Its succes as an international tourism destination and France’s 2nd largest airport have made Nice Côte d’Azur into a metropolis with an open perspective towards the world. A real pioneer when it comes to Smart Cities, E-health and the Silver Economy, the city is going down a new path towards technology, innovation and sustainable development: a vision epitomised by the Nice Eco Valley scheme.
airport in France
France’s first metropolis, created on 1 January 2012
Nice enjoys a long-standing relationship with countries of the Mediterranan region, including its direct neighbour, Italy. Its administration, services, financial centre and its international airport, make Nice Côte d’Azur a metropolis anchored in the centre of the Mediterranean Arc and in direct contact with the entire European industrial backbone.
The metropolis is emerging as a major international centre for economic attractiveness, business and decision-making in the Mediterranean basin, in Europe and overseas: more than 800 foreign-owned companies, representing more than 13,000 jobs are based in the Nice and Plaine du Var area.
The Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis has 538,000 inhabitants living in 46 different municipalities between the coast and the highest peaks of the Mercantour in the Alps, and in particular Nice – the 5th largest city in France, Carros – whose industrial area is the largest in the Department and Cagnes-Sur-Mer – and its Technopolis centre, dedicated to high tech companies.
The Operation of National Interest, “Eco Valley” was launched in part of the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis territory in 2008. This status was granted by the State to local projects which are in compliance with national strategies and objectives and which, due to their importance, have a national impact. France boasts 13 Operations of National Interest to date. With its 10,000 hectares, Eco Valley is one of the largest.
The Riviera project is of national interest due to its capacity to accelerate the development of one of the most international cities in France, in competition with European cities. The second national issue – the site – which aims to be “eco-exemplary”, will serve as a demonstration site for the policy encouraging biodiversity and sustainable development, advocated by the Grenelle Environment Forum.
The economic strategy chosen for Eco Valley is based on the national green industrial policy strategy, as well as research and innovation with the competitiveness hubs.
Eco Valley is intended to serve as an area of innovation when it comes to sustainable development. While an urban technopole is under construction in Nice Méridia, with public and private research centres, ÉcoCité Nice Côte d’Azur is trialling technologies and services for the city of the future.
Nice, Smart City
- The 1st European city to have deployed a range of services based on Contactless Mobile (NFC) technology, many trials have been implemented in the area by world leaders (Cisco, IBM, Orange, ErDF, Schneider Electric, etc.) centred around the theme of smart cities, E-health and the silver economy
- named as one of the top 15 smart cities in the world in 2018 by American agency, Juniper Research, and opening of the Smart City Innovation Center in Nice Méridia
- many incubators and accelerators specialised (or otherwise) in innovative sectors including CEEI (IoT, Cleantech, Mobilité), 27 Delvalle (E-health), Accélérateur Allianz, EDHEC incubator, etc.
- business centres and coworking spaces are springing up such as the Labo Coworking, La Verrière, Les Satellites, etc. Higher edcation in Nice provides opportunities with many courses at the Université Côte d’Azur, EDHEC, IPAG, IAE, The Sustainable Design School, etc.