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Page history last edited by Brian D Butler 8 years, 1 month ago



Table of Contents:





see also: 






Located in Western Europe, France is the second largest market in Europe with 60 million consumers. It is also a leading nation for attracting global technology organizations. Companies from the biotechnology, electronic components, computer hardware, software and telecommunications sectors are being attracted to France by its high levels of research capability, variety of sites for technology companies and a skilled workforce. In 1998/99, foreign direct investment into France from the technology sector overtook investment levels from the automotive sector for the first time.


There are more than 8,000 overseas companies in France and over 400 international companies have established R&D operations including Pfizer, IBM, Lucent Technologies, Netscape Communications, Novartis and Motorola. These companies operate in Europe’s largest software market and the second largest producer of computers, peripherals and telecommunications equipment.


As well as a number of internationally renowned Universities, France has also established specialist public research agencies. These agencies work closely with industry and include INSERM (the National Institute of Health and Medical Research) and CEA (the Atomic Energy Authority).




Politics - France & the EU:



Why join the EU?

"France alone could not hope to match the global superpowers. France needed to be allied with other European countries, and above all with Germany. " Read more: France's Strategy | Stratfor 



Geopolitical Strategy  - 

Read this excellent report: France's Strategy | Stratfor 





State direction in france is a key concept... read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirigisme



Human rights:

see human rights



French Revolution



Its interesting that ideas from the US were exported to France, but that they didnt stick.   War broke out, and revolution, but then they went back to monarchy.  Is this a lesson that "transferring" what works in one part of the world to another might not work, with different culture, history, etc.


Note:  "The example of the American Revolution showed them that it was plausible that Enlightenment ideals about governmental organization could be put into practice. Some of the American revolutionaries, such as Benjamin Franklin, had stayed in Paris where they were in frequent contact with French intellectuals. Furthermore, contact between the American revolutionaries and the French troops who had assisted them resulted in the spread of revolutionary ideals to the French"


Or, maybe the lesson is not to get involved in foreign wars, as French support for US independence ran the French government into debt (its ironic then that the US later re-exported the ideals of "enlightenment" back to France which led to the revolution:


"Another cause was the fact that Louis XV fought many wars, bringing France to the verge of bankruptcy, and Louis XVI supported the colonists during the American Revolution, exacerbating the precarious financial condition of the government."


read more:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution





Telecom Market in France


French operators have the highest profit margins in Europe, and an iPhone costs much more in France than in Austria or Britain, for example. To preserve their comfortable position, the incumbents have lobbied using themes which resonate with politicians—that lower profits could trigger job cuts, strikes and more outsourcing to Asia.  read more from the Economist


Investment Promotion Agency:


Mr Bernard Yvetot

Invest in France

2 avenue Velasquez






tel: +33 (0) 1 40 74 73 12

fax: +33 (0) 1 40 74 73 26






Places in France


- Calais region Calais Amiens Lille Valenciennes Lens Dunkerque Caen Cherbourg- Central Eastern France Grenoble Macon St Etienne Loire Lyon Savoie Rhone-Alpes Chalon-sur-Saône Clermont Ferrand- Eastern France Metz Alsace Lorraine Moselle Strasbourg Nancy Vosges Haute Alsace Belfort- Ile de France (Paris) Paris Cergy-Pontoise Saint-Denis Essonne- Mediterranean France Nimes Montpellier Nice Perpignan Sophia Antipolis Toulon Corsica Cote d’Azur Languedoc Aix-en-Provence Arles Marseille Provence- Paris Basin Le Havre Orleans Bourgogne Normandy Ardennes Le Mans-Sarthe Chartres Reims Aisne Troyes-Champagne- South Western France Bordeaux Toulouse Midi-Pyrenees- Western France Brest Limoges Nantes Cholet Rennes Blois




Calais region

Nord-Pas de Calais is in the North of France, to the south of the Nordic Countries. It shares a 350 km border with Belgium on its north-eastern side. Economically speaking Nord-Pas de Calais is located in the Southern section of the wealthiest area in Europe. The region offers direct access to the highest purchasing power in the European Union: 100 million consumers and capital cities including London, Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris all lie within a 180-mile radius. Nord-Pas de Calais is on the Paris -Amsterdam route, Europe's third busiest and has easy access to Brussel-Zaventem, Paris-Roissy and Lille Airports.


Sectors which attract the largest number of investors in the region include mail order, transport and logistics, financial services, automobiles, food, electronics, IT & telecoms.


Global companies who have moved into the region include PPG USA, Ingram,

Delphi Harrison, Calsonic, Caterpillar, Sun Microsystems, Toyota, Asahi Glass, Yoshida KK, Ericsson and Unilever.


Nord-Pas de Calais offers investors the appeal of a workforce that is highly skilled and one of the most youthful in any part of France — 38% of the population is under 25.


The region is home to 7 Universities, 7 Higher Business & Management Schools, 3 International Upper Schools, 257 training courses for vocational training certificates and 400 training institutions which provide more than 200,00 people with vocational training courses.


There is a population of 6500 research workers spread across 251 research laboratories, including well known names such as the Institut Pasteur.


Investment Promotion Agency:


Sabine Macrez

Chief Communications Officer

NFX - Nord France eXperts

Espace International

299 Boulevard de Leeds






tel: +33 (0) 359 562 300

fax: +33 (0) 359 562 301



Calais is a city in northern France, in the Nord Pas-de-Calais region. It is situated opposite Dover in England and acts as the eastern terminus of the Channel Tunnel. It is the most important cross-Channel ferry terminal on the French side of the Dover Strait and one of the chief ports for trade with England.


Industries represented in Calais include chemicals, automotive, metallurgy, aerospace, electronics, food processing and tourism







Amiens is a city in the north of France, capital of the Somme Department in the region of Picardy. A motorway network links the city to Paris and rail services provide connections to Lille, London and Lyon. The Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport is 1h15 minutes away and there is a business airport in the Greater Amiens area which offers access to Europe's largest business centers.


The city has a diversified industrial base including machinery, metal goods, chemicals, and perfumes. International companies located in the area include Dunlop Sumitomo, Eurolysine, Goodyear, Groupe Alliance, Honeywell, Procter & Gamble, Valéo and Whirlpool. The region is also well known for its dynamic domestic sector of small and medium businesses.


To house these companies, there are six business parks in the Greater Amiens region including Ecopolis, which is a tax free zone and Europamiens which is focused on attracting technology companies.


Amiens is the seat of the University of Picardy, which is known for its specialist research in areas such as biotechnology, new materials, biomedical engineering and multimedia.




Lille is situated in the Nord pas de Calais region of France. It is located on the north-south transit axis between Rotterdam and Spain with close links to Belgium and under one hour away from Paris by rail. As testimony to its strong geographic position, the northern France region represents over 40% of the European mail order industry. Companies operating in the mass marketing and mail-order selling sectors are Auchan, La Redoute, Les 3 Suisses, Decathlon, Kiabi and Norauto. Sun Microsystems has also set up a center in Lille to offer assistance in computer applications for mail-order and mass-marketing businesses.


On the back of its strength in e-commerce and mail-order, Lille has attracted large numbers of companies from the telecommunications, temporary work and training provider sectors. There are 33 telecommunication companies in the Lille metropolis providing services to the direct marketing sector and 102 temporary work agencies, including Adecco, Central Interim 2000, Manpower and Randstad. In training support, the Masters in Direct Marketing is the only course in France specifically tailored for the mail-order business.


Lille is also home to some well-known names in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industry: Anios, Sofamor, Danek, Medtronic, Macopharma, and Schering. The University of Lille, with its Schools of Pharmacy and odontology, is a training ground for this sector.


Other special training is provided by the many engineering schools of Lille, including, the National Higher School of Chemistry of Lille and the Electronic Higher Institute of the Nord Region.


Investment Promotion Agency:


Lille Metropole Development Agency

2 place du Concert






tel: +33 (0) 3 20 21 89 89

fax: +33 (0)3 20 74 01 73



Valenciennes is the second largest urban area in the Nord- pas-de-Calais region of France. The Valenciennes area is in close proximity to 5 European countries and 5 European capitals, accessible via the motorway network. The region is also close to 3 international airports at Lille, Brussels and Roissy.


The region places great emphasis on the Multimedia sector as a major economic driver.


Valenciennes has a local University - the U.V.H.C. (Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis) There is also the U.S.T.L. (Science and Technology University of Lille) and 13 engineering schools, of which 3 are in the Valenciennes area.




Lens is located in the Nord Pas de Calais region of France. Four motorways pass through the Lens area connecting it to Paris, Lille, Calais, Reims and Dijon. Tavel time to Paris by road takes around one and a half hours. For international travel, the Lille Lesquin International Airport is only 20 minutes away and it takes just one hour to travel to the Channel Tunnel.

New poles of excellence have been developed in Lens focused on the export, trading, logistics and transport know-how sectors. Multinationals operating in the region include Alcatel, Logidis, BP Chemicals, Samsonite and Pilkington.




