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Economic development agencies in the Départements



Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04)

Do you want to set up in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence Département?alt

Contact : la Mission de Développement Economique 04
Ferme Font Robert
04160 Château-Arnoux
Tel : +33 (0) 4 92 35 52 64
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altAlpes-de-Haute-Provence, bordering Alpes-Maritimes, Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Vaucluse and Hautes-Alpes, is at the very heart of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. This prestigious strategic position makes this département a natural extension of the biggest and best-known business, trade and research clusters (4 million consumers less than 2 hours away), such as Sophia-Antipolis, Grasse and Fos-sur-Mer.


The following sectors are found here:
►cosmetics: including the European University of scents and flavours, in Forcalquier and the PASS competitive cluster (perfumes, fragrances, scents, and flavours).

►power for tomorrow: with 300 days of sunshine per year and ideal exposure at a height between 400 and 1200 m, Alpes-de Haute-Provence houses more than 1,000 hectares (400 MWc) of photovoltaic projects, including the Curbans solar power facility (output 33 MWc, 145,000 panels covering 60 hectares). Biomass has very strong potential: 70% of the Alpes-de Haute-Provence region is covered by privately owned forests with the total forest covering 340,000 hectares. In addition, the département provides 10% of French hydroelectric power with 12 dams and 32 hydro-electric power stations and the largest reservoir in France: Serre Ponçon Lake (1.2 billion m3 of water), bordering on Hautes-Alpes. Finally, the ITER experimental project is on the edge of the département.
►the food industry: the département of Alpes-de-Haute Provence produces a varied range of high quality food including 4 bearing a registered designation of origin, and it is the 4th largest French département in for the area producing organic food.



157,965 (INSEE 2008)


6 925 km²

Major Towns

Digne (prefecture), Barcelonnette, Castellane, Forcalquier, Manosque, Sisteron


Served by the A51 motorway, and the railway between Marseille and Briançon
Airport Manosque is 55 minutes from the international airport of Marseille Provence

High-speed lines and railway stations

Manosque is 35 minutes from the high-speed railway station in Aix en Provence and 55 minutes from the high-speed railway station in Marseille.


TESTIMONIAL: They chose the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence  Département (04)
Cyril Molina - Kellook – Promotional photo album and interactive mirror
In Saint-Auban
Cyril Molina, originally from Montfort, contacted the MDE in 2009 when his project was still only at the ideas stage... One thing was certain – he wanted to set up at the Moyenne-Durance crossroads!
MDE04 put his company in touch with the CCIT to work out its business plan and to apply for specific start-up help (Arkema Agreement, API Platform, Oséo, etc.).
Then MDE04 presented several offers of premises. It was a building belonging to the Château-Arnoux Saint-Auban local authority which attracted Cyril Molina’s attention. And that’s where Kellook is now!
Find out more:


Hautes-Alpes (05)

Do you want to set up in the Hautes-Alpes Département?alt

Contact : Hautes Alpes Développement
Bâtiment Aurora
05000 Gap
Tel : +33 (0) 4 92 56 52 22
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altIn the heart of the Southern Alps at the intersection of three dynamic regions, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Rhone-Alpes and Northern Italy, Hautes-Alpes has the advantage of occupying a central position in this Euroregion. This département provides quality of life and natural surroundings protected by two natural parks: the Écrins National Park and the Queyras Regional Park.
It is home to economic sectors with high potential:
► light aircraft sector: there are 4 airfields in the Hautes-Alpes: Gap-Tallard, Saint Crépin, Aspres-sur-Buëch, la Bâtie-Montsaléon. These provide a range of activities that is unique in Europe: helicopter, gliding, ULM, general aviation, parachuting, hang gliding and paragliding. There are many high-tech businesses throughout this region, supported by the Pégase competitive cluster and the Excell’air rural centre of excellence.
► renewable energy: with 300 days of sunshine per year, Hautes-Alpes offers an exceptional environment for the development of photovoltaic solar energy. It also has substantial timber resources (more than 100,000 tonnes available per year) which may be used for the development of biomass. Finally, the département also produces hydroelectric power from the Serre-Ponçon dam, on the border with Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.
► The Hautes-Alpes has a web of small and medium-sized business and self-employed sole traders in the agri-food industry, which employs 800 people in all. A large part of the sector supplies certified organic products. This sector has its base in the Champsaur-Valgaudemar valleys which are home to "Le Goût de notre terre" a rural centre of excellence for the food industry.
► information and communication technology: the Hautes-Alpes is actively engaged in the microelectronics sector, including the Micropolis technology park in Gap. In addition, the ASTEP laboratory, a European scientific platform is being developed on the Plateau de Bure. This is a unique facility in Europe for testing microelectronic circuits. Finally, every year the region hosts OCOVA, an international technology trade show for communication devices.



