A spotlight on 36 companies investing and creating jobs in Provence

A spotlight on 36 companies investing and creating jobs in Provence
More than 140 people gathered in the auditorium of thecamp for the Invest in Provence awards ceremony on Monday, January 16, 2023
19 January 2023 / doing business in provence, Grow your business, invest in provence

The 7th edition of the annual Invest in Provence awards ceremony

What types of companies decide to invest in Aix-Marseille? What businesses are established in the territory and what new projects are successfully launched? The recent Invest in Provence awards ceremony answered these questions by highlighting a selection of 36 French and international companies that chose Aix-Marseille as the best place for their economic development.

These companies are recruiting talent, implementing strategic growth plans, and innovating new concepts or technologies. And now they have received the Invest in Provence award in recognition of their efforts. This superb group of dynamic companies is a perfect reflection of the expertise and attractiveness of the business ecosystem in Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis and the Pays d’Arles.

More than 140 participants were welcomed to thecamp for the 7th edition of the Invest in Provence awards ceremony on Monday, January 16. Located near Aix-en-Provence, thecamp is an innovation campus that offers training and conferences for digital, managerial, and environmental transformations at a site renowned for its architecture and landscapes.

To open the event, Bernard Deflesselles (President of Provence Promotion), Jean-Luc Chauvin (President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Aix-Marseille-Provence), and Danielle Milon (Vice-President of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis for Tourism and Economic Attractiveness, President of Provence Tourisme) welcomed the companies and laid out their vision of the territory’s economic advantages.

In total, there were 36 companies present with either French or international backgrounds (USA, Ireland, Belgium, Lebanon, United Kingdom, Germany, Tunisia, Netherlands…). Representatives from the companies took the stage to receive their Invest in Provence awards that celebrated their projects in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, which is home to Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, and Arles.

Provence Promotion and its partners are devoted to job creation

“In France, the Bouches-du-Rhône is one of the five departments where job growth has been the strongest over the past four years, and now we must continue our efforts to bring new activities to the territory,” said Philippe Stéfanini, the CEO of Provence Promotion, citing a recent report from the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE).

For more than 20 years, the Provence Promotion economic development agency has worked to convince executives and entrepreneurs to bring their projects to Provence, and then supported their growth and expansion once they are here. In 2021, 83 companies invested in the territory with the help of the agency and local partners, which created or maintained a total of 2120 jobs.

Danielle Milon, who spoke on behalf of Martine Vassal, the President of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis, said: Our territory must provide jobs to its residents and a future for its children. Together, Provence Promotion and Provence Tourisme make a united effort to promote the advantages of Aix-Marseille and to attract new economic stakeholders.”

Jean-Luc Chauvin also evoked the collaborative approach that has distinguished Provence Promotion since its creation while focusing on the major upcoming projects that will continue to enhance the metro area’s attractiveness. These projects include the Rugby World Cup that will be held in the autumn of 2023 and the “test events” to be held in the summer of 2023 that will help prepare Aix-Marseille to host sailing competitions and football matches during the 2024 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The Olympics will be an exceptional opportunity to showcase the advantages of the Aix-Marseille territory and a special Héritage Sport fund has been established to offer local companies a chance to support emerging Olympic athletes.

A spectrum of companies and a mosaic of business activities in Provence

The first winner of an Invest in Provence award was Kevin Polizzi, a master entrepreneur who took over thecamp in 2022. As the main investor in this next-generation innovation campus, and by working in close collaboration with local public authorities, he and his team are shaping the future of this spectacular site that faces the iconic Montagne Sainte-Victoire by opening it up to a broader public (locals, companies, tourists, students, etc.).

After Kevin Polizzi left the stage, it was time for the 36 companies* to receive their Invest in Provence awards. The companies were divided into five groups that depended on their sector of activity: Digital Technology, Logistics & Maritime, Industrial, Lifestyle & Well-being, and Healthcare & Miscellaneous.

There was a diverse range of companies – leading global industrial groups, SMEs, and new entrepreneurs – but they were united by their shared decision to bring their business projects to the Aix-Marseille territory. These companies are now the newest members of the Invest in Provence community of business leaders that Provence Promotion coordinates to enhance networking opportunities and build synergies through events such as the annual Invest in Provence ceremony as well as other initiatives such as trade fairs, conferences, and delegations.

5 keys to Aix-Marseille’s business and investment success

As each of the five groups of businesses took to the stage, the executives and site managers explained why they decided to invest in Provence. This helped capture the broad range of advantages that bring companies to the territory.

For example, according to Juliette Spinnato of Eura Nova, a Brussels-based Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning company, the territory’s vast pool of expertise and talent plays a vital role in attracting companies and one of the reasons Euro Nova opened an R&D centre in Marseille is because of the excellent quality of the territory’s digital training centres.

The quality of life in Provence and its contribution to the happiness and well-being of employees was also widely mentioned, notably by David Zouari of Onepoint, a digital transformation company that aims to have a team of 300 people in Aix-Marseille by 2026.

Further economic advantages for Aix-Marseille are that the territory is a global logistics hub, the #7 site in the world for internet connectivity, and has a top geostrategic location at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. These assets have fostered a dynamic, enthusiastic, and skilled ecosystem of start-ups. This was one of the major draws cited by 1Pact, which provides employment opportunities and human resources solutions for the logistics sector and has already hired 100 people on permanent contracts in the territory.

In association with local partners, Provence Promotion is mobilizing to ensure the success of projects from all different horizons. Whether the projects are large-scale and complex, such as the Koole Terminals (storage, processing, and logistics) or the EP Group (packaging solutions), innovative or distinctive, such as Smartbox Industry (container construction) or ClinGroup (health solutions), or whether they contribute to strengthening our assets thanks to American investors, such as Rambus (data transfer solutions) or Digital Realty (data centres), the Invest in Provence ceremony clearly demonstrated the endless potential of Aix-Marseille-Provence and the Pays d’Arles for businesses as well as the importance of supporting their investments.


* Complete list of companies receiving awards:

Companies in the Digital Technology sector
deep2drive - Digital Realty - Eura Nova - Onepoint - Rambus - Rocket School

Companies in the Logistics & Maritime sector
1pact - Chabas Véhicules - Customs Support Group - Koole Terminals - Smartbox Industry

Companies in the Industrial sector
Alstom - Ardagh Group - Ansaldo Nucleare - Berthier Equipements - Bilfinger Peters Engineering - EP Group - GravitHy - Helion Hydrogen Power - Qapex - Sector Group

Companies in the Lifestyle and Well-being sector
Aiôn Group - Alyscamps - La Famille Finest Lunch - Pod’calm-Adilson - Tennis du Midi - Vorwerk - Meet my Mama - Divinemenciel

Companies in the Healthcare and Miscellaneous sectors
Abtech Therapeutics - ClinGroup - ID Solutions - Proxis Développement - Groupe Vassiléo - Squair