Dunkerque is a major French port on the North Sea coast, located only 30 minutes from the Channel Tunnel.


Dunkerque’s major sectors are plastics, fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals.


As well as these sectors, nearly 5,000 professionals work for businesses in the sea, road, rail and river transport fields, and in storage and warehousing. Dunkerque has a number of activity zones dedicated to logistics operations, offering businesses special tax arrangements and simplified Customs procedures.


Companies that have invested in the region include Ducaplast, Du Pont, Cyanamid Agri-production, Euro-Aspartame, Total, BP Mobil Elf, Coca-Cola and Nord Cacao.


Dunkerque’s workforce originates from the university (Littoral University) and specialized institutes such as the ISCID (Institut Superieur de Commerce International de Dunkerque).




Caen is the administrative and business center of the West Normandy region in France. Situated less than two hours from Paris, it is a major terminal for car-ferry traffic and freight shipping with regular crossings to England and Ireland. Its airport offers daily services to other European locations and, along with the airports in Cherbourg and Deauville, handles a combined passenger traffic of more than 120,000 people.


The leading sectors in the region are food, automotive, electronics and mechanical engineering. Two emerging sectors are plastics and healthcare.


Across the whole of West Normandy there are around 150 overseas owned companies including well-known names such as Philips, Bosch Electronics, Unilever, VIAG, Pfizer, Mitsui and Smithkline Beecham.


The University of Caen is a major asset in the West Normandy region. It offers degrees across a range of disciplines and its scientific departments are well connected with local industry




Cherbourg is on the tip of the West Normandy region in France. It is ranked as the number two location for passenger traffic among French ports, with regular crossings to England and Ireland. It is also the European port of entry for Toyota, which imports around 50,000 cars per year. Its airport offers connections to other major European cities and a high speed train service links Cherbourg to Brussels in 6 and a half hours.


The leading sectors in the region are food, automotive, electronics and mechanical engineering. Two emerging sectors are plastics and healthcare.


Across the whole of West Normandy there are around 150 overseas owned companies including well-known names such as Philips, Bosch Electronics, Unilever, Viag, Pfizer, Mitsui and Smithkline Beecham.


These investors are supported by a strong research network of private R&D centers and publicly funded institutes.



Central Eastern France

Central Eastern France is the country's second largest economic region after Ile de France/Paris. The main business locations in this region include Lyon, Grenoble, Clermont Ferrand and St Etienne.


Being adjacent to the Swiss and Italian borders and the cities of Geneva and Turin, the region is a popular destination for many European businesses.




Grenoble-Isère is located in the Rhone-Alpes region of France. The region is served by two international airports - Lyon-Satolas and Geneva-Cointrin - with connections across Europe and direct flights to New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Singapore.


Grenoble has a powerful advanced microelectronics capability and considerable software expertise. STMicroelectronics has recently announced plans to locate a second research and production facility in Grenoble-Isère in 2002. Other key investments include Soitec, the world's leading manufacturer of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) planning the construction of a second production unit to handle 300 mm SOI wafers; Applied Materials has opened a European Conversion Centre in the area and Sun Microsystems has announced plans to open a new telecommunications software research and development centre.


Locally-grown start-ups add to the dynamic mix of companies, including Arexys, Design & Reuse, Memscap, Dolphin Integration, Polyspace Technologies, OpsiTech and Xenocs.


55,000 people study at Grenobles’ four universities. There are 17,000 researchers employed in 220 laboratories and 5 national and European research centers specialising in areas such as telecommunications, molecular biology and automation. Two new telecommunications engineering schools have been opened recently. Corporate research institutes are funded by companies including Arjomari-Wiggins-Appleton, Air Liquide, Sun Microsystems and Xerox.




Close to Paris, the Loire region is situated less than 3 hours from the major European cities of London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Milan, Turin, and Madrid.


The region is the second ranking in France for health/beauty care, rubber/plastics and publishing-graphic arts. It also has strong sectors in the aeronautics and electronics fields.


In the electronic equipment field, the region has particular specialists in optics and picture processing. Companies leading the way are SGS Thomson Microelectronics and Alcatel.


Two out of 5 medications are produced in the region with most of the major pharmaceutical names represented - Abbott, Pfizer, Novartis, Parke Davis, Rhone Poulenc Rorer, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Wyeth.

There are 2 universities (Tours and Orleans) in the area along with 6 engineering schools. These institutions work to provide the labor which the major multinationals need to succeed.




Lyon is the second largest metropolitan area in France and is the capital of the Rhône-Alpes region - which ranks second in France and eighth in Europe in terms of economic volume. Lyon is at the center of a network of five major highways that link the principal European markets. In addition, the airport at Satolas, the high-speed train and the Rhône river are also factors that make the city a first-rate logistics location.


The Lyon region leads the rankings in a number of sectors including health, biotechnologies, chemicals, textile, environment, information technologies, mechanical engineering, agro-food, materials and service companies. The strength of these industries is sustained by the presence of some leading investors such as Framatone, Renault , Valeo Lafarge, Téfal, Carbone Industrie and Novalis Fibres. Other well-known companies are Merck, Rhone-Poulenc, Vivendi and Lyonnaise des Eaux.


Lyon is one of Europe's leading centers for research and training, with 102,000 students in higher education, 7,000 researchers and 450 laboratories. Altogether, the region has 4 universities covering all the disciplines (science, health, literature, law, political science, and economics), 9 Engineering schools, 4 public administration and law schools, 19 business schools and 19 other higher education establishments.


Investment Promotion Agency:


Mr Roland Cathebras

ADERLY (Lyon Ecomomic Dev Agency)

3, place de la Bourse


Cedex 02





tel: +33 (0) 4 72 40 57 50

fax: +33 (0) 4 72 40 57 35





Savoie is located in the Rhone-Alpes region of France and acts as a transit zone for Belgium, the Netherlands, England and Italy. It has a high density road and motorway system and two international airports within 1 hour and three regional airports. The presence of over 150 transport companies having operations in the region gives evidence to Savoie’s strategic location.


Sectors represented in Savoie include eco-industries and the information technology and communications sector.


Companies located in the region include Disalp in mass marketing, Hewlett Packard, Becton Dickinson, Caterpillar, Hexcel, ABB, Nestlé, Sandoz, Hoechst, Alstom, Pirelli, Akzo Nobel, Philips and numerous IT companies such as Sema Group, Cap Gemini and Infogrames.


The region is home to 220 laboratories and 17,000 research workers. The university has approximately 11,500 students. In addition are two engineering schools, an IUT (Technical Institute) with 8 departments, and four IUPs (Professional Institutes).





The Rhone-Alpes region of France is located in the south east part of the country. It is home to two international airports at Lyon and Geneva and the high-speed train means travel times into the center of Paris of less than 2 hours. The region’s economy, second in France after Paris, is based on industry sectors such as biotechnology & pharmaceuticals, automotive, electronics, subcontracting and plastics, with 20% of the plastics industry being located in “plastics valley” in the region.


Major investors include Aventis (Rhône-Poulenc Hoechst), Air Liquide, Becton-Dickinson, Bosch, Alcatel, Hewlett-Packard, Digital Equipement, EDS, Howmedica, Kodak, Monsanto, Schering Plough, Sun Microsystems, UPS and Xerox.




Chalon-sur-Saône is the largest industrial town on the axe Paris – Lyon. Located in Southern Burgundy at the centre of a motorway network giving easy access to all of France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Southern Germany, it is equally well served by the TGV and international airports.


Chalon-Sur-Saône is the location for many companies involved with logistics as well as leading French companies such as AREVA/Framatone. Foreign owned companies include Kodak, International Paper, BETZ and Philips Eclairage.


As a leading centre for the image industries, Chalon-Sur-Saône is developing a major project called Nicéphore Cité. Nicéphore Cité has received considerable European and regional funding and is a resource base for image, sound and virtual reality. It will consist of laboratories, business accommodation, permanent and temporary exhibitions, a photography and image museum, cafes and restaurants. Many of Chalon-Sur-Saônes’ education establishments are also involved with the image industries such as ENSAM University which offers a masters degree in virtual reality.


One development of note is Nicéphore Cité - named after Nicéphore Niépce the inventor of photography born in Chalon-Sur-Saône. Nicéphore Cité is a development of modern and ancient buildings situated by the river Saône. It has received considerable European and regional funding and is the extension of an ongoing project to establish Chalon-Sur-Saône as a major centre for the image industries.


Nicéphore Cité will comprise an image laboratory, business premises, permanent and temporary exhibitions, a photography and image museum, cafés and restaurants. Nicéphore Cité works closely with the towns’ universities such as ENSAM which offers a masters degree in virtual reality. Equally other institutions in the town such as the Média-Pôle and Image Institute have contributed to the progression of the utilisation of virtual reality in industry with development projects being carried out on behalf of leading motor vehicle manufacturers. As well as public bodies, Nicéphore Cité is supported by organisations such as EDF, France Telecom, Kodak, AREVA/Framatone, Saint Gobain and some of France’s leading banks.


