To help revive its economy, Sophia Antipolis is lowering the property contributions of its companies.

Sophia Antipolis deserves a recovery plan that matches the situation of some tenants and the number of jobs created each year.

Selected officials and actors gathered at the Business Pole on Tuesday to unveil a plan for the largest technopark in Europe. With a strong preamble message from Jean Leonetti, President of the Sophia Antipolis Agglomeration (Casa), which covers most of the Sophia Antipolis area: “Economic recovery is based on something intangible, namely confidence. However, we are growing strongly and will continue to accelerate.”

3IA labeling and lower taxes

Among the elements that give hope for the future is the label 3IA (French Network of Interdisciplinary Institutes of Artificial Intelligence (3IA) – a national program dedicated to research in the field of artificial intelligence. – approx. ed.), recently updated. “It seems that we have exceeded the goals that we set for ourselves. This is the main element of recovery.”insists Jean Leonetti.

To ensure continuity in the current growth and even try to give it wings, Casa has taken it upon itself to provide “financial incentive. It’s simple: you need to pay less taxes. We decided not to make additional profits and further reduce the property tax for companies. (CFE) points.” Finally, as Jean Leonetti said,not being a Keynesian (A movement that sees the need for political support for the economy, especially in terms of job creation, ed.), recovery also means investment. We have made a choice between public and private.

In the private sector, this is the Écotone project, which is due to start construction in 2023 and be delivered in 2025.

From the public side, the investments are twofold. The bus-tram continues its route to connect Antibes with the technology park. “We’re not going to slow down, we’re going to speed up. We will be in the north of the city at the end of the year and we still have two years to complete the circle.”

Then comes the innovation center, the project of which has been launched. The delivery is scheduled for the end of 2024 and as part of this recovery plan, it will be financed in the amount of 14.6 million euros from the region and the state (7.3 million each). “It will be located opposite Sophi@tech and welcome startups. In a way, this will be a catalyst for cross-fertilization that we continue to develop, with the idea that artificial intelligence is an element available to everyone. Any innovation, starting from the creation of the world, causes anxiety and hope. However, optimists voluntarily choose hope.”

Ecosystem matching what we were looking for

Pierre Guinet is the HR director of Akt.io, a finance startup founded in 2017 that settled in Sophia Antipolis last summer. “We were a fintech startup in 2021 (Network of actors specializing in financial technologies., ed.) and we had the need to open a pole in France. Our founder is from the region, so the idea came up to come and set up our R&D center. (R&D) on the territory of the technopark. Made since last summer. A year ago we had about fifteen employees. Today we have a little over one hundred and twenty.”

Over the next two years, the startup plans to create about 500 jobs by typing “up to 80% in the region. It’s an ecosystem that matches what we’ve been looking for, with multiple players that allow us to access a skilled population, be it AI or blockchain technology. (A method of storing and transmitting digital data that makes any modification impossible, ed.)to optimize our products.”

The growth achieved through fundraising, through the marketing of its own cryptocurrency, paid off 27 million euros. “This allows us to develop this research and development center in a new building that is environmentally friendly and accessible by public transport. And which meets all our expectations so that our employees can show their best side. And in order to limit the chores of everyday life. There are connections and partnerships with large organizations such as Inria or the 3IA movement.”

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