Sophia Antipolis

Coordinates: 43°37′20″N 7°3′0″E / 43.62222°N 7.05000°E / 43.62222; 7.05000

Sophia Antipolis is a 2,400 hectare technology park in France, and as of 2021 home to 2,500 companies, valued today at more than 5.6 billion euros and employing more than 38,000 people counting more than 80 nationalities.[1][2][3][4] The park is known to be Europe's first science and technology hub.[5] The technology park is also a platform, cluster and creation-hub for start-ups.[6][7][8]

Sophia Antipolis
Aerial view of a company's HQ at Sophia Antipolis
Aerial view of a company's HQ at Sophia Antipolis
Official logo of Sophia Antipolis
Etymology: Greek: (σοφία, sophía) (wisdom), Greek: (Ἀντίπολις, antipolis) ("opposite city" from its position on the opposite side of the Var estuary from Nice, also former name of Antibes, part of the technology park)
Sophia Antipolis is located in France
Sophia Antipolis
Sophia Antipolis
Sophia Antipolis is located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Sophia Antipolis
Sophia Antipolis
Coordinates: 43°36′56″N 7°03′18″E / 43.6155°N 7.0550°E / 43.6155; 7.0550
Country France
RegionProvence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
CommunesAntibes, Biot, Mougins, Valbonne, Vallauris
Websitesophia-antipolis.fr

The "technopole" houses primarily companies in the fields of computing,[9] electronics, telecommunication, pharmacology and biotechnology.[10] Several institutions of higher learning are also located here, along with the European headquarters of W3C, ETSI, European Society of Cardiology, etc.

The park is supported by the Sophia Antipolis Foundation, which aims to support "technological and scientific innovation and research projects at the service of mankind and our environment."[11] The foundations honorary chairman is Pierre Laffitte and its president is Jean-Pierre Mascarelli, who is also president of SYMISA, the Sophia Antipolis Joint Association, which is "responsible for managing land, equipment, marketing and upkeeping the park and is involved with coordination activities for harmonious development of the technology park."

NamingEdit

Sophia Antipolis is named after Sophie Glikman-Toumarkine, the wife of French Senator Pierre Laffitte, founder of the park, and incidentally, Sophia, the Greek word for wisdom, and Antipolis, the ancient (Greek) name of a nearby seaside town Antibes. Many of the roads within the technology park have Greek names. There is a giant sculptured Greek urn as a centre-piece on one of the roundabouts.

The park is also termed a "technopole".[12][13]

HistoryEdit

Gérald Hanning was the consultant advisor to the DATAR for this industrial/scientific complex created 1970 to 1984.[citation needed]

French Senator Pierre Laffitte conceived the idea of Sophia Antipolis, calling for decentralization and "rural branch of the capital".[1]

The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the park.[1][14]

Agenda 2040Edit

An agenda named "Sophia 2040" was created to "restore the former glory of the technology park's historic centre".[15]

Further novel investments e. g. into intelligent vehicle technology have been initiated.[15][16]

LocationEdit

Much of the park falls within the commune of Valbonne, which lies northwest of Antibes and southwest of Nice, France.

Residential communityEdit

Several neighborhoods within the park area exist, which make the area attractive to live: Garbejaire, Haut-Sartoux, Saint-Philippe and the Place Sophie Laffitte.[4] The locations include typical public services such as a post office, shops, hairdressers, a primary school, sport complexes, hotels, church, children play areas, etc. The area is also surrounded by multiple golf courses and located north of the science park lies the large Regional Natural Park of the Préalpes d'Azur.[17]

The "Human Factor"Edit

In the early years, one of the main challenges of Sophia Antipolis was to relate people and to create a sense of community. The "Human Factor" is what was to distinguish the Science and Technology Park in the world as a landmark of science, invention, innovation and research.[citation needed] It was to focus on building an international environment, creating an international community. This means taking into account and improving tenant interaction, networking and cross fertilization of ideas. The concept was that bringing together people from different intellectual horizons and "making" them meet, would bring added value and generate innovation. Many professional clubs were thus launched: The Sophia business angels club, the Sophia Nordic link, Art Sophia, Telecom Valley are just a few.