Investment Promotion Agency:



23, Avenue Georges Pompidou

Chalon sur Saône


BP 151








Clermont Ferrand

Auvergne is one of the 22 French regions and is the number one region in France for polymer and rubber products. Other activities carried out in the region involve the pharmaceutical, instrumentation, transportation and aviation sectors.


Global manufacturers such as Michelin, Merck, Aluminium Pechiney, Peugeot Automobiles, AKZO, Hoechst and Sumitomo have operations in the region.


Auvergne has an excellent training and education system: two universities with 43,000 students, with specialized departments in Law, Business Administration, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry and biotechnology and Computer Sciences. There are many technical schools which cover areas as diverse as metal working, office management and agri-business and food technology.


European and national and regional incentive programs and private assistance from Michelin and Danone for example, can provide unique set-up conditions dedicated to foreign industrial newcomers



Eastern France

Eastern France


Eastern France is one of the most economically active industrial regions in Europe. Sharing a border with Germany, the region includes the cities of Strasbourg, Metz, Nancy and Dijon and the sub-regions of Alsace and Lorraine.


Its strategic location at the crossroads of Europe has helped create a huge logistics industry and a skilled and often multilingual workforce has attracted many overseas hi-tech companies.





Metz is located in the Moselle department, in the Lorraine region of France. The department of Moselle borders onto Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium. This enables an easy flow of traffic and people between the three countries. There are three airports within a radius of 80 km of Metz; Metz-Nancy-Lorraine, Saarbrücken-Ensheim and Luxembourg Findel.


The main sectors of economic activity in Metz are the automotive and electronics sectors. In the automotive sector, companies such as Allied Signal, Continental, Delphi, GKN, ITT Automotiv, Lucas and TRW have operations the area.


The electronics sector is characterized by the presence of companies with niche skills. Merloni Elettrodomestici a subsidiary of the Italian group MERLONI, is the 4th European producer of household appliances and has a large operation in Metz. LRE, a subsidiary of the American group Leach, designs and produces electronic relays and systems for the aeronautical and space industries in the area.


Some of the companies located in Metz can be found on the Metz 2000 Technological Park. The 200-hectare park was established in 1983 and dedicated to software and communications activities. The park is home to 200 companies employing 3 500 people and 4 000 university and top level school students.

The University of Metz has nearly 20 000 students and a number of associated research institutes such as the Institute of Electronic Physics and the European ecology institute.




Alsace is situated in the East of France, offering access to major European hubs through its international airports in Strasbourg and Basel-Mulhouse, and the 6th largest train station in France, at Strasbourg. The region has a high standard of telecommunications and is often used as a test bed for new telecom products in the French market.


Five public and private universities teach 62,000 students per year, a large number of whom specialise in science subjects. Investors in the region include Eli Lilly, Ventana Medical, Johnson & Johnson, DuPont and Advanced Bionics.

With its concentration of biotechnology companies, Alsace is one of the regions in the BioValley initiative; an initiative around the Upper Rhine between Germany, France and Switzerland which aims to increase the number of companies involved in biotechnology and provide a supportive commercial infrastructure. Other sectors represented in the region include textiles, food, electronics and IT.


Investment Promotion Agency:


Alsace Development Agency

1 rue d'Alsace






tel: +33 (0) 3 89 60 30 68

fax: +33 (0) 3 89 60 10 88





Lorraine, located in the north eastern part of France, has been one of the favorite areas in France for foreign investment. Around 400 overseas companies employ 54,000 people and this number continues to grow.


Attracting companies from the North American and Asian continents, companies such as Allied Signal, General Electric, General Motors, Clarion, Minolta and Toshiba decided to locate in the area. Nestle, Solvay and Magnetti Marelli have moved in from other European states.


There are three universities in Lorraine (Metz, Nancy I, Nancy II) , with a sum of around 71 000 students. There are also 14 engineering schools. These academic bodies specialize in such areas as artificial intelligence, medical technology and linguistic communication. A number of private research institutes operate in the region, sponsored by companies including Philips Eclairage, Daewoo and Atochem.




The county of Meurthe-et-Moselle is located on the western side of France in the Lorraine region; an area with great technological and scientific potential.


The main industrial sectors in the region are metals, electronics, chemicals, logistics, automotive, agro-foods and the medical and healthcare sector.


Meurthe-et-Moselle is home to 62 foreign industrial companies employing a total of more than 9,600 people. This represents around 20 % of Meurthe-et-Moselle's industrial workforce. Investors include Kimberly Clark S.N.C. , Finnish group Kyrel, leader in the assembly of electronic components, Pneumatiques Kléber, Pont-à-Mousson S.A. and Philips Eclairage.


Nancy's universities offer a wide range of graduate and post-graduate degree courses to around 47,000 of Lorraine's 58,000 students and student engineers. Nancy boasts 3 universities:

The National Polytechnical Institute of Lorraine (INPL), federating eight National Engineering Schools as well as the Nancy School of Architecture.

The Henri Poincaré University – Nancy I, including the Faculties of Science, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacology, Physical Education, two University Institutes of Technology and three National Engineering Schools.

The University of Nancy II, comprising the Arts and Humanities Faculty, the Law, Economics and Management Faculty, a University Institute of Technology, the European Cinema and Audio-visual Institute, and the Lorraine Management Centre.




Strasbourg is located in the Alsace region of France. Paris, Lyon, Amsterdam, Prague and Milan are all within a 400-500 kilometre radius, making Strasbourg the 15th European city in terms of accessibility by road, and 11th in Europe as regards accessibility by rail. Strasbourg International Airport offers regular flights to ten French cities and twenty two foreign cities. The international airports at Frankfurt and Zurich are both two hours away and the Euroairport in Basel-Mulhouse is only an hour away. With over 250,000 inhabitants, Strasbourg is the 6th most populated city in France.


In the last few years, Strasbourg has seen rapid growth in its high-technology sector, supported by newly established applied research laboratories and university research units. The chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry is another growth industry and the city is the second largest banking and financial center in France after Paris.


Companies who have moved in to the city include the Kodak Clinical Diagnostics, Transgène, IMMUNO and Lilly France.


Strasbourg is the leading French city for the number of researchers, engineers and technicians in relation to the total population. Research is particularly focused in biology, medicines, chemistry and space sciences. The region is home to three Universities; Louis Pasteur University, one of the largest scientific, technological and medical universities in France, the Humanities University and Robert Schumann University.


Research centers established in Strasbourg include the Genetics and Molecular Biology Institute and the Illkirch Innovation Centre




Nancy is the largest area in the Lorraine region, on the east side of France. Located close to the borders of Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany, the city has easy access to the major European markets. A dense motorway network links Nancy directly to Paris, Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Lyons. Nancy is also within reach of the international airports at Luxembourg and Saarbrucken.


Areas of particular strength in Nancy include electronic publishing, internet services, customer relationship management services, software engineering, data processing, multimedia and IT management.


There are around 100 overseas companies in the region with major international groups such as Deutsche Post, QPL International Holding, GTS Omnicom, Hays, United Paper Mills, International Tube Trading and Siemens-Bosch.


Nancy has a strong service sector with trade and services accounting for over 75% of employment in the area, staffed by a young and well-educated workforce. Nancy has been awarded the title of ‘European University Center’ with three universities and several prestigious national training schools (9 of which are specialized in engineering studies.) Over 48,000 students live and study in and around the area.


There are also a number of research institutes such as CNRS (National center for scientific research,) INIST Institute for scientific and technical information and INSERM (National Institute for health and medical research.) Added to which are the private research centers such sponsored by companies such as Pont-a-Mousson and Pneumatiques Kleber




Vosges is located in the Moselle department in the Lorraine region of France. International travel is possible via airports at Nancy and Strasbourg Mulhouse.


Firms operating in the metalworking sector are the leading employers, exporters and investors in the Vosges region with a total of 11,000 employees across 130 companies.


Vosges employers pull on a graduate supply from four local universities; Nancy European University Center, Metz, Strasbourg and Mulhouse. There are twenty Occupational Training Colleges in the region which offer courses across a range of technical subjects. Vosges is also home to the Institute of Business Administration.



Haute Alsace

Haute-Alsace is located in the east of France on the border with Germany.

The key areas of expertise in the area are automotive, equipment/mechanics/industrial automation, textiles, chemistry, risk management – environment, holography, information & communications technology, biotechnology and medicines.

Fundamental research is being carried out in each of these 9 areas and to assist this an infrastructure has been developed to accommodate researchers, training providers and companies.

A Biocenter houses more than 200 individuals and offers facilities such as greenhouses, vineyards, analytical and research laboratories, conference rooms, libraries, a computer network and links to international networks. Haute-Alsace also houses the only technology transfer center specializing in holography in France.


Companies who have located in the region include Mitsui, RMC, Clemessy, Sharp, Bull, TDE Informatique, Sony, Ricoh, Alphasoft, ITT and Solora Engieneering.


