The convergence of ICT and Cleantech is a key asset of the Côte d'Azur. Companies, startups, researchers and municipalities are working hand in hand to innovate in Smart Grids, Smart Building, Mobility or Clean Energy, and conduct experimentations in the region. University Côte d'Azur, which just got granted the excellency label  IDEX, strongly encourages companies to join collaborative projects with researchers and students creating momentum in  the ecosystem. Innovative City, Europe's largest convention dedicated to Smart Cities, is held every year in Nice bringing more than 3,000 professionals to witness the potential for growth for Cleantech companies in the region.


The Côte d’Azur, a pioneer in Cleantech

The entire region is firmly committed to smart grids. Arising from the convergence of ICT and renewable energy, smart grids are central to the work of two renowned clusters, SCS (Secured Communicating Solutions) and Capenergies (energy generation with no greenhouse gases). learn more about the Cleantech industry on the Côte d'Azur in our brochure.

The Cleantech industry on the Côte d'Azur
  • 638 companies & 6 760 6,760 jobs (2016)
  • 1,2 billion euros in turnover
  • Over half of them are active in the energy sector. Water and waste are the other dominant areas.

Source Sirius / Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Nice Côte d'Azur, June 2016

Technology leaders on the Côte d’Azur
Accent • Augier • Automatique & Industrie France • Cisco • China Sunergy • Cristopia • Enoleo • ERDF • Greencom Networks • GreenPriz • Grid Pocket • IBM • Ingedia Nox • Legrand • Lux Monitor • M2M • Solution • Maxim • Myxyty • Orange Labs • Projex Ingénierie • Qualisteo • Schneider Electric • Sophia Antipolis EnergieDéveloppement • Sophia Conseil • TransEnergie • Veolia Environnement 
Nice Côte d'Azur: World-class Smart City
  • Nice ranked among the Top10 Smart Cities in the world (Juniper Research, 2016).
  • 1st "NFC contactless" experiment in Europe with the Cityzy services platform and Connecthings services deployed by Véolia Transports on the bus network (Nice, 2010).
  • 1st low temperature thermodynamic solar power plant in the world piloted within the framework of a smart grid: (Sophia Antipolis, 2010)
  • 1st and only French city to win IBM's "Smarter Cities Challenge" (Nice, 2011)
  • One of the first 6 French smart grids flagships deployed and financed through the future investments programme: Réflexe, managed by Veolia Environnement with Alstom Grid, CEA-INES, Supélec and Sagemcom (Nice 2011-2015)
  • 1st large-scale car sharing scheme deployed in France: Auto-Bleue (Nice, 2011)
  • 1st smart grid demonstration project in France, unique in Europe: the Nice Grid smart solar district demonstration project in Carros with ERDF, EDF, Alstom, Saft, etc. (Nice Eco-Vallée, since 2011)
  • 1st virtual town hall service "Spot Mairie" with Cisco (Nice, 2012)
  • 1st intelligent parking system in Europe (Nice, 2012)
  • 1st smart grid  territorial charter in France (Alpes-Maritimes Charter, 2013)
  • The world's first connected boulevard with Cisco (2013)
  • World's 1st fully, fast-charging electric bus with unlimited range and no heavy infrastructure (Nice Cote d'Azur Airport, 2014)

A Large Scale Experimentation Zone

There are currently some ten national and European pilot projects taking place on the Côte d'Azur, making it France's primary region for such experiments. ► learn more about the Smart City industry on the Côte d'Azur in our brochure.

A Living Lab open to companies
  • Nice Smart Valley (Interflex): European Union backed H2020 project for Low Carbon Energy solutions. Experimentation of  Smart Grids, conducted by Enedis (€22,8M of investment) > learn more 
  • Flexgrid: government-backed large scale experimentation of Smart Grids across the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region (investment of €150M.)
  • Smart Campus:  Experimental Smart Electricity monitoring on IT Campus Sophi@tech. (€12M). 
  • The Réflexe project (€9 M) is managed by Veolia Environnement with Alstom Grid, the CEA, Sagemcom and others.
  • Nice Grid (€30 M) is run by ERDF in partnership with Alstom, EDF, SAFT, and SMEs such as Watteco. Unique in Europe with 1,500 homes taking part, this smart solar district demonstration project is evidence of the Côte d'Azur's recognised expertise in this area.

Various talented startups (Qualisteo, Greenpriz, Grid Pocket, Myxyty, etc.) specialise in controlling energy consumption to create new products for use in Smart Cities.

Dedicated organizations for Industry-Research collaboration

IMREDD: Intitute dedicated to Research and Experimentation in Environment, Risks and Sustainable Development
A strong symbol of innovation and economic development setting an environmental example.

A growing component of the University Côte d'Azur, the Mediterranean Institute for Risk, Environment and Sustainable Development (IMREDD) which opened in 2012, is the foundation stone for the future Plaine du Var EcoCampus dedicated to environmental sciences and sustainable development.

Established within the CAEI business incubator and the Chamber of Commerce, IMREDD aims to emulate innovative projects by being open to exchanges between students, teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs and manufacturers.

It is also intended to be a proactive monitoring and strategic direction observatory, tracking changing needs and the evolution of legislation, regulation and standards related to the environment and sustainable development.

Nice Eco-Vallée: a National Interest Operation
Nice Eco-Vallée is a large-scale development project, it includes the Nice Méridia urban technopolis project, the Grand Arénas international business district, an exhibition centre and a multimodal exchange centre.

The project will comprise a  area (3 million m2) of eco-constructed offices on a 10,000-hectare site set between the sea and mountains, will not only provide a site for experiments, but will also accommodate this sector's cutting-edge companies.  Its objective is to create 50,000 highly-qualified jobs in 30 years.

Schneider Electric has used this site to create an R&D centre dedicated to energy efficiency in a new, HQE (high environmental quality) smart building, producing a real showcase for its technology solutions. GDF-Suez, EDF, Veolia, IBM and Cisco are also working closely with the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Area in developing the Eco-Vallée, alongside IMREDD (Mediterranean Institute for Risk, Environment and Sustainable Development) and the Sustainable Design School. Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolitan Area's Centre d’accueil des entreprises innovantes (Welcome Centre for Innovative Companies - CAEI) is also based on the Eco-Vallée site.

Capenergies:  Cluster dedicated to energy generation with no greenhouse gases
The cluster represents:

  • 536 members, including 317 companies, 87 R&D centres, 19 training establishments and 13 research organisations
  • 232 accredited projects for €744 M of investment (€311 M of public funding)
  • Principal themes: Control of energy demand, wind, solar, water, hydrogen/biomass, fusion, fission.
  • 3 main sites: Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Aix-Marseille and Corsica.