134,205 (INSEE 2008)


5,549 km2

Major Towns

Gap (Prefecture), Briançon


Less than 3 hours from Lyon, Nice, Geneva, Turin.

TESTIMONIAL: They chose the Hautes-Alpes Département (05)
Rémi Béringer – Director – BERINGER – aeronautics
In Gap Tallard
The company Beringer, a world specialist in braking systems for aviation, is based on the Tallard aviation business park in Gap. Its managers are already well aware of the local players, having collaborated on several projects with the Pégase and Excell’air clusters.
Find out more:

Do you want to set up in theHautes-Alpes? Or find out more?
Contact Hautes Alpes Développement: tel + 33 (0) 4 92 56 52 20 -

Alpes-Maritimes (06)

Do you want to set up in the Alpes-Maritimes Département ? Team Cote d'Azur

Contact : Team Côte d'Azur
400 Promenade des Anglais
06204 Nice Cedex 3
Tel : +33 (0) 4 92 17 51 51
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Carte-Departement_06Côte d’Azur also hosts more than 1,200 businesses in the information technology sector, including world market leaders in microelectronics, telecommunications, software engineering, and multimedia content. R&D is especially developed in these sectors. Sophia Antipolis, Europe’s leading technology park, has a remarkable community of more than 20,000 engineers and researchers in new technologies. The technology park hosts ETSI, which produces European standards for new telecommunications systems.
Nice Côte d’Azur, an international conurbation at the heart of a region with 1 million inhabitants, hosts many international diplomatic, sporting and cultural events. Nice is the only French team to win IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge and the leading city for the contactless mobile.
The Côte d’Azur offers businesses in the health sector an incomparable scientific and industrial environment. It is one of the rare regions in the world to bring together so many skills in the fields of health and information technology. This is because it is a region of international success stories in the pharmaceutical industry, medical instrumentation, imaging, biomedical technologies, the veterinary industry and agronomy. Today, it is the site of innovative science parks in ophthalmology, oncology and neurology.
Clean technology is also being actively developed in this region: the Plaine du Var, on the edge of Nice, houses the Eco-Valley, a national interest initiative (OIN) covering almost 10,000 hectares which is based on sustainable development.
In addition, the perfumes and flavourings industry in the Côte d’Azur has a solid base around Grasse, the world’s perfume capital. As the second largest employment area for the sector in France, the cluster generates 50% of the national turnover. See the PASS competitive cluster.
The Côte d’Azur, with its strong international reputation, has a long tradition of welcoming foreign senior managers and students, which encourages numerous business heads to relocate their company head offices here, and makes possible the organisation of a wide range of international trade fairs and conferences.



1,084,428 (INSEE 2008)


4,299 km²

Major Towns

Nice (prefecture), Antibes, Cannes


Nice, 2nd largest French airport


Technology parks

Sophia Antipolis (Europe’s leading science park)


TESTIMONIAL:  They chose the Alpes-Maritimes Département (06)
Marc Dacier - Director Symantec Research embedded lab – ICT
In Sophia Antipolis
SYMANTEC, the creator of Norton AntiVirus, is setting up its new European coordination centre for R&D in Sophia Antipolis.
“Having already taken part in a project European in the past, Symantec became convinced of the value of research programmes in Europe and decided to expand its presence on this continent.”
Find out more:
Do you want to set up in the Alpes-Maritimes? Or find out more?
Contact Team Côte d’Azur: tel + 33 (0) 4 92 17 51 51 -