The University of Haute-Alsace has a strong record in working closely with local industry as shown by the collaborative project involving the university Thomson CSF and a local company, Faesch Process and Technology, to develop sensor applications.




Belfort is located in eastern France at the intersection of three countries - Germany, Switzerland and France. This position enables easy access into these countries and proximity to the international airport at Basle-Mulhouse offers travel to further destinations. There is a large regional motorway link-up with other areas in France and the development of the fast speed rail service will place Belfort just 2 hours from Paris, Stuttgart and Turin.

Companies who have invested in the region include Sony, Ricoh, Sharp, Becker, Transac, Behr, ITT, CEB Emerson, Gigastorage, ITW and Anabel, the Canadian software company.


There are 4 science parks in Belfort as well as a technopark, which is centered around the French National Telecommunications College and the National School of Engineering. There are around 25 tenants on the park engaged in the computer technology, electronic and industrial automation sectors. There is also an ‘aeroparc’, created on a NATO aerodrome base.


As well as the University of Belfort, other academic institutes/research centers in the area include ESTA Higher school of technology and business, ENIBE, the national engineering school, IGE Institute of energy engineering and CREEBEL which looks at research into electrotechnics.


Investment Promotion Agency:


ADEBT (Belfort Economic Dev Agency)

1 rue Morimont








tel: +33 (0) 3 84 21 29 82

fax: +33 (0) 3 84 22 76 80




Ile de France (Paris)

Ile-de-France (Paris), with its eleven million inhabitants, is the biggest regional economy in France. The region is well connected to the rest of Europe and international connections are via the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, two of the world’s busiest hubs.


Almost 66 per cent of the labor force in Ile de France works within the services sector and global investors within the region include Sykes Enterprises, Cable & Wireless, Cégétel, Esprit Télécom, Eunetcom, MFS-Worldcom and Nortel.


There are seventeen universities in the region including the world renowned Université de Paris I, Créteil Université de Paris VIII and Versailles Université de Paris X, along with four new universities opened in the last ten years.


There are also a large number of major research organizations in the region, such as the CEA (Atomic Energy Commission), INRIA (National Institute of Research into Information Technology and Automation) and CNET (National Telecommunications Research Center.) The region handles half of all the research work done in France.


The region boasts an extensive fiber optic network ensuring the transmission of a vast quantity of information with optimal transmission conditions and absolute secured access. It also links the economic nerve centers in the outer ring with each other and with Paris.



Investment Promotion Agency:


Ms Marie Davezac

Communication Manager

Invest Ile de France

Resource Center

94 bis

avenue de Suffren






tel: +33 (0) 1 53 85 62 00

fax: +33 (0) 1 53 85 62 09



Paris is a well-known hot spot for high technology and research in Europe. Airport facilities in the Paris-Ile de France region are the second most extensive in Europe. Two international airports are located close to the city center with Charles de Gaulle 30 minutes travel and Orly only 20 minutes. Paris offers high-speed rail links to Brussels (1h28) and London (3h) by Thalys and Eurostar, as well as Cologne and Amsterdam.


Paris plays host to 2,400 foreign companies, 420 foreign banks and 38 "Fortune 500 International" company headquarters (ranking second in the world after Tokyo) Companies include Rhone Poulenc, Pechiney and Total. In the IT sector, Alcatel CIT, Siemens Nixdorf, Motorola, NEC, Apple, Lotus, Microsoft, Compaq, IBM, Hewlett Packard and Sun Microsystems have all made investments in the city.


The technology sectors are buoyant in Paris – with IT, telecoms and pharmaceuticals showing particular growth. This is assisted by a huge research capability which ranks Paris first in Europe in its number of researchers per million inhabitants. More than 50% of the French research potential is concentrated in and around Paris.


This research is concentrated at the city’s universities and in the world renowned research centers, such as INT (the National Telecommunications Institute,) ENSTA (the Paris Higher National School of Advanced Technologies) and INRIA (the National Computer Science and Automation Research Center).




The French departement of Val d'Oise is ideally situated at the "entrance" to the central Paris area. Gennevilliers-sur-Seine, France's largest container port, is just minutes away and the high speed train station at Roissy-Charles De Gaulle airport means direct trains to Belgium, England, and the mains cities in France.


One of the major assets in the area, the Charles de Gaulle airport, is one of Europe’s most efficient and busiest airports. Business park developments around the airport have attracted companies such as Raychem, Nixdorf, 3M, Imation, Spie Batignolles, BP, Johnson, General Motors, Dassault, Lucas Aerospace, Câbles de Lyon, Sagem, JVC, Delphi and Sharp.


These companies cover a wide range of activities, with a particular emphasis on technology-based industries such as computer hardware, industrial equipment and electronics. As evidence of the importance of the high-tech sectors, the region produces more industrial robots than any other area in France.


The university in Cergy-Pontoise provides the necessary workforce to enable the region to continue its growth in leading edge technology sectors.




Essonne is one of the most important counties in the Greater Paris region.


Its research and higher-education assets consist of about 12% of the research professorships in the Ile-de-France region, more than 20% of Ile-de-France’s total output of scientific publications and 22% of the region’s graduate students. Overall, there are 20,000 public and private researchers and 50,000 students. Essonne thus boasts a top-quality scientific sector that merits strengthening and development.


These scientific resources combine with dynamic industrial development, as evidenced by the presence of major companies headquarters (Ariane Espace, Microsoft, HP, Accor, Carrefour, Innothera). These companies have chosen Essonne both for its close proximity to Paris and its excellent infrastructure (including Orly Airport and Massy TGV high-speed train station, which serves Roissy Airport).



Mediterranean France

The southern coast of France stretches from the Italian border close to Nice to the Spanish border near Perpignan. This Mediterranean coastline boasts some of the world's most famous destinations including Monaco, Cannes, St Tropez, as well as leading cities and urban areas such as Nice and Marseille.


This region is one of Europe's wealthiest and is home to some of the largest clusters of high technology anywhere in the world. The science park at Sophia Antipolis is just one example of the new economy strength of this region.


With excellent universities, good communications and hundreds of high tech investors, the region is at the forefront of economic change in the new Europe. Many observers are beginning to draw parallels between the south of France and the west coast of the US, as southern Europe's sunbelt attracts young affluent skilled workers.


Investment Promotion Agency:





tel: + 42 (0) 2 9634 2500

fax: + 42 (0) 2 9634 2502




Montpellier is located in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France with Paris reachable in 4 hours by high speed train. Direct motorway links are available to Barcelona, Geneva and Milan. Montpellier Mediterranee is France’s eighth airport and has 10 daily direct flights to Paris, daily flights to London and Amsterdam and regular links to other European cities.


The city is particularly strong in the IT, software development, robotics, advanced telecommunications, agri-business and healthcare & biotech sectors.


There are a number of science parks in the area dedicated to specialist sectors. Euromedicine is a 400 acre Science Park which has attracted more than 200 companies in the medical field, Agropolis Science Park is home to Europe’s highest concentration of agronomists and the Millenaire Science Park is a 100 acre prime site dedicated to the IT sector.


Montpellier is part of the French genepole network of 5 biotechnology centers of excellence. There are over 120 biotech research labs and a graduate base of over 15,000 students taking scientific courses. The medical research in Montpellier is particularly focused on genomic biotechnology and the Human Genome Project.


Multinationals in the area include IBM, Dell, Cap Gemini, France Telecom, Genesys, Novartis, Sanofi, Arkopharma, and Palm Computing.




Nice is the capital of the Cote d’Azur region in the south of France. Five minutes from the city center is the Nice Cote d'Azur International Airport and access to a national road network provides connections to other locations in France.


Nice plays an important role in attracting high technology companies, particularly in the fields of health, data processing, telecommunications, multimedia and image.


One of the great assets of Nice is its proximity to the Sophia Antipolis science park and university - one of the largest clusters of technology companies in Europe.


The University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis provides instruction to over 30,000 students. Along side the universities a well developed vocational training system exists. This provides opportunities in many fields at centers such as the University of Technology. In addition, all the prestigious french national universities (les grandes Ecoles Nationales Françaises) are accessible to local students after classes conducted at the Massena High School, one of France's most successful schools.

High quality specialized courses can also be found in Nice including ESSI (Advanced school for Information sciences), ENSMP (Paris's National Mining School for Advanced Studies), CNAM (National Arts and Trades Conservatory) and the University of Canada.




Perpignan is located within the formidable Montpellier, Toulouse, Barcelona triangle. Its local airport offers access to other European cities.


Perpignan is home to a high-tech activity zone, Tecnosud which is situated only a few hundred meters from the university. Founded in 1994, the site is intended particularly for companies working in multi-media and research in energetics. One of the companies which has moved onto the site is Tecsol, a company specializing in solar energy applications and multi-media. A technology hall offers laboratory space and there is also a center for training apprentices



Sophia Antipolis

The Sophia Antipolis science park is located in the South of Europe on the French Riviera, between Nice and Cannes. Sophia Antipolis is established on a vast wooded plateau and presently covers 2,300 hectares, or a quarter the size of Paris. Planned extension to the north of the present Park in the near future will increase this area to 4,600 hectares.


