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Financing your setup
In Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, as in all the major European regions, business which are setting themselves up whether as new start-ups, small and medium-sized companies or a big business, can call on of a large range of financial support and assistance to encourage and consolidate their installation and development.
Each type of activity – logistics, manufacturing site, managerial or R&D centre, sales bureau – has its corresponding range of suitable help.
Alongside private funds (venture capital firms, Business Angels or banks) which finance equity capital, national and local government can offer a whole panoply of grants to finance investments, create jobs, acquire property, innovate, research and develop, train, export and protect the environment. These grants can be in the form of direct grant-aid, indirect (a property lease for example), refundable interest-free loans or tax relief. For instance, the CIR (tax-credit on research) is much appreciated by international investors and has been very successful.
We give below some examples of national government and regional grants for setting up businesses (see the websites for more detailed information). Obtaining these grants depends on conditions of eligibility and compliance with European regulations including the need not to create unfair competition.
The French government gives help, some of which is allocated according to the location of the business (land-use planning). Among the more important are:
► the PAT (Prime d’Aménagement du Territoire – land-use bonus),
► the ARI (Aide àla Réindustrialisation – reindustrialisation grant),
► the FNRT (Fonds National de Revitalisation du Territoire – national land revitalisation fund),
► the FRED (Fonds pour les Restructurations de la Défense – defence restructuring fund),
► the CIR (Credit d’Impôt Recherche – research tax-credit). This measure impacts on the largest number of businesses.
The Regional Council offers:
► the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur co-investment fund, to back up the equity capital of innovative businesses,
► PRCEs (interest-free loans to set up businesses), PRTEs (loans to buy or take over businesses), PRMEs (loans to maintain employment) and CDE (credit to develop employment),
► The Regional Guarantee Fund, giving easier access to bank finance.
Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, a region that innovates

3rdlargest region in France for the number of patents registered
3 billion euros spent on public and private research
3rd most fertile region in France for the number of start-ups
16 incubators hosting 134 businesses, and 6 science parks including Sophia Antipolis: Europe’s leading science park with 1,400 businesses, 70 nationalities.

The SRI (regional innovation strategy)

To cope with the challenges of the future and be in the forefront of the most dynamic regions in Europe, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region and the government have defined a regional strategy for innovation (SRI), along four main topics:
► strengthening the urge to innovate through the use of clusters (11 competitiveness clusters), innovation platforms, capitalising on research (creation of an SATT – a Company to accelerate the transfer of technology), support for “use” and “design” approaches.

Example: living labs are open, user-centred innovation ecosystems. They combine the process of research and innovation, through a partnership of businesses, citizens and local authorities. These are ways of encouraging the co-design and prototyping of solutions with a high level of user involvement.

► supporting all regional businesses in their attempts to innovate,
► promote two main areas where the region has major assets: the creative economy and the sustainable Mediterranean,
► adopt an approach of social and regional innovation, particularly as regards sustainable development (the environmental quality of production materials and processes).
The Réseau Régional de l’Innovation (regional innovation network) -

The RRI (regional innovation network) run by Méditerranée Technologies is one of the tools for implementing the Regional Innovation Strategy (SRI). It consists of nearly 70 players, operating in four areas:
► incubating and creating innovative businesses: incubators, business start-up centres, the CEEI (European Centre for Enterprise and Innovation),
► offering individual technological support to SMEs: Resource centres, CRITT (technology transfer), technological platforms,
► Regional clusters for innovation and mutually supportive economic development (PRIDES), including 11 competitiveness clusters,
► offering individual non-technological support to SMEs: training, tutoring, intellectual property, etc.).

Realisation : HORSPISTE / an(i)mage