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An area specialized in research and innovation

Capital of the Côte d’Azur, Nice is one of France’s premier tourist destinations (it’s second only to Paris) and one of the most popular in the world. Its solid reputation can be attributed to the destination’s many assets.

Tourist and economic attractiveness and this territory’s excellence are measured using multiple criteria, including dynamism and quality of research, technological and scientific innovation, as well as the development of knowledge.

It was along these lines that the Côte d’Azur University was recently established, uniting the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis (UNS), the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA), SKEMA Business School, EDHEC Business School, the University Hospital Center (CHU Nice), the Observatory of the Côte d’Azur (OCA), and finally, a Junior High School of Art and Design, which includes the School of Audiovisual Production (ESRA) and the Sustainable Design School (SDS).

The consortium’s objective is to attract international doctoral students in order to provide a supply of high-level scientists and become a major player in the creation of start-ups.

The territory is also home to many major research centers—130 labs, 2,700 researchers, and several global scientific hubs have chosen to set up shop in the region. The areas of activity are primarily from the sectors of information technology, micro-electronics, telecommunications and networks, software engineering, the space and aeronautics industry, life and environmental sciences, health-biotechnology-agricultural chemistry, and the aromatic industry.

Among the numerous research labs in the region, we can name: CSTB, INRA, INRIA, INSERM, I3S, LEAT, ICN, INLN, LSBB ECOMERS, IBSV Jean-Alexandre Dieudonné Laboratories, Géosciences Azur, Hippolyte Fizeau, Mines Paris Tech Research Centers, and biochemistry research centers, notably in medicine and perfumery.

Three campuses from the Nice Côte d’Azur-Sophia Antipolis pole of higher education incorporate R&D activities, forging close ties with the territory’s other economic players (companies, high-tech clusters, institutions, training centers), and thereby increasing the capacity of research and innovation:

  • The University of Nice - Sophia Antipolis campus hosts 1,351 doctoral students and 52 research units: CNRS, INSERM, INRA, CEA, IRD…
  • The STIC (communication and information science and technology) campus is developing ICT research platforms and programs in synergy with the activities of Nice’s health hub and the Plaine du Var’s eco-campus.

Based on their shared beliefs, the eco-campus unites Sophia Antipolis’ STIC campus, the “Cancer and Aging” Pasteur Project, and the IMREDD in the Plaine du Var. A genuine lab of innovative experimentations, this campus aims to promote the expansion of the eco-activities sector, which now consists of approximately 400 companies from the fields of renewable energy, waste treatment, water, transportation, and consulting.



Territory of Innovation of Great Ambition

Becoming a Digital Innovation Laboratory for Territorial Management: such is the ambition for Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur.
Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur was selected as a “Territory of Innovation of Great Ambition” in the framework of the Investment Programme for the Future. It is one of 24 submissions chosen from the 117 applications received.

An initial sum of €400,000 will enable Nice Côte d’Azur to fund additional studies to answer a call for projects endowed with €450 million over 10 years to be launched in 2018 by the State.
The project submitted by Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur and its partners aims to make the territory a Digital Innovation Laboratory for Territorial Management through the creation of an International Centre for Innovation in Smart Territories.

In December 2017, the European Commission also granted Métropole NCA the “Ambassador City for Innovation in Europe” label. Early in 2016, Côte d’Azur University obtained the IDEX (Initiatives for Excellence) Investment Programme for the Future.