A total of 1,164 companies, 20,530 engineers and technicians, 5,000 researchers and students have chosen to locate in Europe's leading science park.


The information technologies, electronics, advanced telecommunications sector is the most important, including both world leaders in data processing and telecommunications and a broad range of service companies specializing in production of equipment as well as in the development of software. Another vibrant sector is the medical and chemical sciences, advanced chemistry and biotechnologies sector which has 53 corporations and 2,000 employees.


The park has attracted technology companies from the domestic and international scene. Companies such as Thomson Marconi Sonar, Legrand, Schneider Electric, Compaq, Andersen Consulting, SITA, Nortel Networks, Siemens, Rhone-Poulenc-Agro, Amitis, Allergan, Dow Agrosciences and NMT Implants.


The region houses 66 higher education, training and research establishments. Some of the larger institutes are National Research Institute in Data Processing and Automation, National center in telecommunications studies, Research into corporate communication and Research and education center in computer science and applied mathematics.




Toulon is a commercial and industrial city in south eastern France. The city lies on the Mediterranean Sea about 50 km east of Marseille.


The city's economy is based on shipbuilding, engineering industries, petroleum refining, wine making, food processing and the production of chemicals.

The University of Toulon is a multidisciplinary university which has 5 faculties, a university institute of technology with 8 departments and an engineering school. Toulon has a student population of around 9000 people.




Corsica is an island in the heart of the Mediterranean. By plane, Corsica is around two hours from the main capitals and only forty minutes from Nice and Marseille, with several flights a day. With its beautiful climate and its protected environment Corsica has exceptional assets.

The region has two departments, Northern Corsica and Southern Corsica, which is 1,6% of the French national territory with a population of over 250.000 inhabitants.


The most dynamic sectors in the Corsican economy are aquaculture, aeronautics, data-processing, research and development and tele services.


The Pascal Paoli University established in Corte provides a wide range of training.

Specialized research laboratories like the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Office for Geological and Mining Research (BRGM), the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) and the French Institute of Research for the Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER) are also located in the region.



Cote d’Azur

The Côte d'Azur - known as the French Riviera in English-speaking nations – is located in the heart of Southern Europe, between Barcelona and Turin, and includes the towns of Cannes, Antibes, Nice, Monaco. It forms a metropolitan area of around one million inhabitants.


Telecommunications and Information Technology on the Côte d'Azur cover a wide range of industries - from computing and multimedia to space, information processing, on-line services and networking. The presence of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute encourages many companies to locate in the region.

So also does the Sophia Antipolis Science Park, one of the largest concentrations of new economy companies in the world.

Among its other areas of expertise, the Côte d’Azur has won an international reputation for its research on molecular signalization and pharmacology, which accounts for a large part of the life sciences sector’s activity, involving both research institutes and pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies with a worldwide reach


Leading brand international companies who have located in the Côte d’Azur include Alcatel Space Industries, Amadeus, Allergan, Cadence Design Systems, Cisco Systems, Honeywell International, Lucent Technologies, NMT Neurosciences and SAP Labs, to name only a few.


Investment Promotion Agency:


Serge Lambert

Projects Manager

Cote D'Azur Development

10 rue de la Prefecture

BP 4147






tel: +33 (0) 4 92 17 51 51

fax: +33 (0) 4 93 80 05 76




Languedoc-Roussilon is a region located in France in the South of Europe, on the Mediterranean sea, midway between Italy and Spain. The administrative center of the region is in Montpellier.


With four universities, nine state research organizations, more than 200 public and private laboratories and 9000 researchers, Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the leading regions in France for R&D – particularly in the food industry, information technology, health industry and biomedical sectors. Agropolis is the largest Mediterranean and tropical agronomy research and training complex in Europe with 21 national and international laboratories and 2000 researchers and academic staff.


The region boasts the second highest rate of start-ups/company creation in France. It also offers excellent opportunities for wood products or paper industry projects, logistics projects and call center activities.




Aix-en-Provence is in the Provence region in the South of France. It sits at a highway crossroad, which connects the area with Italy, Spain and Belgium, as well as other domestic locations. The Marseille-Provence international airport is less than 20 minutes away and offers direct flights to all major European cities and 40 trips daily to Paris.


A young population resides in the area. Out of a total population of 200 000, 40 000 are students.


The area is recognized for its strengths in micro-electronics, computer and industrial engineering and environmental technologies. Companies locating in Pays d’Aix can choose from one of the many industrial parks across the region. One such park is the Arbois Mediterranean Europole Project.


The Universities of Aix-Marseille I, II, and III and a technical institute provide training for the workforce.




Located midway between Spain and Italy, the region of Arles is developing a diversified local economy based on a network of 6000 Small and Medium-sized Businesses.


The major assets in Arles are in the fields of logistics and transport, sea and river based industries, photography, publishing and multimedia and agro-foodstuffs.


In the area of photo-image multimedia, Arles is home to a top-level training center situated in the National Photography School. The University of Marseille is also accessible from the region.


Investment Promotion Agency:


CCI du Pays d'Arles

Av de la 1'ere division de la France libre

BP 39






tel: +33 (0) 4 90 99 08 06

fax: +33 (0) 4 90 96 07 10





Marseille is France's second largest city, with a population of 800,000 rising to 2.4 million for the the urban region. It is home to 90,000 students and 60 consulates, and boasts France's second largest group of scientists with 10,000 research specialists and two technology parks.


The city is gaining new momentum, driven by a market economy open to the world and advances in information and communications, science and technology. In so doing, it is consolidating its pivotal role as a center for decision-making in southern Europe. Recent investments include AOL's new southern European customer center creating 600 new jobs and the arrival of telecoms operator Global Crossing making the city a major network hub.


Marseille is fast-gaining a reputation as a hot-bed of new economy activity, this will be strengthened by the announcement lasst year by the French government that a school for telecommunications and information systems was to be created here. This "internet school" will recruit students from across southern Europe




Provence Promotion is the Economic Development Agency of the Bouches-du-Rhone County. The area is no.1 for key industries including semiconductors (Southern-Europe), helicopters manufacturing (Worldwide), chemistry (Southern-Europe) and is becoming a major player in telecoms, call centers, logistics, R&D as well as in the movie industry.


A member of the Invest in France Network, Provence Promotion is funded by the Marseille-Provence Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the County Council. Its mission is to assist companies in starting-up new businesses in the area. Its services are free.




Paris Basin

This area includes the towns and cities outside of the Ile de France/Paris metropolitan region, and stretches from Normandy in the north to Orleans in the south.


Proximity to the capital and good access to other parts of France have attracted a diverse range of companies to the Paris Basin.




Orléans is located 70 miles south of Paris, at the junction of highways which cross into Spain and Italy. Travel times from Orleans to Paris-Orly Airport is approximately 1 hour and Paris-Roissy Charles de Gaulle, one and a half hours.


Two out of every five drugs manufactured in France are produced in Orléans, placing the region second in the country for pharmaceutical production. Other sectors which are of significant importance to the region are transportation and logistics, Electronics & Information Technology (constituting 30 % of the workforce), food and food processing and mechanical engineering & equipment (constituting 20 % of the workforce.)


The Orléans region ranks among the first 5 regions in France for welcoming foreign investment and today, 30 % of the workforce is employed by foreign companies.

The presence of major cosmetic companies in the city has made the Orléans area the French leader in the cosmetic sector, earning the name of French "Cosmetic Valley." Companies are Parke Davis (Warner Lambert), Lipha, Boiron, Christian Dior, Shiseido and Séphor. Other investors include IBM, Lexmark International, Hitachi, Alcatel, SGS Thomson Microelectronics and Cargill Foods France.


The University of Orléans makes an important contribution to the development of the region through its close ties with research centers. More than 4,000 researchers work in the public sector at 5 National Research Centers and the University, and in the private sector at companies such as Christian Dior, Novartis, Servier and Thomson.




Bourgogne is located in the east of France within easy reach of the Belgian, Swiss and German borders. It’s motorway network allows access into all of these countries as well as The Netherlands, Italy and the Paris and Lyons areas. There are four international airports (Paris-Roissy, Paris-Orly, Lyon-Satolas, Genva) within easy reach of the region along with business airports in the major cities.


A major industry in the region is photography and cinematography. The region boasts particular expertise in the area of photographic, optical and image-processing technologies. On the back of the cluster of companies and research centers, the Vallee de l’Image has been formed to act as a networking body and to continue to strengthen the sector. Other important sectors in the area include mechanical, electronics, plastics, agri-food and pharmaceuticals.


Among the major international investors in the region are; Kodak, Nestle, Sundstrand, Carringworth, Valeo, Thomson, Essilor and Faber.


There are 40,000 students at the University of Burgundy and numerous other graduate schools, specializing in business, engineering, agricultural and automotive sciences. In addition, 4,200 researchers, working in public and private research centers, carry out advanced research in various fields.




