Diplomatic visit of the United States, first investor in the Côte d’Azur

On Wednesday, May 13th, Team Cote d’Azur welcomed Jane Hartley, the United States Ambassador to France and Monaco, and Monique Quesada, General Counsel for the United States’ State Department.

Visiting under a banner of culture and economy

The U.S diplomats wished to enjoy their visit to the area, experience the Cannes Film Festival, and discuss the state of the fruitful economic relations between the Riviera and the U.S. in the area of new technologies: IT, biotech, and clean tech.

Jean-Pierre Mascarelli, President of Team Cote d’Azur, and Philipe Servetti, his deputy director, hosted the American diplomats at the office of Team Cote d’Azur accompanied by the heads of iconic American companies located on the Cote d’Azur: Frédéric Allard (V.P. IBM France Lab and Director of the Gaude-Sophia Site), Cyrille Bataller (managing Director – Emerging Techology Innovation at Accenture), and Claude Flafferi (President of Amadeus Sophia Antipolis and the Cote d’Azur advisory board).

Christophe Perez, head of IT and the North American recruiter for Team Cote d’Azur presented what benefits the Riviera has to offer and why it is a desirable place for American Companies, the projects of the Nice Eco-Valley and Sophie Antipolis, and business relations which continue today through strategic parthernships in several areas and clusters. Afterwards, there followed a discussion on the progress and implementation of projects and funding innovation.

The United States: First foreign direct investor of jobs on the Riviera

The U.S accounts for 265 of the 1,775 foreign capital establishments here on the Riviera, second to the United Kingdom. The ECE lead in terms of staff numbers, until the U.S arrived (6,123 people). They alone account for 20% of ECE jobs, concentrated in the field of ICT jobs (25 ECE jobs for 2,641 employees), life sciences (13 ECE jobs and 403 employees), clothing, hotel and catering (ITC figures, December 2014).

Included among the top American accoutns are Accenture, American Express, Dow, IBM, Intel, IFF, H.P, Honeywell, Nvidia, Symantec, Integra, Oracle, Wall Street Systems, Synopysys, and furthermore, Freescale, Visteon and ANSys recently invested in the Riviera with the help of Team Cote d’Azur. Sophia Antipolis also hosts the European W3C office.

[>]See the principal American organizations in our directory and read the testimonies of their leadership.

Strong Relationship between the Riviera and the United States

Several collaborations connect the Riviera to American regions and clusters. Strategic alliances have been establishes, on the one had, to accompany azureen start-ups who are desirous to compete on the American market, and on the other hand, to highlight the Riviera as a prime asset to American companies in search of a dynamic location that covers the European, Middle Eastern, and African markets.

Three Initiatives by Riviera Actors that Responded to the First Objective:

  • The Silicon Valley camp is an immersion of start-ups in California organized by The Young Entrepreneur School of Sophia Antipolis.
  • The Young Entrepreneur Initiative hosts American start-ups from Boston in Nice at CEEI.
  • The French American Conference for Entrepreneurs in New York is attended by the CEEI of Nice, Cote d’Azur via the Retis network.

The creation of “soft bridges” allows for access to technologies, talents, research programs and academic groups from sides of the Atlantic and aims to move the concept of “twin cities” to “regional partners,” playing the roles of simplifier and accelerator.

The state of Utah and the city of San Diego are the leaders of this new strategic alliance. The partnerships with cities like Raleigh, N.C and Washington D.C are a preparations to reinforce foreign investment attraction to the Riviera.

  • In the biotech sector, actors from the Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur, in partnership with the French Bio Beach Association and the Biocom cluster from San Diego, for the past four years have been developing activities to promote life sciences expertise in the PACA region in southern California.
  • Team Cote d’Azur has visited California each year since 2009 to meet with California-based biotech actors and their partners, the French Bio Beach Association, the WSGR cabinet from San Diego, and the Biocom cluster – who’s delegation visited Nice and Sophia Antipolis in April, 2015.

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