of important industrial sites that have been labeled official “Territoires of Industry”. Eight of these territories are in the Sud region.The eight official Territories of Industry in the Sud region and their specialties:

  1. The Aix-Marseille Provence-Rousset-Gardanne-Istres-Fos-Marignane-Etang de Berre metro area for its major industrial projects and thriving strategic sectors in areas such as the Blue Economy, aeronautics, energy, and microelectronics
  2. Avignon-Cavaillon-Sorgues-Ventoux for its natural living sector and agri-food industry
  3. Carros for its potential to attract investment, its transition to the industry of the future, and its sustainable optimization of industrial land
  4. Gap-Tallard-Buëch for the development and planning of its business parks
  5. Grasse-Sophia-Antipolis-Cannesare for three sectors: space, digital, and aromas & perfumes
  6. Toulon-Ollioules-La Seyne-sur-Mer-Saint-Mandrier-Six-Fours for the marine and defense sectors
  7. Durance Valley for new energies, chemical & pharmaceutical industries, cosmetics, and agri-food industries
  8. Haute Vallée de la Durance for its industrial revival based on renewable energies and outdoor activities within a preserved, innovative, and creative mountain environment
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Engineers, researchers, laboratory technicians, machine operators, business developers, marketing & communication specialists… The Sud region is home to a vast pool of talented individuals who can meet all your project’s hiring needs.With the third-largest student population in France, the region also has a young, dynamic, and motivated workforce that can help boost your company’s productivity.If recruiting outside of the region, there are programs in place that will help you attract and welcome the talent you need!

  • More than 340 000 students enrolled in initial training, including 18 000 international students.
  • Aix-Marseille University, the world’s biggest francophone university
  • Four universities: Nice Sophia Antipolis, Toulon, Avignon and Aix-Marseille
  • Two Universitiesin the 2019 Shanghai rankings
  • More than 15 engineering schools
  • More than 60 institutions offering international education

A central ambition: to become the first European region to fulfill the environmental commitments outlined in the COP21 Paris Agreement to fight climate change! Are you a cleantech company, tech for good company, or a company seeking to do business more sustainably? You can be part of the region’s green economic growth strategy and help us meet the objectives of our “One Step Ahead” climate plan.

  • Renewable energies: the presence of extensive infrastructure for smart grids, hydroelectricity, and solar energy (over 300 days of sunshine per year)
  • First green hydrogen production platform by 2024
  • Regional goals:
    • Zero plastic by 2030
    • Carbon neutral by 2050
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The Sud region is home to two Operations of National Interest investment projects: Euroméditerranée in Marseille and Nice Eco Vallée Plaine du Var. These are both large-scale districts that are experimenting with technology for smart cities, the mobility of tomorrow, and energy efficiency in buildings. Ultra-modern office space in the heart of the region’s two largest economic centers!

more than 15 000companies have located here

more than €10 billionin investment in Nice and Marseille

more than 10 000hectares dedicated space for innovation and experimentation

Euroméditerannée: www.euromediterranee.fr

An exceptional environment, a rich cultural heritage, 300 days of sunshine a year… The Sud region and its three world-renowned locations – Provence, the Alps, and the Côte d’Azur – have one-of-a-kind advantages when it comes to tourism. With more than 30 million visitors each year and €18 billion in economic spin-offs, the region attracts people from around the world, including the best international talent.

Not only is the Sud region a globally recognized destination, but it also offers a more competitive, attractive, and innovative way of life and tourism. All these features contribute to a life-work balance that is second to none.

  • The most varied European region: sea, countryside, and mountains
  • 127 marinas, 20 ski resorts
  • 4 national parks out of France’s 10 parks and 8 regional nature parks
  • 34 million tourists: #1 destination for French tourists and #2 region for international tourists
  • the land of the festivals: Cannes (cinema), Aix-en-Provence (music), Juan-Les-Pins (jazz), Arles (photography), Orange (opera)…

Website: provence-alpes-cotedazur.com/en

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“A superb work-life balance! You are one step closer to your new life!”

They chose the south and they tell us why!


“We hire international professionals that are difficult to recruit. The incredibly beautiful setting of the South of France is a major asset and a determining factor in our ability to attract talented people.” Damien Desprez, Director General of Doosan Babcock France, Aix-en-Provence

“Our decision to locate in Marseille was a result of requests from our customers. The city is open to the world and is the best location for data exchange between Europe, African, and Asia.”Fabrice Coquio, President of Interxion, data center, Marseille

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“Setting up in Sophia Antipolis was an opportunity because there was already a team in place (Intel’s embedded software division). However, it was also a strategic choice because we specifically decided to stay in the technology park when we could have regrouped the teams on our other sites. Being here allowed us to take advantage of the local ecosystem, which includes laboratories and start-ups, and also to benefit from the region’s smart city approach. We have already established links with Eurecom, INRIA, and the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. They are all partners that Renault Software Labs intends to develop a dialogue with, especially if we want to develop interesting training programs. As for start-ups, we’ve already met with some of the rising stars in the area.”Alexandre Corjon, President of Renault Software Labs & Vice President Alliance Global, Toulouse

“The business ecosystem that is in place here fosters synergies, for example when it comes to utilities (energy, water treatment) and access to local skills, but also commercial opportunities and clients.” Ecoslops, Portugal

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““Sophia Antipolis is the leading international technology park in France. The companies here attract highly qualified human resources.” Stéphane THOMAS, Director of Broadcom, Sophia Antipolis

The Sud region in numbers

The Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region boasts numerous economic advantages and an undeniable international appeal. Its sectors of excellence, its central geostrategic location between Europe, the Mediterranean, and Africa, its extensive system of top-rated infrastructure, its superb connections to the world – all of this combined makes these Mediterranean territories the perfect place to live and work.Here are a few figures to illustrate the excellence and attractiveness of the Sud region:

incoming international investment per week in the Sud region (2019)

companies with international capital present in the Sud region

countries involved in ITER, the world’s largest scientific project

French region for attracting professional employees

French region for attracting international R&D investments

Your risingSUD contact

risingSUD, the economic development agency for the Sud region, is your contact point to welcome you and answer your initial questions.We work in conjunction with our network of departmental and metro economic development agencies as well as a selection of top experts that we can call upon at any time to ensure your project receives the daily assistance necessary for its success.

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Anne-Charlotte DEBARBIEUX International Business Unit Manager  acdebarbieux@risingsud.fr

Tel :+33 (0)4 96 17 07 43

Cel: +33 (0)6 48 85 45 23

BAT Provence

81-83 Bd de Dunkerque CS 30394

13217 Marseille Cedex 02