Bouches-du-Rhône (13)

Do you want to set up in the Bouches-du-Rhône Département?

altContactez : Provence Promotion
10 place de la Joliette - ATRIUM 10.5
Les Docks BP 45 607
13567 Marseille Cedex 02
Tel : +33 (0) 4 96 11 60 00
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Carte-Departement-13With almost 2 million inhabitants, of whom 1.3 million live in the Aix-Marseille conurbation, the Bouches-du-Rhône is one of the most densely populated départements in France.
It has a rich diversity of economic activity:
►aeronautics is a leading-edge sector, whose main representative is Eurocopter, a subsidiary of EADS and the world leader for the manufacture of helicopters.
►chemical engineering is represented by a very wide range of industries stretching from petrochemical engineering to specialty chemicals used in the semi-conductor industry. This sector developed to the west of the Marseille conurbation, in one of the largest chemical engineering clusters in Europe: Fos-Berre.
►micro-electronics is also a major component of local industry (ST Microelectronics, Gemalto etc.) supplemented by the information and multimedia content industry.
►finally, its infrastructure (the leading French harbour area, a good motorway network, a railway system that puts Provence in third place nationally for goods transport, and the Marseille Provence international airport, which ranks 2nd in France for goods transport) and its position as Europe’s essential gateway, has enabled logistics to become a sector of major importance in Provence.
The food industry, energy, marine technology, fashion and design, optics/photonics and life sciences sectors are also very active in this département.
Note: Euroméditerranée is a National interest initiative (OIN) for urban regeneration and economic development of Marseille’s city centre covering 480 hectares.



1,966,005 (INSEE 2008)


5,087 km²

Major Towns

Marseille (prefecture), Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Istres


Port of Marseille-Fos, France’s largest port of and 5th largest in Europe
And inland waterways built to European gauge standards between the Golfe de Fos and Châlon-sur-Saône.


Airport Marseille Provence
2nd largest French airport for the goods transport and 4th largest for passenger transport

High-speed railway lines and stations

Marseille and Aix-en-Provence
(Paris 3 hours, Brussels 5 hours, Geneva 3½ hours)

Technology parks

Europôle Méditerranéen de l'Arbois (Aix), Château-Gombert and Luminy (Marseille)

TESTIMONIAL: They chose the Bouches-du-Rhône Département (13)
Pierre Ruibanys – Head of agency – ASTRIUM – aeronautics and space
In Saint-Paul-lez-Durance
Astrium, a subsidiary of the EADS group and a leading European company in the space industry, has set up office in Provence, close to the ITER site. A choice which met several strategic objectives explained by Pierre Ruibanys, head of the agency based in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance.
Find out more:
Do you want to set up in the Bouches-du-Rhône? Or find out more?
Contact Provence Promotion: tel + 33 (0) 4 96 11 60 00 -


Var (83)

Do you want to set up in the Var Département?

Contact : Agence de Développement Economique
de la CCi du Var
Espace Entreprises des Playes
419, Avenue de l'Europe
CS 10017
83180 Six-Fours-les-Plages cedex
Tel : +33 (0) 4 94 22 80 06

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Carte-Departement-83Var is France’s leading département (after Paris) for the number of tourist overnight stays. Every year it welcomes an average of 10 million tourists.
It also has acknowledged skills in sectors involving marine, health and health and beauty, motor sports, agri-food industry and agriculture, electronics and micro-electronics, optics and photonics, yachting, environment and defence aviation sciences and technologies.
With a fabric of more than 55,000 businesses and an average of almost 8,000 new businesses being created every year, Var provides 20% of the regional economy. The rate of business start-ups is higher than the national rate in all départements in the PACA region but it is highest in Var.
Toulon is historically associated with the French navy and Navy Air Force having been its base in the Mediterranean since the 16th century. It is now the largest European military port and the leading naval defence base in the Mediterranean. This conurbation has become one of the top places for naval and marine technologies and the PACA Mer competitive cluster is based here.



