The French Riviera confirms its business appeal – Intermediate Results Sept. 2021

In 2021, Team Côte d’Azur reaffirmed its contribution to the strength of the Riviera economy.

Despite downward revisions to forecasts due to the crisis, the number of businesses setting up on the French Riviera now exceeds expected results for 2021:

20 business location projects confirmed – generating 407 jobs within 3 years.

[ Intermediate Results September 2021]


Team Côte d’Azur thus reaffirms its expertise in seeking out French and foreign companies in support of the Riviera’s economic development.


Team Côte d’Azur, the agency dedicated to attracting French and foreign businesses to the French Riviera, has drawn up an initial quantitative assessment of its actions in 2021 and their economic benefits for the region. Assisting companies to set up on the Riviera contributes directly to the local economy in terms of job creation and the generation of an additional payroll which benefits the region.

With the aim of attracting businesses and assisting location projects directly linked to the development objectives of the Riviera’s sectors of excellence: Team Côte d’Azur and its prospection team have organized 428 face-to-face/audio/videoconferencing meetings with prospects since January 1, 2021.

The agency’s provisional balance sheet reports 20 investment decisions and 407 associated jobs within 3 years.

Although 2021 remains marked by the economic and health crisis that began in 2020, the French Riviera has managed to attract new investors due to its many assets and its ideal setting for location and/or development of economic projects.

Faced with new business priorities and the need to adapt to an unprecedented economic situation, the French Riviera has made a difference by responding to these new business challenges.

The vast majority of the investors questioned this year stressed the following criteria to explain their decision to invest on the French Riviera:

  • Innovative and efficient ecosystems of excellence (IT, Cleantech, Health, TravelTech…)
  • A region dedicated to sustainable development,
  • A quality of life that attracts and retains talents,
  • Opportunities to collaborate with academic and scientific communities
  • A scalable business real estate solution,
  • A national and international reach.


In 2021, a third of the job creation decisions originated in France (40% in 2020). For Europe, (excluding the UK) which represented 20% of job creations in 2020, this figure rose to 34%. These results reflect the limited opportunities for geographic mobility, even though investors from North America have resumed contact with Team Côte d’Azur since the beginning of the academic year, 2021.


Sector analysis and typology of the 20 investment decisions

A real estate offer in line with company expectations

The Riviera business real estate market already showed strong resilience in 2020. The 7% drop in demand for office space in 2020 was wiped out with, for the first half of 2021, an 11% rise in office premises compared to the same period in 2019.  A total of more than 38,000 m² of office space has been made available, in particular as a result of recent deliveries of real estate programmes.  The demand for business premises has also been steady, and this has been partly satisfied by the delivery of the Roguez business park in Nice EcoVallée.


A Digital IT sector driven by the excellence of Riviera expertise – 6 decisions

The expertise and talents of the Riviera digital IT ecosystem have enjoyed renewed interest from exogenous investors. Although the pandemic has meant that project leaders are, in the main, French or European, the influence of IT expertise in the area and the cooperation of academic and industrial players have succeeded in convincing investors to develop their projects in technologies linked to AI, Big Data, Machine Learning, digital security and IoT (miniature antennas, multi-frequencies, etc.).

Regarding the micro-electronics sector, the strong global demand for semiconductors is driving the emergence of new investment projects in design to meet the demand from sectors such as the automotive industry.


The service sector is enjoying a strong recovery – 7 decisions

Team Côte d’Azur already qualified a record number of service sector projects in 2020 and this trend has been confirmed in 2021 with an increase in location projects. As seen in the IT sector, these projects are mainly French or European and meet the needs of service companies to develop their commercial activities in areas with strong economic potential.


Cleantech investments uncertain– 3 decisions

Investors in the Cleantech sector have put their R&D projects on hold in the face of uncertainties generated by the crisis and its duration. Investment decisions therefore concern small scale projects. The identification of new qualified projects has also slowed due to the postponement of professional events in this sector. The return of CleanTech trade fairs and forums was only confirmed from the start of the academic year 2021.


Healthtech investments accelerated by Health sector projects particularly those based on AI/Health technologies – 4 decisions

The stimulus package has paid off as it has attracted foreign businesses that had been considering setting up in the UK or Germany. In addition, the arrival on the French Riviera of the first Medtech funds: Truffle Capital, will help strengthen the region’s Health sector.

Type of investment – Breakdown by job

 TCA report

The 20 investment decisions:

11 French investment decisions:


9 foreign investment decisions:


Reasons for choosing the French Riviera:

Gorillas – 60 jobs – Services – France – Creation of a local delivery service:  Pierre Guionin, General Manager at Gorillas: « Nice is a city that is active all year round which means our model can be completely effective. During holiday periods, French and international visitors are added to the local population. We also found premises compatible with the model of our stores. Each store is between 300 and 400 m². »

Sangamo Therapeutics – 20 jobs – Health – USA – Creation of a new pharmaceutical production site:  Raphaël Flipo, Director of European Operations  at Sangamo Therapeutics France : « We are creating a production site in Sophia Antipolis just a few steps from our R&D site. This geographical proximity is essential for the success of our activity. As part of the launch of clinical trials we will be able to produce the therapeutic batches for patients ourselves. We have leased premises of 650 m² to set up our production site. This is in addition to our 1300 m² research and development site. »

Wallbox – 20 jobs– Cleantech – Spain – Design and sale of chargers and accessories for electric vehicles:
Morad Ouchene, Country Director France, UK and Ireland at Wallbox: « We chose the French Riviera and Nice for several reasons. Firstly, the proximity of an international airport, less than a 5-minute walk from our offices. The French Riviera also has many skilled workers and can attract and retain employees who wish to benefit not only from an exceptional quality of life, but also from competitive salaries.  The work-life balance has become all important since the Covid-19 crisis. The economic environment is dynamic, the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis is experiencing strong development and start-ups are welcomed and supported. To wind up the qualitative reasons, the cost of business real estate is very attractive compared to the Paris region. »

Vizua – 15 jobs – IT Digital – France – Collaborative 3D content platform
Sylvain Ordureau, President of Vizua and co-founder of 3dverse: « Nice and the French Riviera have a leading IT ecosystem and the Nice Côte d’Azur metropolis was, before Paris, the first metropolis to have 5G coverage. We have found that the economic initiatives and the innovations deployed here contribute to the creation of an extremely dynamic ecosystem; one which is outstanding in France and Europe. Another asset is the quality of life which is far better than in large international metropolises such as Los Angeles or Montreal. Today, following the health crisis, this is an important criterion to attract and retain talent. The French Riviera enjoys an advantageous location, a close connection to the world, and innovative players. It has a long history, and its ambitious development has been driven by visionaries. We wish to contribute to the expansion of our sector of activity on the French Riviera for if there is one place in France or in Europe I would bet on, it’s the Riviera. »


Philippe Pradal, Président de Team Côte d'Azur
Philippe Pradal, Président of Team Côte d’Azur

According to Philippe Pradal, President of Team Côte d’Azur:

« The first half of 2021 saw the continuation of the challenge that had already been taken up by Team Côte d’Azur in 2020.The agency has proved its agility in carrying out its mission to attract exogenous investment and has embraced a new way of working based on technology, proximity and efficiency. Its teams are all the more determined to enrich the Riviera’s economic ecosystem with new French and foreign players.

In the face of new, post-covid economic challenges, Team Côte d’Azur has enabled 20 businesses to set up in a sustainable, innovative, and resilient environment. Team Côte d’Azur has once again affirmed its expertise, its mastery, and its efficiency in support of the economic development of the French Riviera. »

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