11 May 2016

Sophia Antipolis

Sophia Antipolis was founded in 1969 by Senator Pierre Laffitte, and was based on a strong concept: cross-fertilisation between researchers, professors and companies. Having become a world reference in terms of innovation, today the park is home to 2,230 companies who employ 36,300 people representing 63 different nationalities, alongside 4500 researchers and 5500 students. (source : Municipality of Sophia Antipolis, 2016)

Overview of Sophia Antipolis


Located 20 km from the Nice international airport, the Sophia Antipolis Park is an exceptional site spread across 2400 hectares, ideally balanced between the sea and the mountains. Two thirds of the science and technology park’s surface are green spaces where employees can enjoy running, walking, tennis and sophia-antipolis-logogolf to relax and replenish their energy levels.

The park is located in the heart of an area of 1 million inhabitants, across the communes of Antibes, Biot, Mougins,
Valbonne and Vallauris

Sophia Antipolis in figures

  • – Information technologies:  300 companies and 15,000 jobs
    Electronics, software, telecom, networks, multimedia, e-commerce, web.
    – Research, Education and training: 60 institutions and 4000 jobs
    – Health sciences and chemicals: 45 companies and 2600 jobs
      Pharmaceuticals, dermatology, biotechnology, medical imaging.
    – Environment and energy saving: 23 companies, 350 jobs
      Earth observation, simulation, from solar energy to new materials.
  • 170 foreign-owned companies
  • 63 nationalities represented among employees
  • 4500 researchers and 5500 students.

Source: Municipality of Sophia Antipolis, older than 2016

Areas of excellence in Sophia Antipolis


› Immersive room for Virtual Reality  experiments in Research Institute Inria

For over 40 years, Sophia Antipolis has been attracting industry leaders, engineers and researchers from around the globe. Every year, 800 new jobs on average are created in the science and technology park, which has led it to become the ideal site for setting up R&D or high tech businesses.

Job creation in Sophia Antipolis:
800 new jobs have been created yearly for the past 40 years, mostly for R&D or high-added value activities.

The Information Technologies sector accounts for 20% of companies and 42% of jobs, thus making up the core of expertise in Sophia Antipolis, with relevant speciality areas spilling over into the areas of health, chemicals, biosciences and environmental sciences.

Whatever the sector, SMEs and start-ups stand side by side with world leaders such as Amadeus, Bosch, Cisco Systems, Dassault Systems, Orange, Hewlett, Intel, Symantec, Air France, American Express, Toyota, Samsung, Huawei…

Ecosystem in Sophia Antipolis

Des capteurs placés sur des lunettes détectées par les caméras permettent le suivi de position du sujet. Joystick et lunettes stéréoscopiques permettent de naviguer et d'intéragir au sein de visualisations scientifiques (ici squelette du crâne). Ce mur d'images (CadWall) est une des composantes de la salle Gouraud-Phong, salle immersive à dimensions  variables de l'INRIA Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée.

› Image Wall (CadWall) in Research Institute Inria

A wealth of human resources in synch with powerful professional networks encourages collaboration  between the different technological and scientific fields. The sheer number of training institutions and higher education establishments boosts exchange between university researchers and companies via technological partnerships.

Sophia Antipolis: an ecosystem devoted to innovation

It gathers top-level organisations :

  • Higher education establishments: Eurecom Institute, Polytech’Nice, SKEMA, etc.
  • Standardisation institutes: W3C, ETSI
  • Competitiveness clusters Solutions Communicantes Sécurisées, Pégase, etc..
  • Resarch institutes: INRIA, CNRS, and more.

This brilliant ecosystem resonates through two main centres :

  • The Sophia Antipolis Business Hub, is home to the Secured Communicating Solutions and Pégase competitiveness clusters, the Telecom Valley association, the TelecomParis Tech and PACA Est incubators, the Regional Innovation and Internationalisation Agency (Agence Régionale d’Innovation et d’Internationalisation), a business incubator for around twenty start-ups, a co-working space, the 4G platform Com4Innov and the offices of the CCI. In 2014, it was accredited as a “Business Innovation Center” by the European Business Network.
  • SophiaTech: the new campus dedicated to ICT was opened in 2012. In addition to a strong academic centre (Nice Sophia Antipolis University/Polytech Nice Sophia, Eurecom/Telecom ParisTech, INRIA, CNRS, INRA), able to accommodate 3,000 students and 800 research professors, it is home to SATT Sud Est, the head office of the KIC ICT Labs, the CIM PACA collaborative platform and the new “SoLab” FabLab dedicated to the Internet of Things.

[>] See also: Information Technologies.

An attractive real estate offer in Sophia Antipolis

Sophia Antipolis offers companies corporate real estate and extremely competitive prices: 160 to200/m²/year.

Office space:

Over a space of 2400 hectares, 1.1 million m² of buildable surface is currently in use, with 10,000 m2 ofadditional office space soon to be provided (20,000m2 more have been authorized).

Infrastructure in Sophia Antipolis

Major building projects are planned for the Trois Moulins (Antibes), Saint-Philippe (Biot), le Fugueiret and Clausonnes (Valbonne) sites, in particular in the context of the ‘Côte 121‘ project (Sophia 2030 programme.) › See opportunities for property investment.

Finally, a bus and tram line as well as various building works are to be implemented to improve access to the science and technology park.

Useful links related with Sophia Antipolis: