12 May 2016

Nice Côte d’Azur and Éco-vallée Plaine du Var

Why choose between quality of life and business ?

An unrivalled touristic tradition and France’s 2nd largest airport have transformed Nice Côte d’Azur into a metropolis with its sights firmly fixed on the rest of the world. A pioneer in contactless NFC mobile services and the smart city concept, the metropolis has undertaken deep changes, looking to technology, innovation and sustainable development: a vision that is best illustrated in the Eco-Vallée project.

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Nice has always enjoyed a privileged relationship with neighbouring Mediterranean countries, including Italy. Its government, services, financial position and international airport make Nice Côte d’Azur a metropolis anchored in the heart of the Mediterranean, with strong, direct ties to Europe’s industrial backbone.

Established on 1 January 2012, as France’s first metropolis the Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur is home to 538,000 inhabitants spread between the coastline and the sunny peaks of the Mercantour in the Alps over 46communes, notably Nice – France’s 5th largest city, Carros  – boasting thedépartement‘s most significant industrial zone, and Cagnes-Sur-Mer – with its Technopolis hub dedicated to high technology companies.

The Eco-Vallée ‘operation of national interest’ was launched across some of this area in 2008.

Areas of excellence

The Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur is France’s number 1 tourist destination after Paris. For some time now, its economy has largely been based on services with high added value. The metropolis has also positioned itself as a key international centre of economic attractiveness, business and decision-making in the Mediterranean area, Europe, and on an international level. Over 800 foreign-owned companies, accounting for more than 13,000 jobs, have located to the Nice basin and the Plaine du Var area.

The first city in Europe to have rolled out an array of services based on Mobile Near Field Communication, Nice can count itself among the tight circle of connected 21st century cities, and is aiming to become one of the world leaders in digital projects applied regionally: many experiments are currently underway across the area, spearheaded by world leaders (Cisco, IBM, Orange, ErDF, Schneider Electric etc.) around the concept of the smart city, as well as e-health and silver economy.

The Plaine du Var’s Eco-Vallée is listed as a ‘national interest operation’, and is set to position the Côte d’Azur as an international leader in the fields of cleantech and sustainable development. 

Nice : an optimum environment for start-ups and innovative young companies
  • The Centre for Innovative Companies (CAEI) is both an incubator and business centre, working alongside the Paca-est incubator and approved by the CEEI (European Centre for Enterprise and Innovation).
  • AVEC incubator: incubator and coworking space
  • Les Satellites: coworking space and workshop events
  • Research institutes: Imredd, IRT, and the future Eco Campus.
  • Higher education: Edhec, Ipag, IAE, The Sustainable Design School, Eco campus from the Université Nice-Sophia Antipolis, the Polytech Nice-Sophia school, etc.
  • Competitiveness cluster: Eurobiomed (CAEI).


Commercial real estate

The Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur offers commercial real estate that meets international standards and enjoys prime positions at exclusive locations. Contrary to popular belief, commercial real estate prices in Nice are extremely competitive: from €160/m²/year to €195/m²/year in 2012 – four times less expensive than inner-city Paris.


Business parks

The Carros industrial zone, the Saint-Laurent du Var and Gaude business parks, the Nice Saint-Isidore logistical activity park, the Saint-Jeannet, ‘La Victorine’ and ‘Les Abattoirs’ business parks in Nice, ‘Les Travails’ (Costamagna Space) and ‘Technopolis’ parks in Cagnes-Sur-Mer, ‘La Sarrée’ in Bar-Sur-Loup, ‘La Roubine’ in Cannes…

The metropolis offers a wide array of different site locations for technological or industrial activities, with speciality areas ranging from cleantech to flavouring via digital, multimedia, artistic design, logistics and services.


map-eco-vallee-enThe Côte d’Azur Eco-Vallée

As a future science and technology park dedicated to companies and research centres focusing on environmental issues, the Côte d’Azur Eco-Vallée aims to become a world leader in R&D relating to sustainable development

The Eco-Vallée offers new and diversified opportunities in property and office space for all activity sectors, especially with projects such as theGrand Arénas and Nice Méridia.

Building programmes in the Eco-Vallée

The Eco-Vallée is rolling out four major building programmes for assessment or for immediate placing on the market, of which two are of particular interest to investors:

  • Grand Arénas: an international business centre hosting an exhibition, meeting and convention centre as well as a multi-modal interchange across the airport, accomodation and a commercial zone.
  • ‘Nice Méridia’: urban science and technology park dedicated to R&D and training in the environmental, ‘green growth’, health and NFC mobile services sectors.

› Find out more: ecovallee-plaineduvar.fr



France’s largest international airport after Paris, ideally located at the gateway to Nice (20 min from the city centre), represents an undeniable advantage for all companies located in the area.
The Nice Côte d’Azur metropolis also enjoys easy access to one of the Mediterranean’s most significant ports, a central train station (6.2 million passengers) and a network of urban public transport systems dedicated to improving local mobility, which are all supported by the following wide-scale infrastructure projects: 

  • The multi-modal Nice-Airport interchange to include a train station, coach station, tram, bike racks and electric cars as well as car drop-off points
  • The Provence Côte d’Azur New Line, a high-speed line to provide, in a first pohase, a second and high-speed connection between Nice and Cannes through Sophia Antipolis, and in a later phase a high speed connection to Genova (Italy) and Marseilles (and Paris).
  • A tram network with 4 lines  planned for 2030.
  • A new exhibition, meeting and convention centre over 65,000m2 in the Grand Arénas quarter opposite the airport.

See also › infrastructure and › commercial property investment opportunities.


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