Strategic location in the heart of southern Europe
Occitanie is France’s second-largest region in surface area, with two European-sized cities, Toulouse and Montpellier. It is strategically located in the heart of southern Europe. A sea-facing region, Occitanie is home to France’s largest network of regional ports providing value in terms of shipping and logistics thanks to its three commercial ports.
A booming national and european-level economy
Demographically, Occitanie is growing by leaps and bounds – its population increases each year by 50,000 inhabitants – and the region’s economic appeal is noteworthy. Its per-capita wealth puts in in line with Catalonia. It is the leading region in France in terms of rates of business creation.
Agriculture, which takes up half of the region’s land mass, drives a powerful agri-food sector whose key features are quality, organic farming (it is the country’s top organic region, with more than 7,000 organic producers, accounting for 20% of the total), regional specialties and a strong Mediterranean emphasis. It is also the world’s largest “appellation” wine region.
Its expertise in aerospace and embedded systems are known the world over. With more than 800 companies, 86,000 jobs – one-quarter of the European space workforce – Occitanie is the leading European region in these sectors, notably due to the presence of Airbus, Thales Alenia Space, and the National Center for Space Studies (CNES).
Renewable energies are one of Occitanie’s strong points: the region has immense green energy potential and is poised to become Europe’s first Positive Energy Region by 2050. Within France, it is ranked second for renewable energy, photovoltaic and hydroelectric production, third in terms of wind power and fifth when it comes to biomass.
Intellectual capital and a thriving innovation ecosystem
With 35 Grandes Écoles and two universities, Occitanie has the third-largest student population in France (nearly 230,000), together with 29,400 researchers, ten institutions dedicated to technology transfer (including the IRT Saint Exupéry Technology Research Institute, Toulouse Tech Transfer, AxLR), and several dozen clusters and business networks (including one global cluster and two with a global focus).
In 2018, the city of Toulouse hosted the 8th edition of the Euro Science Open Forum, Europe’s largest interdisciplinary professional gathering devoted to science and innovation. This was a first for France.
Montpellier has become a leader in France in the field of video games. Ubisoft has set up shop here in the 1990s, and a number of independent studios open their doors each year, creating an ecosystem that is propitious for startups. By way of example, in 2018, Ubi Global ranked the Business & Innovation Centre (BIC) in Montpellier the second-best incubator in the world.
A thriving tourist scene driving by water sports and hydrotherapy
Occitanie’s Mediterranean shoreline, two mountain ranges and robust historical and cultural identity make it the fourth most popular tourist destination in France. It is also the country’s number one spa region, welcoming 166,000 visitors each year.
Welcome to Occitanie
Relocation Partners / Mobility Assistance in Toulouse: Toulouse Village, In Situ, See and Moove, BC’Relocation, Mobility Group, Link Mobility, MF Mobility.
Relocation Partners / Mobility Assistance in Montpellier: RWS, Privilege Sud, Ma Nouvelle Ville. Information and support by Ad’Occ if needed concerning the Talent Passport, Investing and exercising a commercial or industrial activity in France, How to apply for a residence permit, etc.
Welcoming the spouse / job search: APEC International and Pôle emploi International (Montpellier + Toulouse).
Toulouse one of the top 50 favorite university cities for students worldwide Toulouse: International School. Deutsche Schule. Kaleidoscope Bilingual School. Montessori Colors. Mon Ecole / My School. La Tour Rose. Public schools: two lower secondary schools + two upper secondary schools: English, Spanish, German.
Montpellier Baillargues Private Bilingual International School. Public schools with international sections (seven lower secondary schools + four high schools) – Anglo-American, German, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic.
French Tech en Occitanie
The two capitals, Montpellier and Toulouse, have the French Tech quality label and are present in the following thematic networks: BioTech / MedTech / E-Health; IoT / Manufacturing; EdTech / Entertainment: video games, etc.; CleanTech / Mobility; FinTech; Security / Privacy; Retail; FoodTech; Sport.
- Eight remarkable sites listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Pont du Gard, Canal du Midi (241 km – 150 miles – from Sète to Toulouse, one-fifth of French river tourism, approximately 80% of passengers are foreigners), Carcassonne, Cité Episcopale d’Albi, etc.
- 40 Grand Sites Occitanie / South of France.
- over 300 museums.
- 12 cities listed as Cities of Art and History,
- more than 400 festivals and events.
- 45 villages ranked among the “Most Beautiful Villages of France” in Occitanie.
- Natural assets:
- The diversity of natural spaces (mountains, sea, countryside).
- More than 40% protected natural space.
- 38,000 km (23,600 miles) of marked paths, including the famous – Route du GR10 through the Pyrenees and the Santiago de Compostela routes.
- 40 ski resorts in the Pyrenees, Aubrac, Cévennes and Margeride,
- 30 thermal resorts.
- Montpellier, 1st sports city outside Paris.