Prospecting mission to North America will focus on tech investments and digital transformation

Prospecting mission to North America will focus on tech investments and digital transformation
Views of Montreal and New York, two target markets for attracting investment to Aix-Marseille
20 September 2023 / Digital Economy, invest in provence, Logistics

Objective: attract companies from New York and Montreal to Provence

From September 25 to 29, 2023, a team of experts from Provence Promotion, Euroméditerranée, and the Unitel Group will cross the Atlantic for a joint prospecting mission to New York and Montreal. The mission will focus on three key areas: Big Data, cybersecurity, and the digital transformation of the maritime transport sector. The team includes Bernard Deflesselles (chairman of Provence Promotion), Christophe Perez (head of inward investment for Provence Promotion), Corinne Orsoni (director of economic development at Euroméditerranée), and Kevin Polizzi (founder and president of the Unitel Group), and they already have pivotal business meetings on their agendas.

Innovation plays an essential role when it comes to North American investment in Aix-Marseille-Provence with a heavy focus on engineering and R&D activities. France’s vibrant digital ecosystem, which is organized under the banner of the French Tech network, is enjoying growing visibility on the other side of the Atlantic, while Aix-Marseille-Provence is having an especially big impact as year after year companies from the metro area are creating buzz and winning awards for their innovation at the CES tech show in Las Vegas.

Already a strategic business crossroads between Europe and Africa, Aix-Marseille has become an even more attractive destination for investment because it has become a global leader in connectivity and data centers in the space of just a few years. Currently ranked as the world’s #7 internet hub, the metro area will soon be in the Top 5 thanks to the installation of new submarine cables.

With the increasing digitalization of the business world, Aix-Marseille is playing an even more prominent role in major markets by leveraging the territory’s internet and data center advantages alongside its traditional geo-strategic, industrial, and technological strengths.

To continue this positive momentum, Euroméditerranée, Unitel Group, and Provence Promotion have joined forces to promote the attractiveness of the Aix-Marseille-Provence metro area. This mission to Canada and the United States is the latest in a series of regular prospecting missions to North America organized by Provence Promotion.

High-level meetings that reflect Aix-Marseille’s international economic appeal

Since 2021 alone, Provence Promotion has been in contact with more than 300 companies that have high investment potential. This work has been based on a lead generation strategy underpinned by close relations with Business France’s offices in New York and Montreal, as well as Provence Promotion’s liaison office in the United States. For the current prospecting mission, there are 15 targeted business meetings scheduled with companies and stakeholders that are active in the fields of cybersecurity, Big Data, and the digital transformation of the maritime sector.

The Euroméditerranée district in Marseille is an ideal location for companies working in these areas. Euroméditerranée is the biggest urban development project in southern Europe, and it features pioneering infrastructure and workspaces. The perimeter 2 section of Euroméditerranée is already home to offices that are close to data centers as well as start-up incubators and accelerators that are part of the CISAM innovation network. Furthermore, it is also the future site of a best-in-class cyber campus, which will be represented on the prospecting mission by Kevin Polizzi, the president and founder of the Unitel Group.

Corinne Orsoni, the director of economic development at Euroméditerranée, and Christophe Perez, the head of inward Investment at Provence Promotion, will serve as ambassadors for Aix-Marseille’s dynamic and diverse business ecosystem that is propelled by some of the world’s biggest companies, such as CMA CGM, a global leader in maritime, land, air, and logistics solutions that was founded in Marseille in 1978 and is celebrating 45 years of entrepreneurial innovation this year.

Scheduled meetings for the trip include a major microelectronics group, an investment fund specializing in health and climate change, and several SMEs with expertise in cybersecurity, including one from French-speaking Canada.

Finally, the prospecting mission is an opportunity for Provence Promotion to organize an event with the Massilia Mundi network in New York. Massilia Mundi is a community of business people and entrepreneurs who are either from Provence or are interested in Provence, and it serves as a way to promote the territory’s opportunities and to build personal business networks.

Aix-Marseille is nurturing new digital talent to stay ahead in the technology race

In Aix-Marseille, as elsewhere in France, the job market is suffering from a shortage of people specializing in mass data processing and cybersecurity (data scientists, data analysts, data protection officers, etc.). While Aix-Marseille is well placed in terms of IT infrastructure, the metro area’s ambition is to meet the talent challenge by promoting gender diversity and inclusion in the tech sector, and by training more and more young people in digital professions. This strategy is designed to strengthen the territory’s position in a range of sectors (logistics, maritime, health, etc.) and to support the technological transition that is transforming the economy.

This strategy will be bolstered by the opening of the Campus Cyber, a Mediterranean-oriented training facility dedicated to cyber security-related professions. Only the fourth campus of its kind in France, it will open in the Tour Mirabeau in the Euroméditerranée district in 2024. This initiative, led by Kevin Polizzi with a consortium of partner companies and initial funding of €3.6 million, complements existing tech training centers such as La Plateforme. The plan is to bring together training, R&D, and an ecosystem of start-ups in a single location.