Provence Promotion on the search for innovation and opportunities at the MWC connectivity tradeshow in Barcelona

Provence Promotion on the search for innovation and opportunities at the MWC connectivity tradeshow in Barcelona
14 February 2024 / Digital Economy, Grow your business, invest in provence

Exploring new digital trends and identifying fast-growing companies

The Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024 in Barcelona is the world’s leading showcase for technological advances in the telecommunications and connectivity sectors.

From February 26 to 29, 2024, the show will feature innovations from smartphone manufacturers (Samsung, Apple, Huawei...) and new developments in connectivity from major cellular network operators (Orange, China Mobile…). As part of its mission to ensure the digital sector in the Aix-Marseille metro area continues to thrive, Provence Promotion will be in attendance at this flagship event to monitor new innovations and identify telecommunications companies that might benefit from opening operations in Provence.

In 2023, the Mobile World Congress attracted more than 88 000 visitors and featured 2500 exhibitors from 130 different countries. Telecommunications operators, device manufacturers, software solutions and services suppliers, content providers, and institutional bodies all participate in this pivotal event that fosters business relationships and showcases the latest trends. For its 18th edition in 2024, the international mobile telecommunications event aims to have even more exhibitors and attendees.

Inspired by its previous experiences at the MWC, Provence Promotion has set itself an ambitious objective for this year’s trade show: thanks to its database of key players in the digital sector, the agency wants to secure around forty meetings with fast-growing companies that are in the international expansion phase of their development. More than 300 international companies have been identified by the agency as recruitment priorities for the territory. Of specific interest are companies specialized in the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), smart cities, cyber security, 3D virtual reality (3DVR), the digital transformation of the blue economy, and next-gen generation smart cards.

Encouraging company leaders to explore opportunities in Provence

To help make contact with emerging start-ups, Provence Promotion will be sitting on a panel of judges at pitch sessions organized by My Global Village. This collective intelligence network brings together business leaders from around the world to try and identify disruptive innovations, and it has a particular focus on major international technology trade fairs. Provence Promotion will be offering the best of these start-ups the chance to participate in a customized Learning Expedition program to discover the digital ecosystem in Provence.

Provence Promotion is currently supporting a Belgian scale-up working in the decarbonization sector that earned a spot in the Learning Expedition program at the Smart City 2022 urban innovation conference in Barcelona. An announcement will be made soon regarding the greentech’s upcoming investment in Aix-Marseille.

To make an appointment with our investment and business development experts, please contact:
> Christophe Perez, head of inward investment
> Laetitia Biciacci, inward investment advisor for the digital sector (French-speaking markets)
> Erik Fackeldey, inward investment advisor for the digital sector (international markets)
> Salima Chelabi, project manager for establishing start-ups in Aix-Marseille-Provence

A strategic approach to connecting with leading tech firms

Meetings have been scheduled with major companies to consolidate existing relationships or establish new ones. Provence Promotion plans to continue conversations with key tech firms it met on previous international prospecting missions, such as the American companies Qualcomm and Cisco, and the Taiwanese company MediaTek. These discussions will be an opportunity to reemphasize the advantages offered to companies in France, and more specifically, in Aix-Marseille, including:

  • Hyper-connectivity as Marseille is one of the best-connected cities in the world (#7 in the global rankings with 17 undersea cables linking the metro area to five billion internet users).
  • Huge R&D potential as Provence is home to state-of-the-art tech research facilities and has globally recognized expertise in smart card design and data security.
  • Significant tax benefits for innovation thanks to France’s CIR research tax credit, one of the most generous public funding schemes for research among all OECD countries.
  • Fast-growing talent pool thanks to expanding educational opportunities in the digital sector.

A number of significant structural projects are currently underway in Provence, including Unitel Group’s cybersecurity campus in Marseille, which is supported by a consortium of top companies, and Tangram, an exceptional training facility designed by the shipping leaders CMA CGM. Tangram aims to shape the future of sustainable transport and logistics by harnessing the potential of new technologies and the digitalization of services.

Moreover, STMicroelectronics, the Franco-Italian semiconductor manufacturer that is already at the vanguard of digital excellence in Provence, is planning to expand its facility in Rousset near Aix-en-Provence. Decisive investments have already been made, including the acquisition of a 17-hectare site in order to create a silicon wafer test center.

France will have a significant presence at the MWC

With 500 square meters of exhibition space and more than 80 exhibitors, France will be the leading national delegation at the Mobile World Congress and it will be flying the banner of the vibrant French Tech network and its iconic red rooster symbol. The delegation’s space in Hall 5 will be dedicated to innovative SMEs and IT companies, while the space in Hall 8.1 will feature high-potential start-ups. The SCS technology cluster based outside of Aix-en-Provence, which brings together more than 300 tech companies, is partnering with the French stand at MWC. With the support of the Sud Provence-Alpes Côte-d’Azur Region, the SCS cluster will lead a delegation of companies that showcase Provençal expertise and innovation.

Massilia Mundi: meeting with the Marseille community in Barcelona

In parallel with the trade show, Provence Promotion will be organizing a meeting with the Massilia Mundi network in Barcelona, which brings together people who are passionate about Provence and want to promote the territory internationally. The aim is to develop the community in Barcelona, build connections between its members, and inform them about new developments in Aix-Marseille. The network also works to showcase the metro area’s advantages, which go well beyond the traditional assets such as tourism and quality of life to include a booming tech and industrial ecosystem that includes some of the world’s leading companies.

Are you a French expatriate working in Barcelona? Would you like to join a community that facilitates mutual support and networking? Would you like to become an ambassador for Provence? Don’t hesitate to contact Sophie Cachard to sign up for the meeting scheduled for February 27, 2024 at AmoVino, in the presence of Massilia Mundi ambassador Philippe Saman, the former director of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Barcelona and a founding member of the OM Fan Club Barcelona!