Normandy is situated in the northwestern part of France. It sits on the North-South highways which connect the region with Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the UK. Road travel to Paris takes less than 2 hours. Normandy has four regional airports which offer flights to the large European cities and there are further international connections from the two main airports in Paris. The cities of Caen, Rouen and Le Havre make up Normandy's metropolitan area.


The key sectors in Normandy are pharmacy, biotechnology, agribusiness, automotive, electronics, perfumes/cosmetics and financial services.


With nearly 30,000 employees, the electronics industry in Normandy is the second largest industrial employer. Investors benefit from private and academic research centers, education institutions and co-location with other companies such as Philips, Lucent Technologies, Bosch, Toshiba, De La Rue Card Systems, France Telecom, Sagem, Matra, Thomson, Schlumberger, Schneider, Alcatel and Legrand.


There are also some blue-chip names in the pharmaceutical field with the list of investors including Glaxo, Upjohn, Janssen, Fisons, Schering Plough, SmithKline Beecham and French groups such as Sanofi and Rhone Poulenc. Some of these companies are involved in a joint initiative with the Rouen University, the Rouen Business School, and the Evreux IUT to set up a range of pharmaceutical training programs. These programs are closely tailored to the needs and requirements of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.


A student population of around 80,000 is spread across a three universities, higher engineering schools and numerous academic research institutes.




The "département" of Ardennes, with its 300,000 inhabitants, is located on the French-Belgian border, a major route between Milan and London. By road, the Ardennes is two hours from Paris and three hours from Bonn and by the Channel Tunnel it is just four hours from London. The Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle, Brussels national and Luxembourg airports are a short distance away.


More than 20 international companies have settled in the Ardennes, including Ford, General Motors, Citroen, Electrolux, Sommer-Allibert and Amada.


The region is home to one University, two Computer Technology and Management Schools and four Chartered Engineering Schools. The engineering schools have a successful record in developing training courses which suit the needs of local business and industry. A Higher Technical Training Institute (I.F.T.S.) specializes in industrial distribution, engineering and equipment production processes.


Investors can also pull on graduates from one of two local business schools. The world-renowned Rheims Business School, which awards degrees equivalent to American MBAs and the Charleville-Mézières Business School.


Investment Promotion Agency:


CAP Developpement

18a Avenue Georges Corneau

BP 389

Charleville Mezieres





tel: +33 (0) 3 24 56 62 62

fax: +33 (0) 3 24 56 62 22




Le Mans-Sarthe

Le Mans-Sarthe is located in the Loire Valley region in France and is close to Normandy. The Sarthe county has a very young population, with 30% of the 500,000 inhabitants under 20.


The major sectors in the region are electronics, plastics, logistics, mechanics and automotive technology. For auto-related companies, the training and R&D facilities at the Le Mans 24 Hour Technopark offer specific benefits including direct access to the Bugatti race track, powerful telecommunications and co-location with other automotive specialists. Companies located on the Technopark include Courage (manufacturer of race cars), EURO 3D (CAD-CAM for the auto industry) and Godfroy Design (automotive and industrial design.)


Other overseas investors in Sarthe County are Smith & Nephew, Wanadoo, Philips, Packard Bell, Motorola and Canon.


Over 12,000 students are enrolled on courses at the university and engineering schools in the region. On a specialist level, there are 20 schools concentrating on electronics, data processing and telecommunications within 120 miles of Le Mans-Sarthe. There are also a number of centers and laboratories dealing with computer systems such as the ecole centrale in automation, and IRISA for medical imagery.




Chartres is a city in north central France and the capital of the Eure-et-Loir region.


The key sectors in the region are perfumery and cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, automotive and wood. The largest of these is the perfumery and cosmetics sector leading to the development of the "French Perfume and Cosmetic Valley" - a trade association which brings together more than 50 companies specialized in the sector to share market intelligence and expertise. Companies located in the area include Paco Rabanne, Guerlain, Lancaster, Reckitt & Coleman and Pacific Group. The region has the expertise to carry out each stage of the cosmetic production cycle from the production of raw materials, soaps and creams to point of sale publicity.


In the pharmaceutical sector, the major players in the region are Bristol Myers Squibb, Abbott, Norgine Pharma, Novo Nordisk, Prographarm, and Laboratoires Leo. In addition to these multinationals are more than 100 companies operating in the automotive field with car manufacturers (Renault, Citroen), parts manufacturers (Valeo, Manulli) and subcontractors (Formatype, SOEC)




Reims is located an hour away from Paris in France. The airport of Reims Champagne offers domestic flights, the aerodrome of Reims Prunay is used by business travellers and the international Charles De Gaulle Airport is only 30 minutes away by rail.


The University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne has three campuses which takes in arts, law, economics, social sciences and pharmacy. In total there are over 25,000 students, 52 laboratories, 1,100 lecturers and researchers. Reims is also home to the world famous Reims Business School.




At the crossroads of three of the larger main European highways, Aisne has connections to London-Milan / Paris-Berlin and Amsterdam-Madrid. Fast trains link Aisne to both the north and south of Europe. In addition, the airport of Roissy is less than 45 minutes away.


Its strategic location means that Aisne is a key logistics location. In the region, there are a number of distribution centers with great surface areas and a number of car equipment suppliers. The region is home to a strong cosmetics sector, along with a strong industrial tradition in glass.


Investors in the region include Bayer, L'Oréal, Givenchy, Kenzo, Helena Rubinstein, Dop, Jacques Dessange and Cadonett. As well as Alcan, CarnaudMetalbox Aerosols, Cables Pirelli and Nestle France.




The Department of Aube has a population of 300,000 inhabitants, located 1h30 from Paris and in immediate proximity to France’s largest consumer area, the Ile-de-France region. The International airports of Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly are accessible in less than two hours and the business airport of Troyes-Barberey is 10 min from the town center. Vatry international cargo airport lies 50 kms to the north of Troyes.

Sectors which are actively promoted in Aube are agribusiness, packaging, logistics, mechanics/metallurgy, fashion and call centers.

Major transport and logistics groups in Aube are, Calberson, Gefco, Ziegler, Verger, Norbert Dentressangle and Trans-Europe.

There are also several package and mail forwarding companies such as Chronopost, Extand, TAT Express and UPS. In the products sector, Aube is home to Lacoste, Coup de coeur, Scandale, Olympia and Petit Bateau.


The University of Technology of Troyes (UTT) is located in Aube technopole, adjacent to 60 hectares of land, which has been specifically developed to accommodate research and technology companies.



South Western France

The South West region of France includes, the urban areas of Bordeaux, Biarritz and Toulouse, and borders Spain and the Pyrenees mountains as well as the Atlantic coast.


The area around Toulouse, a world center for the aerospace industry and home to Airbus Industrie, has created a regional cluster of hi-tech engineering and research and development operations




Bordeaux is located in France at the cross-roads of three major highways connecting the region with Spain, Switzerland, Central Europe, Milan and other major French hubs. Bordeaux is also the major center for rail freight transit in the south-west region of France. Bordeaux Airport offers 38 daily flights, of which half are international.


The seven areas of excellence within the region are biomaterials, advanced materials and materials technology , electronics and information technologies, agriculture and food processing, Forestry and wood/paper industry and finally environmental research and Wine.


Over 300 foreign-owned companies have located in the Bordeaux region employing around 15,000 people. Investors include Ford, Solectron, Smurfit Group, Degussa, Pioneer, Siemens Matsushita, IBM, Akzo Nobel, Valmet.



South West France accounts for 12% of total French R&D expenditure. In Bordeaux alone there are four universities and a number of professional institutes, engineering schools, vocational colleges and graduate schools, which have links with 154 universities worldwide.




Toulouse is located in the South of France, 2 hours from the Atlantic coast and 1 hour from the Mediterranean. It has an international airport and is the fourth largest French city in terms of population.


The major sectors in Toulouse are aeronautics, healthcare, space, on-board electronic systems and information technologies.


The region is the second largest center in the world for the design and manufacture of civil aircraft and aeronautics. Airbus Industrie, one of the two largest civil aeronautical manufacturers in the world has its headquarter operation in the area and Europe’s first aerospace group, the “European Aeronautic, Defense and Space Company” (EADS) has its origins in the region. Training is provided by three Universities which specialize in training aeronautical engineers.


For companies from the health sector, the region offers a renowned treatment center and a strong partner-company base. The health sector employs around 45,000 people in the region, a number of whom were trained at one of the specialist Higher education institutes. The Paul Sabatier University trains around 4,000 medical students and 1,400 chemists and the Biology-Health Doctorate School of Toulouse offers a number of courses in the biotechnology field.


Companies in the healthcare sector include Biovector Therapeutics, Ciba Vision, Kappa biotech, Sanofi-Synthelabo and Novartis Seeds. Other investors located in the region are Alcatel Space Industries, Matra Marconi Space, IBM, Honeywell, Kodak, Spot Image, Motorola, Fairchild and Siemens Automotive.