1,001,408 (INSEE 2008)


5,973 km2

Major Towns

Toulon (prefecture)
Fréjus, Brignoles, Draguignan


Port of Toulon and 54 yachting marinas


Toulon-Hyères international airport
(Paris 1 hour 20 mins, London 1 hour 50 mins, Rotterdam 1 hour 55 mins)

High-speed railway lines and stations

High-speed railway station Toulon
(Paris 4 hours)

Technology parks

Technopole de la Mer in Ollioules, Jean Louis Centre of excellence in Fréjus,
Technopole Epsilon in Saint-Raphaël



TESTIMONIAL They chose the Var  Département (83)
Damien Sineau – founder of Alphanova – Health and well-being

In Carqueiranne
Alphanova is a laboratory for cosmetics, skin care and organic food additives. An inventor to his fingertips, Damien Sineau looks for – and finds – the formulae from which Alphanova SARL will develop its ranges of skin-care products for children and adults. With, in addition, the Ecocert label and the image Made in Provence, an open-sesame for export markets.
Find out more:

Do you want to set up in the Var? Or find out more?
Contact Var Accueil Investisseurs: tel +33 (0) 4 94 22 80 68 -


Vaucluse (84)

Do you want to set up in the Vaucluse Département?alt

Contact : Vaucluse Développement
19, place de l'Horloge
84000 Avignon
Tél : +33 (0)4 90 16 45 60
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Carte-Departement-84Vaucluse occupies a strategic position, at the point of the Rhone delta triangle going towards Lyon, Aix-Marseille and Nîmes-Montpellier.
Vaucluse’s leading economic sector is the food industry which provides 25% of the jobs in Vaucluse. Processing fruit and vegetables dominates the food industry in Vaucluse. In addition, 39% of French cut-flower production floral comes from. Finally, vineyards and wine provide 44% of Vaucluse’s agricultural turnover, and Vaucluse has the 3rd largest production of AOC wines in France.
Vaucluse also offers other major sectors:
►logistics is a major sector with almost 9,000 employees. This is because Vaucluse gives exceptional access to businesses within the region, being at the crossroads of two major communication routes, the north-south road link between northern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea (A7 motorway) and the east-west road link between Italy and Spain (A7 motorway).
►the construction industry employs 13,000 people in Vaucluse, which is the first choice for the manufacturers of construction materials: it has the largest deposits of gypsum in Europe, and has the 4th largest production of siliceous sand in France, or 9% of the national production.
►cosmetology: more than 350 businesses in the cosmetics-perfumery sector have set up here along with 96 of the 130 French distilleries. Vaucluse produces 70% of the world’s lavandin.
►energy: within easy reach of the industrial developments in FosBerre, Cadarache, Pierrelatte and Tricastin.
►CIT: almost 600 businesses have already set up in Vaucluse where they find the support of high level training and research institutions in Avignon.
►finally the aviation industry is developing around Avignon airport and a business park covering 200 hectares.



538,902 (INSEE 2008)


3,567 km²

Major Towns

Avignon (prfecture), Apt, Carpentras


Avignon river port - Le Pontet


 Avignon Airport
(London 2 hours, Madrid 1½ hours)

High-speed railway lines and stations

Avignon high-speed railway station
(Lyon 1 hour, Paris 2 hours 40 mins)

Technology park



TESTIMONIAL: They chose the Vaucluse Département (84)
Jean-Marc Armitano - Chairman of the Board - EOLE-RES - renewable energy
In Avignon
Eole-Res specialises in the design, development, financing, construction and operation of wind parks. With nearly 80 MW in production as part of the French wind-energy programme "EOLE 2005", and more than 1000 MW under development, EOLE-RES has positioned itself as one of the leaders on the French market.
Find out more:

Do you want to set up in the Vaucluse? Or find out more?
Contact Vaucluse Development: tel + 33 (0) 4 90 16 45 60 - www.vauclusedeveloppement





Realisation : HORSPISTE / an(i)mage