Public transportEdit

 
A bus stop in Sophia Antipolis.

Several bus routes (27 urban routes and 64 school bus routes) cover the vast area of the technology park. The main bus route (Ligne A, formerly known as Ligne 1), that was redesigned in 2020, connects the central bus station of the park (Gare Routière Valbonne - Sophia Antipolis) with Antibes railway station and Juan les Pins, with bus stops at main universities such as Polytech Nice Sophia and SKEMA. Antibes railway station provides access to the Riviera coastal railway (TER Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur) with eastbound trains to Nice, Monaco and Ventimiglia, or westbound trains to Toulon and Marseille.

The technology park also has special express lines directly connecting the park with neighbouring cities:

  • Ligne 230 (Nice - Sophia Antipolis)
  • Ligne 232 (St. Laurent du Var - Sophia Antipolis)
  • Ligne 530 (Grasse - Sophia Antipolis)
  • Ligne 630 (Cannes - Valbonne)

The nearest international airport for the general public is the Nice Côte d'Azur Airport. Passengers travelling through private jets and non-scheduled flights can use the Cannes – Mandelieu Airport as an alternative.

Academic and research institutionsEdit

 
A research lab in Sophia Antipolis
 
Building belonging to Polytech Nice Sophia engineering school in Sophia Antipolis

CompaniesEdit

The technology park as of 2021 lists around 2,500 companies.[12] The park also benefits from close proximity of other large corporations in the area, e. g. Thales Alenia Space (in Cannes), IBM (La Gaude) and Schneider Electric (Carros). Furthermore, the park is near the large city of Nice and its industries.[18]

The following list is a partial selection without claim to completeness or actuality. For an up-to-date listing and map of "park stakeholders" refer to the main website.[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "History". Sophia-Antipolis. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  2. ^ "Choosing Sophia Antipolis". Sophia-Antipolis. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  3. ^ "Un projet tertiaire "écolo" signé Jean Nouvel aux portes de Sophia Antipolis". France 24 (in French). 2018-12-06. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  4. ^ a b "Live in Sophia Antipolis". Sophia-Antipolis. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  5. ^ Symisa. "50th Anniversary of Sophia Antipolis, The First Science and Technology Hub in Europe". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  6. ^ "Inauguration of the unicorn start-up Symphony in Sophia Antipolis". Invest in Côte d'Azur. 2019-07-17. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  7. ^ "Fintech : Symphony accélère à Sophia Antipolis". Les Echos (in French). 2019-07-17. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  8. ^ "Business Cluster start-ups". Sophia-Antipolis. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  9. ^ "HPE to build supercomputer for the Maison de l'Intelligence Artificielle". www.datacenterdynamics.com. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  10. ^ "Health and biotechnologies". Sophia-Antipolis. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  11. ^ "The Sophia Antipolis Foundation". Sophia-Antipolis. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  12. ^ a b "The Technology Park". Sophia-Antipolis. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  13. ^ STRATTE-MCCLURE, JOEL (2000-10-02). "A French Exception to the Science Park Rule". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  14. ^ "50 ans de Sophia Antipolis". Sophia-Antipolis (in fr-FR). Retrieved 2021-08-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  15. ^ a b "Sophia 2040". Sophia-Antipolis. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  16. ^ "Intelligent Vehicles and Mobility". Sophia-Antipolis. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  17. ^ "Accueil". Parc naturel régional des Préalpes d'Azur (in fr-FR). Retrieved 2021-08-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  18. ^ "Côte d'Azur Investment Promotion Agency - Invest in Côte d'Azur France". Invest in Côte d'Azur. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  19. ^ "Technology park stakeholders". Sophia-Antipolis. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  20. ^ Sanyas, Nil (2012-12-18). "Texas Instruments abandonnera le site de Villeneuve-Loubet l'an prochain". www.nextinpact.com (in French). Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  21. ^ Pelé, Anne-Françoise (2009-09-04). "EETimes - Wipro-NewLogic to close site in Sophia Antipolis, say employees". EETimes. Retrieved 2021-08-31.

External linksEdit