Sophia Antipolis technology park supports the “nautical” sector in the broadest sense of the term, given the diversity and expertise of local companies, by bringing together 3 main areas of activity: Yachting/Sailing, Bluetech and Smart Port, which are all complementary and mutually enriching.

Technology, Training, Research and Trials are undertaken in all 3 categories.

> The Yachting-Sailing sector covers a very wide range of services, for discerning global customers. Yachting professionals include more specifically, establishments in the nautical sector declaring that more than 20% of their turnover is realised thanks to the Yachting customer base (boats> > 24m), all activities combined (sale/trade, repair/maintenance, services, etc.).

> The Bluetech sector refers to the economic opportunities offered by the marine environment, such as marine renewable energy, biotechnologies, seabed minerals, aquaculture & sea fishing, tourism and environmental protection.

> Smart Port, finally, concerns the development of digital technology in infrastructure and seaport services, by optimising the collection and use of data and artificial intelligence, by interconnecting all the players, operators and customers of ports, by creating a connected and intelligent port of the future, by creating new services, and providing a testing ground and opportunities for innovation open to companies and research laboratories.

Key figures in the Alpes Maritimes

1,079 nautical jobs
including 445 yachting establishments
3,600 nautical jobs
including 1,843 yachting jobs
736 million Euros
6 ports
11 service areas
4,963 berths

Focus on the CASA territory

> Antibes, Vallauris/Golfe-Juan and Villeneuve-Loubet account for most of the CASA’s nautical activity.

> Most of the sector’s activity involves the territory’s small companies. Indeed, very small companies of fewer than 10 employees represent 93% of the total number of companies, and more than 60% of the overall turnover.

> Antibes is a forerunner for all of these activities, and is often the leading town in terms of turnover, employees and number of companies.

Sophia Antipolis partners

A sector of excellence

ACRI-IN reconciles R&D with digital modelling and spatial data. It boasts an international design office specialised in coastal planning, maritime engineering and maritime and port project management.

Developed the first connected underwater weather station to monitor water quality in real time and through prediction. It offers innovative and unique products, using the internet of objects and artificial intelligence.

Innovative Yacht management software (fleet management, HR, technical, administrative and financial management, yacht and crew certificates, ISM)

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute, [ETSI] is officially responsible for ICT standardisation for Europe. It specialises in the field of maritime communications (radio equipment, GPS, radars, VHF, etc.).

A design agency, design office and creative workshop, L2Concept and Factory-Unit combine their strengths to create, innovate and realise projects. Modelling and prototyping for the marine industry (submarines), aeronautics and automobile.

K-EPSILON is a leader in simulation and prediction of complex hydro-dynamic and aeronautic systems for maritime applications and off-shore installations.

MSc international is a two-year course offered by Université Côte d’Azur on Science, Conservation and the Promotion of marine and oceanographic resources. There is also an entrepreneurship module with Skema Business School.

SAFE Cluster is the French competitiveness cluster active in Aerospace, Security/Safety, Defence and Risk Prevention. It has satellite data expertise and provides support for R&D projects, in particular Smart Port.

Offers high-quality maritime telecommunications and is accessible on all the world’s seas and oceans (4G, VSAT, Inmarsat and Iridium, TV, Internet, Network engineering solutions, installation and remote assistance).

Providing a maritime data solution. Analyses complex big data on the main maritime segments: ports and offshore activities, fishing, marine renewable energy, oil and gas, sailing and marine protected areas.

Service sectors and the nautical industry

Training centres

The training centre for service sectors and the nautical industry INB(INB and CCI NCA partnership) based in Villefranche sur Mer, with a future additional expansion to Port Vauban in Antibes. The INB is both a private non-contractual vocational school, a private training centre for apprentices (CFA) and an ongoing training centre dedicated entirely to the boating sector (400 trainees and apprentices are trained each year across 3 sites in France, including one in Villefranche sur Mer).

Port Vauban

A port under development

Port Vauban in Antibes is Europe’s leading marina and the largest in terms of total tonnage in the Mediterranean. Today it is undergoing comprehensive transformation thanks to the 3rd millennium Port project “PORT VAUBAN 21”, making it the sector’s flagship in the Mediterranean.

The project is centred around 7 major activities: sailing, Yachting/Super Yachting, cruising, careening, events and fishing.

Port Vauban is a lever for economic and social development by facilitating cross-fertilisation through training and through the services it provides to companies. Sustainable development and biodiversity conservation are central to its initiatives and will be a standard feature throughout the operating cycle.

1,654 berths (including 225 yachting and 19 super yachting berths)
47.2 hectares (including 32 water area hectares)
135 million (over 25 years)
1,000 Parking places

The yachting technology park

Apart from redeveloping the port, the Port Vauban 21 project includes an economic development component: the yachting technology park.

The Yachting technology park was officially launched at Port Vauban in June 2019 during a launch conference with companies and academics from Sophia Antipolis (Inria, SCE, ACRI, Sea Sat Com, Smart Service Connect, etc.), members of Riviera Ports, Vauban 21, Philippe Prost architect’s office, CASA and the CCI NCA.


The Yachting technology park project comprises 3 key cornerstones, which will be broken down into projects and practical measures with companies, entrepreneurs, laboratories and students, for the benefit of the Blue Economy sector:

> Technological innovations/Testing ground

> Training

> Sustainable development – Ecology – Environmental Protection

Port Vauban 21 is a testing ground for new technologies, new materials and new smart systems for this Yachting technology park.

A physical bridge

The physical bridge, linking Port Vauban 21’s new architectural project with the Sophia Antipolis technology park already exists!

The Port will be connected to Antibes railway station by a bridge, at the multi-modal hub, and thanks to the existing and future path of the Bus-Tram, to Sophia Antipolis technology park innovation centre, Inria, and Sophi@Tech Campus in just 15 minutes.

Competitiveness clusters

CASA and Port Vauban draw on the expertise of local Competitiveness Clusters (SAFE Centre on global security, SCS Centre on Secured Communicating Solutions and Smart Port, Mediterranean Sea Centre) to design projects and trials.

Similar work is carried out with Université Côte d’Azur and its partners (Inria, SKEMA Business School, Msc MARRES, Polytech Sophia Antipolis, etc.) on research projects with broad thematic dimensions.

An events strategy

an international trade show on the Blue Economy and sustainable development is in the pipeline, as well as events bringing together companies, laboratories and users (captains, owners, crew, suppliers, etc.)

Furthermore, tertiary spaces open to companies will be created and coordinated at Port Vauban, Port Gallice and the Business Pole to strengthen this relationship with Sophia Antipolis, on a rapidly evolving theme.

Tertiary infrastructure

offices for the sector

With the Vauban 21 redevelopment project, the sector will dispose of tertiary spaces for Yachting and Nautical companies in Port Vauban (coworking and flex-office spaces (400 m²) in the new Port Vauban Harbour Master’s Office (by 2024) and 2,000 m² in new premises in Port Gallice in Antibes (by 2022), as well as Chamber of Commerce offices at the Business Centre (250 m²) in Sophia Antipolis dedicated to companies and start-ups in the marine-yachting industry.