Provence Partnership & Provence Mobile Valley




The Provence Partnership  (, sponsored by Provence Promotion which is the economic development agency for the region and Marseille, is a large multi-functional confederation of institutions which worktogether to promote economic development through the region of Provence and at various levels. These institutions include local Chambers of Commerce, government agencies, corporations and associations.

Provence Mobile Valley is a product of Provence Promotion and Team Cote d’ Azure, an economic development agency for the area around Nice. Marseilles and Nice are the principal cites in a region known as Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azure.

Between the two cities there is a 96 mile corridor with a significant accumulation of ICT expertise composed, particularly, of microelectronics, software and telecom: the Provence Mobile Valley. The region is of sufficient national importance that it is recognized as one of six national “poles” or centers of industrial excellence. The area is the heart of France’s Secured Communicating Competitiveness Cluster (“SCS”).

Microelectronics in Provence, a major component in the industry

The microelectronics cluster of Provence is part of an important industrial network. It is active throughout the value chain, from design to applications, and is a major element in the "Secured Communicating Solutions" world competitive cluster. It brings together around common projects, businesses, laboratories and universities in the field of microelectronics, software and telecommunications. 
The first design community in Europe is here with 6 engineering schools offering training that covers all the needs of the industry and an excellent potential for expansion.

  • nearly 10,000 jobs, including 2,800 design engineers and 700 researchers
  • 35% of semiconductor devices manufactured in France
  • 6 of the top 12 world industrial groups
  • over 100 businesses
  • 600 engineers trained each year


The world’s 5th largest semiconductor manufacturer, STMicroelectronics has a plant in Rousset with a 8-inch production facility and an electrical test unit for France. It employs nearly 2,700 people. Rousset 8 produces 350,000 8-inch silicon wafers per year, or about 2 billion chips in 8,000 square meters of clean room.
STMicroelectronics Rousset also employs over 400 design and R&D engineers and technicians contributing to the development of new products, particularly in the area of EEPROM, Smartcards and Microcontrollers.
Near the Rousset plant, STUniversity, STMicroelectronics corporate university, trains nearly 4,000 executives each year, from the company’s sites worldwide. STUniversity has established close partnerships with French and foreign institutions of higher education,


Atmel Corporation is a world leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, integrated logic circuits and mixed signal ICs, and nonvolatile memory and radio frequency components. Leveraging one of the industry's broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the electronics industry with complete microcontroller based system solutions focused on consumer, industrial, automotive, security, communications and computing markets.
The Rousset site, with a production capacity of 6,000 silicon 200mm-wafers a week, employs 1,400 people.


Gemalto provides solutions for integrated digital security, designed to make personal digital interactions more convenient, safe and enjoyable. Their activities range from the development of software applications through design and production of digital security devices such as smart cards, SIM cards, electronic passports, and tokens, to the management and deployment of customer-oriented services. Gemalto has 2 locations in Provence and employs over 2,100 people.

Provence, A vast area for small smart objects

Provence is happy to host leaders in the fields of telecom, smart cards and RFID, software, multimedia, and electronic components and solutions. 

Besides the major manufacturers of physical and logical security - Amesys, Atmel, Atos Origin, Cisco Systems, Gemalto, IBM, Microsoft, NXP, Oberthur, Orange Labs, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Thales Alenia Space, Toppan Photomasks – there are innovative SMEs leaders in mobile identity handheld solutions (ARD, ASK, ID Concept ...) as well as in physical and logical identity solutions (ARD, ASK, Inside Contactless, ID Concept, Ilex, MailInBlack Micro Be, MobileGov, NBS Technologies, Neowave, Polymage, Smartcom, Trusted Logic ...). 

In terms of research, the region offers public and private laboratories and technologically advanced platforms.

The RFID National Reference Center

To promote the development of RFID technology applications, the government called for the establishment of a RFID national center and launched a call for candidatures. The Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region CEN@RFID was selected for bringing together the best resources and skills within a coherent organization largely supported by economic players. 
With funding from the State, the RFID National Reference Center will conduct missions of information and awareness of economic players to facilitate the development and use of the technology by businesses, particularly SMEs. The center will contribute to the standardization and monitoring of legal and regulatory developments. The RFID Center will also coordinate the French response to the European call for candidatures for a thematic RFID community network.

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Mobile Center (PMC)

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Mobile Center offers players in the mobile industry the opportunity to test their applications on a wide panel of mobile phones available on the market. PMC is part of an international network of mobile terminal testing, which allows the testing of applications on more than 1,200 devices (a step made necessary by the heterogeneous nature of terminals). The center also develops technology and an updated database on mobile phones. The center is located at the heart of the Belle de Mai which hosts the local incubator for innovative businesses and a media park.

The largest European shared expertise center for Near Field Communication (NFC) was inaugurated in 2008 within the PMC. The Center brings together the whole NFC technology chain around mobile phones and other mobile objects and original demonstrators such as the first 100 percent m-Ticket compatible access control system (integrating both a NFC reader and a bar code reader on the handset display), or Geo-locating using NFC technology for highway safety. The center makes it possible for any French or foreign company using NFC applications or equipment to test their interoperability across the NFC value chain.

The Marseille-Provence Technology Park in Château-Gombert amounts to:

  • 180 hectares including 70 for company and laboratory accommodation

  • 150 companies
  • 3,800 private and public jobs including 1,000 teaching researchers
  • 300,000 m2 built up area
  • 292 M € of public and private investment
  • 2 engineering Grandes Ecoles:

    • the Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM)
    • the University Polytechnics School (Polytech' Marseille)

  • 2 university centres:

    • the Mathematics and Computer Sciences Centre (CMI)
    • the Interuniversity Centre of Mechanics and Mechanical Technology (UNIMECA)

  • 6 research laboratories 

  • 1 interuniversity incubator: Impulse

  • 1 high-tech business nursery: Marseille Innovation

  • 2,800 students

  • 1 conference complex
  • Daily attendance of over 10,000 people including approximately 3,000 new inhabitants.

Ten Reasons to Invest in France PDF