50th Anniversary of Sophia Antipolis, The First Science and Technology Hub in Europe

Jean LEONETTI, Mayor of Antibes Juan les Pins, President of the Sophia Antipolis Metropolitan Council and of the Sophia Antipolis Joint Association (SYMISA), unveiled this morning the timeline of events scheduled in 2019 as part of the 50th anniversary of Europe’s first science and technology hub.

This series of events aim not only to celebrate the progress made by the trailblazers who followed one another at Sophia Antipolis, but also to explore the challenges of tomorrow and set the course for the years to come, with a special emphasis on artificial intelligence.

1 March 2019: An event involving Sophia Antipolis’s stakeholders

Today, nearly 40,000 people work at the science and technology hub. On Friday 1st March 2019, hundreds of women and men from Sophia Antipolis (residents, students, employees, etc.) will gather to form together a human logo as a sign of the hub’s vitality.

April 2019: The 3IA label formalizing the excellence of the science & technology hub in the field of AI

The 3IA Cte d’Azur project, focusing on the issues of “Digital Health and Biology” and the “Smart City”, will be formally labelled in April 2019 by the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.

13 June 2019: Celebration of the 50th anniversary

In the morning, inauguration of the exhibition #BeSophia, an open-air, marked course embarking visitors on a journey throughout the science and technology hub and shining a light on its history, strengths and values.

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– In the afternoon, a forward-looking round-table session on the topic of “new technologies and their role in tomorrow’s society” will take place in the facilities of Skema Business School. Several top-notch speakers will be on stage to share their perspectives.

November 2019: Second edition of the SophI.A Summit

After the success of the first edition of November 2018, with 1,300 participants to the conferences on the various applications of AI hosted by 50 French and international experts, a second edition of the SophI.A Summit is underway.

December 2019: Laying of the first foundation stone of the ‘Ecotone’ project and burying of a time capsule sealed until 2069!

– A new gateway to the science and technology hub, this 40,000 sq. m development project will be carried out by Compagnie de Phalsbourg, with the support of architects Jean Nouvel and Manal Rachdi. Ecological and definitely innovative, the complex will house, among other things, office and coworking spaces, including a replica of Xavier Niel’s brainchild, the Paris-based Station F incubator – all of this on premises stretching over 27,000 sq. m of green space.

– To mark the end of this extraordinary year, a time capsule will be buried under the ground of the future ‘Ecotone’ site, and left there for the next generations to discover.

A series of items representative of people’s everyday life, of innovations, testimonies, messages and visions of the future will be placed inside the capsule before it is sealed, and eventually opened 50 years from now, in 2069.

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“In the late 1960s, one could legitimately doubt the success of the creation of a center for innovation and high-technology located in the middle of nowhere, in a region more closely associated with tourism than with industrial development. Yet, it all worked out. With nearly 5,000 researchers and 2,500 companies that employ 38,000 workers within a science and technology hub featuring 90% of green space, what looked like a challenge at first proved to be an undeniable success, boasting today 5.6 Bn in turnover. The science and technology hub also succeeded in attracting beyond our borders, as reflected by its 188 foreign companies employing nearly 10,000 people of 67 nationalities.

Today, Sophia Antipolis is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Half a century during which the idea of cross-fertilization has kept enduring. The fact that SophiaTech, the new University, chose to settle here, that the “Business Ple” business incubator and its many startups are expanding everywhere and, more importantly, that the first European science and technology hub has just been awarded the 3IA label is proof that the very idea of Sophia Antipolis, at the crossroads between innovation and excellence, is more relevant than ever,” says Jean Leonetti.

SOURCE: Symisa

/Public Release.