Establishment of companies: a record year for 2000 !
The 2000 assessment of CAD (French Riviera Development) proves the dynamism of the high tech French Riviera with 49 establishment of companies, expansions and 2 280 job creations.
The occasion to feel the pulse of the French Riviera economy: this is what offers CAD every year at the end of January (French Riviera Development) for its assessment meeting. Figures given by this county comity for economic promotion has an indisputable statistic value (CAD gives the number of job creations on a period of three years by companies for which it favoured the establishment or the expansion. However, its assessment shows trends and gives a general idea on the high tech activity in the county.Trends in 2000? The attraction of the French Riviera has never been so important. CAD has beaten a record: 2 280 job creations compared to 1 410 in 1999, either 61.7% more. It is a continuous progression since 1995, when it hardly reached 600. Jean-Pierre Mascarelli, the county councillor and president of the comity, explains: "Our territory confirms its excellent attraction and proves its ability to hide some of its weaknesses, in particular the paucity of property products".49 new establishments.In total, 49 companies came to set up during the year 2000. A few companies have succeeded: Sonics (50 jobs), Commerce One (70 jobs), Corvis (80 jobs), Mariner Networks (40 jobs), Quescom (50 jobs), Piaggio Aero (60 jobs), esual software (35 jobs), Euro909 (50 jobs), Solid information technology (80 jobs), the poll organization CSA-TMO (300 jobs) etc. In total, more than 1 400 jobs, which have to be created within 3 years too. However, it is worth noting that some companies such as Solid Information Technology (a Finish company which develops software for security on the Internet in Sophia) fulfilled this challenge in less than a year.High tech pioneers are growing. Another interesting point: the expansions decided in 2000 and which are already in progression for most of them, were operated by important pioneers of the high tech on the French Riviera. Thus for the 880 jobs announced, the biggest part comes from Alcatel Space (450 jobs for the satellites manufacturer of Cannes), Texas Instruments (200 jobs) and IBM (50 jobs).The USA are in the lead. French companies remain in the lead, always in terms of job creations via the CAD. It is worth noting a few creations or relocations in the Paris area: UDCast and Activia, two start-ups coming from laboratories of the INRIA and with a promising future, Quescom, esual software, NGSET, Trusted Logic which left the capital to ensure their development on the French Riviera. However, the foreign country the most active remains the United States (771 jobs) followed by Scandinavian countries with Finland in the lead. The German market, very active in 1999 (arrivals of Mannesman VDO, Infineon, SAP), revealed to be more lifeless.The conquering NTIC. In 2000, there was no doubt about it: NTIC were the driving force of the high tech expansion for establishments just as well as expansions of the 55 companies that CAD took stock of. Thus 91% of jobs were created in the sector of New technologies of information and communication. Moreover, the Riviera has succeeded to attract its first call centre, with the poll organization CSA-TMO, which knew how to settle in premises fitted out by an investor on the avenue Jean Médecin in Nice (about ten call centre files had no effects because of the lack of premises). However, the call centre is also part of the NTIC sector. The health sector, second pole of excellence on the French Riviera, remained very discreet.Failures. If the demand of establishment and expansion was very supported, however, there were several property problems. They are very fragile in Sophia Antipolis where the recovery wasn't anticipated, but also in Nice. The only matter of satisfaction: the lack of property offer on the research park particularly enabled a spreading on the areas near Sophia Antipolis such as in Mouans-Sartoux, Antibes and Nice (the Arenas is particularly full and is planning new developments).Second problem: The PAT subsidy (National planning) wasn't granted in 2000. New rules are being created and the French Riviera hopes to benefit from these subsidies aimed to attract companies , which exceeded 26 million francs in 1999. Results of the property paucity and the lack of subsidies: the loss of several contracts as the ones of the e-laser call centre which should have been set up in the premises of IBM, Fortis and e-loan (however, CAD didn't get back to the Danone contract). Despite these problems and these few failures, the high tech Riviera hasn't been in such a good position than in 2000.