thecamp Rises to the Challenges of Technological Transformation

thecamp Rises to the Challenges of Technological Transformation
07 July 2016 / Logiciel / Conseil / SSII, Investir en provence, Vous revenez en france, Créez votre entreprise , Implantez, Générale, Microélectronique / IOT, Média, Energies
A UFO is descending upon Provence.

A UFO is descending upon Provence. Neither a cluster, nor a research lab or university, thecamp will be the only ecosystem of its kind in Europe when it is completed in the fall of 2017. This ambitious €80 million project is breaking down the barriers of the silo mentality. Its goal is to anticipate technological change, innovate, train, experiment and design the city of the future by bringing together international experts, researchers and major corporations, as well as local authorities, start-ups and young people.

"Okay, the project is totally crazy. But do we really have time to be reasonable these days?" "It's a place that doesn't exist anywhere, so we decided to build it..."
These sincere sound bites heard in the press and seen on social media describe thecamp. A large-scale national promotional campaign began in June just as the project was materializing.

On a 17-acre lot at the Duranne park in Aix-en-Provence, the 129,000 ft2 of this complex designed by architect Corinne Vezzoni are slowly starting to emerge from the earth. The buildings, which are just five minutes from the TGV train station and 15 minutes from the airport, will be delivered in July 2017 for a grand opening later in the fall.

"thecamp is an ambitious, utopian project whose goal is to assist leaders as they grapple with the challenges of the technological transformation. The quickening pace of innovation in robotics, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and 3D printers will have an impact on our companies and our cities," explains Frédéric Chevallier, former president of High Co. As the founder of thecamp, he contributed funding while also managing to gain the support of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and the CEPAC for this €36 million real estate project.

"Join thecamp"

Provence Promotion recognized the value of this new addition in boosting the region's appeal, so it got involved early on by setting up a "Public Partners Committee" to include the Regional Council, Departmental Council, Aix-Marseille Provence Metropolitan Area and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Marseille-Provence in jump-starting construction of the campus in its lush, green setting.

thecamp is an integral part of the application submitted by Provence Promotion on behalf of Aix-Marseille to receive the French Tech designation.  thecamp will be a hive of research, work and social interaction with 250 slots to house young start-up developers, researchers and students. There will be room for young people with projects – regardless of nationality – and for ambitious makers of all stripes. Starting in 2017, Provence Promotion will begin reaching out to foreign companies working on issues related to smart cities to pitch them on thecamp's acceleration and residency programs.

Although it is open, thecamp will still be quite selective. "We are part of an innovation process that demands that issues be worked through quickly. This new ecosystem pulls together all the actors to work in a cross-disciplinary model," anotes Antoine Meunier, Director of Communications and Content for thecamp and a member of its Executive Committee.

When it opens, thecamp will operate with a staff of 50. Hiring is underway. The international advertising campaign, "Join thecamp", will kick off in November 2016.