The region is the second university center in France, with 110,000 students attending fourteen engineering schools and four major Universities. Toulouse is certainly one of the major research spots in Europe.


Investment Promotion Agency:


Ms Alicia Dumont

Midi-Pyrenees Expansion

Midi-Pyrenees Expansion

1 Place Alfonse Jourdain

"BP 841,"






tel: +33 (0) 5 61 12 57 07

fax: +33 (0) 5 61 12 5701



Midi-Pyrénées is France’s largest region located to the North of the Pyrénées Mountains and directly connected to Spain via the Puymorens Tunnel. There are two international airports at Toulouse-Blagnac and Tarbes-Ossun-Lourdes. Toulouse Airport offers 49 daily flights to Paris in addition to direct links to the major cities of Europe.


The major sectors of the region are aero-nautics, automotive, biotechnology, electronics, space, IT, environment and healthcare. Investors who have been attracted to the region include Motorola, Airbus Industrie, Alcatel, Siemens, Novartis Seeds, Disctronics, Ciba Vision and Fuji Films.


There are around 110,000 students at the region’s three Universities and 14 Grandes Ecoles, which are particularly strong in offering technology- related courses. There are also a number of public/private research laboratories such as the Laboratory for sensors and power integration (LCIP), partnering with Motorola, and the European Institute for Research on On-board Electronic Systems (IERSET), partnering with AeroSpatiale, Alcatel and GEC Alstom. Midi-Pyrenees is the leading region in France for private research expenditure.


Investment Promotion Agency:


Ms Alicia Dumont

Midi-Pyrenees Expansion

Midi-Pyrenees Expansion

1 Place Alfonse Jourdain

"BP 841,"






tel: +33 (0) 5 61 12 57 07

fax: +33 (0) 5 61 12 5701



Western France

The Western region of France - known as France Atlantique - is an area covers 3 regions: Britanny, Pays de la Loire, Poitou-Charentes.


As a whole, France Atlantique covers 13 departments (counties) with well-known cities such as Quimper, Saint Brieuc, Rennes, Laval, Le Mans, Vannes, Nantes, Angers, La Roche sur Yon, Poitiers, Niort, La Rochelle, Angoulême.


One area of note in this region is the high-tech town of Rennes, which has attracted a significant cluster of telecoms companies. Local research accounts for nearly half of France's state-funded research in telecommunications.


450 public and private-sector research centers employ 13,000 specialists at the forefront of research in telecommunications, IT and electronics, food, mechanical engineering and materials, chemicals/ biochemicals, biotechnology and other fields.


Hi-tech specialisms in the region include aerospace, telecoms and IT. Indeed, ISDN, packet switching, ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) and France's nationwide videotex network Minitel all originated and were developed in the west of France. A fertile environment for state-of-the-art research is confirmed by the presence of major international firms: Canon, Lucent Technologies, Mitsubishi Electric, Northern Telecom and Pirelli.



Investment Promotion Agency:


Céline Mousset

Ouest Atlantique

Petite Halle Beaumanoir

16 rue Lamoricière

BP 48701

NANTES Cedex 4





tel: +33 (0) 2 51 844.200

fax: +33 (0) 2 51 844 222





The port of Brest acts as a gateway to France, Europe and a connection to ongoing worldwide sailings. It also serves as Europe's number one food industrial area. Founder member of the Association of Ports of the Atlantic Arc (APAA), Brest is an ideal port for shipment across european transport networks.


Investment Promotion Agency:


Céline Mousset

Ouest Atlantique

Petite Halle Beaumanoir

16 rue Lamoricière

BP 48701

NANTES Cedex 4





tel: +33 (0) 2 51 844.200

fax: +33 (0) 2 51 844 222





Greater Limoges, with a population of 200,000 inhabitants, is the largest economic, industrial, financial and service center between Paris and Toulouse. It is located in the central west region of France. Paris is 1 hour by air from the Limoges Airport and just under 3 hours by rail.


There is a fast expanding science park in the area, ESTER Science Park, which boasts a platform for freight, 1400 hectares of activity zones, railroad connections and access to local technology. More than forty companies have already established themselves on the park, including, NPK, Schneider, Merlin-Gerin and Legrand. As well as ESTER, Limoges has a number of industrial zones such as the Magre Industrial zone, which houses around 100 companies employing 3000 people, the Nord Industrial Zone with tenants such as Valeo, Cogema and Pharmacia and the Limoges Logistic Center which offers excellent access to road, rail and air links.


The full package offered to investors is 4 research and technology transfer centers, a university, three engineering schools, the Limoges ESTER Technopole, and Limousin Technologie, an interface between private enterprise and research entities. Recognized as one of the two best polytechnical institutions in France, the University of Limoges welcomes around 15,000 students per year and produces a potential workforce trained in technology and management expertise.


Investment Promotion Agency:


Céline Mousset

Ouest Atlantique

Petite Halle Beaumanoir

16 rue Lamoricière

BP 48701

NANTES Cedex 4





tel: +33 (0) 2 51 844.200

fax: +33 (0) 2 51 844 222





Nantes is the capital of the Loire-Atlantique region in France situated close to the Atlantic Ocean. Nantes has a population of 550,000 inhabitants and is one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. An efficient road network and regular rail connections means that Paris can be reached in 2 hours, Lyon in 4 and Brussels in 4.5. The Nantes-Atlantic airport serves the main European cities and the Montoir airport is specialized in large volume airfreight.


Major sectors in the city are aeronautics, electronics, plasturgy and health.

In the electronics field, a subsidiary of the American group ATMEL, Mhs SA, is designing and producing integrated circuits for the spatial and armament sectors. And in healthcare, the city has developed a reputation for expertise in genic therapy, organ transplant, immunology, cancerology and biomaterials. Bristol Meyer Squibb recently chose the area as the site for its European research center.


Nantes also offers an extensive services sector for companies locating in the region and is the 3rd largest French financial market after Paris and Lyon.


More than 30,000 people study at the Nantes University. A further three University Institutes have been established in Nantes since 1990 offering specialist teaching in engineering chemical-biology-biochemistry, banking/finance and data-processing.


Investment Promotion Agency:


Céline Mousset

Ouest Atlantique

Petite Halle Beaumanoir

16 rue Lamoricière

BP 48701

NANTES Cedex 4





tel: +33 (0) 2 51 844.200

fax: +33 (0) 2 51 844 222




Cholet is the second largest economic area in the Pays de La Loire region in France. Other major centers such as Nantes and Bretagne, Paris and Rennes can be reached by expressway. Travel to Paris by the high-speed rail network takes just over 2 hours. Cholet has its own business airfield with the closest international airport at Nantes.


The economy is based on the textile, chemistry and plastics, food and metallurgy sectors. Companies represented in the area include Thomson CSF, First Engineering and Michelin.


Cholet is home to 2000 students who study at a range of colleges and commercial schools. There are also a number of continuous training centers such as AFPA, AFPIC (trades of leather), Center of Apprentice training and the Institute of Development and Creativity Industrialists.


Investment Promotion Agency:


Céline Mousset

Ouest Atlantique

Petite Halle Beaumanoir

16 rue Lamoricière

BP 48701

NANTES Cedex 4





tel: +33 (0) 2 51 844.200

fax: +33 (0) 2 51 844 222




Rennes is a dynamic research-led city situated on the Western side of France. Connections to domestic and international locations are via airports in Rennes, Nantes and Paris, high speed rail services and a solid road network.


Rennes is in the heart of an area that hosts 1,200 high-tech companies across a variety of industries. The city is especially well represented in the areas of wireless communications, digital communications, optics & optronics, semiconductors, networking technologies, consulting technologies, multimedia and the internet.


As a result of its intensive research base a number of major multinationals have located in the area including Canon, Alcatel Telecom, Lucent Technologies, Sema Group, NewBridge, Wavetek Wandel Goltermann and Cnet, the R&D center of France Telecom.


Companies moving into the area have the option of locating on The Rennes Atalante Science Park. This is Rennes' main science park on 650 acres adjoining the Beaulieu University Campus, with 6,000 employees working for 175 technology-based firms and 12 public research centers.


The University of Rennes produces an average of 15,000 graduates per year, who have received training with a specific focus on information technology, telecommunications, computer science and math. Rennes also has numerous government research institutions, public university labs and engineering schools.


Investment Promotion Agency:


Céline Mousset

Ouest Atlantique

Petite Halle Beaumanoir

16 rue Lamoricière

BP 48701

NANTES Cedex 4





tel: +33 (0) 2 51 844.200

fax: +33 (0) 2 51 844 222




Blois is the capital of the Loir-et-Cher area in France. It is the fifth largest industrial region with 2,5 million inhabitants and is located less than one hour from Paris.


It is a tourist, manufacturing, and commercial center, with major interests in the automotive, aeronautics-armament, pharmaceutical-cosmetics and food industries.

The town has recently developed its industrial sites, renovated a number of office buildings and established a business center.

Investors in the region include Matra, Lucas Varity, Valéo, Matra défense, Giat industries, Sextant Avionique and Procter & Gamble. The Antenne University of Blois supplies the graduates for a skilled workforce.


Investment Promotion Agency:


ADELEC (Blois Economic Dev Agency)

17 Mail Clouseau






tel: +33 (0) 2 54 42 42 05

fax: +33 (0) 2 54 42 42 48




Tech Companies


If You P2P Download In France: No Internet For You

Posted: 23 Nov 2007 07:22 PM CST



A pact between the French Government, French ISP’s and the local music and film industry will see French users who download material from P2P networks losing their internet access.


French internet users will face a three strikes and you’re out policy, according to the NY Times. Users will receive a warning for each illegal download before losing their service on the third infringement.


French president Nicolas Sarkozy endorsed the deal with rhetoric that is bound to win him an Honorary Life Membership of both the RIAA and MPAA: “We run the risk of witnessing a genuine destruction of culture…The Internet must not become a high-tech Far West, a lawless zone where outlaws can pillage works with abandon or, worse, trade in them in total impunity. And on whose backs? On artists’ backs.”


The Far West of where? Perhaps I’m mistaken in believing that the far East (ie China) is the global hotbed of Internet piracy…or did he mean the wild west? lost in translation perhaps.

An independent authority supervised by a judge will manage the scheme and decide if and when users should lose their internet access.

Not surprisingly the recording and music industry loves the move, with the head of the IFPI (the international recording industry body) John Kennedy telling the Times that “this is the single most important initiative to help win the war on online piracy that we have seen so far..President Sarkozy has shown leadership and vision. He has recognized the importance that the creative industries play in contemporary western economies.”

image via Wikimedia Commons



Fotolog’s $90 Million Acquisition Completed

Posted: 28 Nov 2007 10:39 AM CST

fotolog-logo.pngFrench Internet company Hi-Media,operator of one of Europe’s largest ad networks and micro-payment services, completed its acquisition today of Fotolog. The $90 million deal was first announced last August. Since then, Fotolog has added two million more members for a total of 13 million, and claims 3.9 billion page views a month. Fotolog trails behind MySpace’s PhotoBucket and Yahoo’s Flickr. CEO John Borthwick is moving on to his incubator/investment fund Betaworks.











video lectures on French History from AcademicEarth:



  1. Introduction to France Since 1871
  2. The Paris Commune and Its Legacy
  3. Centralized State and Republic
  4. A Nation? Peasants, Language, and French Identity
  5. Workshop and Factory
  6. The Waning of Religious Authority
  7. Mass Politics and the Political Challenge from the Left
  8. Dynamite Club: The Anarchists
  9. General Boulanger and Captain Dreyfus
  10. Cafes and the Culture of Drink
  11. Paris and the Belle Epoque
  12. French Imperialism
  13. The Origins of World War I
  14. Trench Warfare
  15. The Home Front
  16. The Great War, Grief, and Memory
  17. The Popular Front
  18. The Dark Years: Vichy France
  19. Resistance
  20. Battles For and Against Americanization
  21. Vietnam and Algeria
  22. Charles De Gaulle
  23. May 1968
  24. Immigration


Top companies in France:


11 Total France Oil & Gas Operations 223.15 14.74 164.66 112.90
17 GDF Suez France Utilities 115.59 9.05 232.71 70.46
27 EDF Group France Utilities 89.46 4.73 278.76 71.53
29 BNP Paribas France Banking 107.96 4.20 2,888.73 29.98
34 Crédit Agricole France Banking 107.75 5.90 2,064.17 21.91
46 France Telecom France Telecommunications Services 74.50 5.67 125.32 58.92
60 Société Générale Group France Banking 99.25 2.80 1,572.73 17.77
65 Sanofi-aventis France Drugs & Biotechnology 38.40 5.36 96.01 67.84
99 AXA Group France Insurance 156.95 1.28 936.92 19.47
103 Vivendi France Media 35.34 3.62 75.81 28.19
111 Carrefour Group France Food Markets 121.04 1.77 71.55 23.29
149 Vinci Group France Construction 47.22 2.21 49.90 16.25
176 L'Oréal Group France Household & Personal Products 24.43 2.71 31.32 39.01
181 CNP Assurances France Insurance 55.85 1.02 374.61 9.64
184 Saint-Gobain France Construction 60.96 1.92 59.69 8.90
185 Bouygues France Construction 45.47 2.09 48.99 9.93
189 Danone France Food, Drink & Tobacco 21.18 1.83 43.74 24.70
208 Schneider Electric France Capital Goods 25.50 2.34 33.19 15.02
216 Lafarge France Construction 26.51 2.23 56.20 8.48
249 Alstom France Conglomerates 26.71 1.35 32.13 13.77
253 Aire Liquide Group France Chemicals 18.25 1.70 28.64 19.27
255 Natixis France Banking 44.43 1.61 758.90 4.06
272 Christian Dior France Household & Personal Products 24.96 1.11 53.69 9.01
282 Veolia Environnement France Utilities 50.39 0.56 66.17 10.30
288 PPR France Retailing 28.12 1.29 37.62 7.63
324 Areva Group France Materials 18.33 0.82 30.61 15.28
347 CIC Group France Banking 21.56 1.66 366.50 3.21
350 Renault France Consumer Durables 52.60 0.79 88.49 4.04
372 Pernod Ricard France Food, Drink & Tobacco 10.38 1.32 27.90 12.07
425 Thales France Aerospace & Defense 17.63 0.78 24.36 8.09
451 Air France-KLM Group France Transportation 38.09 1.18 48.58 2.73
524 Accor France Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure 11.14 0.84 15.92 7.94
532 Michelin Group France Consumer Durables 22.85 0.50 21.82 4.76
542 Sodexo France Business Services & Supplies 19.93 0.55 14.46 7.13
596 Lagardère SCA France Media 12.53 0.78 18.44 4.31
608 Eiffage France Construction 18.42 0.42 36.40 3.37
623 Unibail-Rodamco France Diversified Financials 1.63 1.40 37.28 10.37
632 Peugeot Groupe France Consumer Durables 75.70 -0.48 100.17 4.06
676 SCOR France Insurance 7.34 0.59 35.33 3.60
710 Capgemini France Software & Services 12.71 0.64 12.02 4.25
754 Publicis Groupe France Media 6.55 0.62 16.36 4.60
760 Finatis France Trading Companies 37.61 0.36 37.12 0.50
766 Vallourec France Capital Goods 8.97 1.35 7.96 4.27
791 Technip France Oil & Gas Operations 10.42 0.62 11.02 3.60
802 Wendel France Diversified Financials 7.99 1.28 24.22 1.28
807 Alcatel-Lucent France Technology Hardware & Equip 23.65 -7.26 36.78 3.15
816 Dassault Aviation France Aerospace & Defense 5.96 0.56 13.99 4.37
854 Safran France Aerospace & Defense 15.07 0.06 23.42 4.18
872 Eurazeo France Diversified Financials 5.93 1.33 24.41 1.29
969 Eramet France Materials 5.54 0.85 7.11 3.85
978 LeGrand France Capital Goods 5.85 0.49 8.77 3.91
1004 Rexel France Trading Companies 17.91 0.32 13.83 1.43
1098 Essilor International France Health Care Equipment & Svcs 4.25 0.54 5.08 7.34
1115 Aéroports de Paris France Business Services & Supplies 3.34 0.47 9.99 4.80
1246 Financière de l'Odet France Transportation 9.34 0.28 10.97 1.16
1247 Hermès International France Household & Personal Products 2.37 0.42 2.86 9.00
1497 Valeo France Consumer Durables 12.07 -0.29 8.68 0.94
1512 Eutelsat Communications France Media 1.38 0.27 7.08 4.56
1585 Gecina France Diversified Financials 1.01 -1.22 18.85 2.63
1596 Thomson France Technology Hardware & Equip 8.22 -0.06 9.16 0.23
1667 Maurel & Prom France Oil & Gas Operations 0.42 1.12 2.66 1.25
1679 Foncière des Régions France Diversified Financials 1.52 -0.77 24.13 2.08
1757 Dassault Systèmes France Software & Services 1.84 0.26 2.67 4.15
1760 Atos Origin France Software & Services 8.55 0.07 7.19 1.71
1821 Zodiac France Aerospace & Defense 2.95 0.75 3.79 1.63
1859 JCDecaux France Media 3.08 0.32 5.81 2.86
1863 Altarea France Diversified Financials 0.69 0.63 6.10 1.17
1890 Icade France Diversified Financials 2.37 0.05 7.82 3.65
1894 Nexity France Diversified Financials 3.74 0.32 7.28 0.96
1913 Arkema France Chemicals 8.28 0.18 6.46 0.82
1923 Iliad France Software & Services 1.77 0.22 1.68 4.33
1974 Bourbon France Oil & Gas Operations 1.12 0.57 4.02 1.57


source:  http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/18/global-09_The-Global-2000_Counrty_4.html








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