Efficient tools to assist entrepreneurs

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The County council ("Conseil General") in partnership with consular organisations, employers' groups, professional unions, State service and local authorities have favoured establishing structures to accommodate companies: business incubators , company "hotels" and rental workshops, support to market lots designed to accommodate economic activity, requalification of activity centres, support for technology transfer, assistance missions for export, and active participation in pro-fessional exhibitions.

Since 1972, the Val d'Oise County Council has been equipped with an economic tool for company support and economic promotion of the department serving local development: the Val d'Oise Economic Expansion Committee (CEEVO). This organisation is ISO 9001 certified for all of its company management activities (assistance in business establishment, creation, development, and internationalisation - creation of studies and economic and statistic documents).

Cergy-Pontoise, a major city

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Cergy-Pontoise was built on a territory approximately the size of Paris beginning in 1969, and within a generation has become a true city (200,000 residents) equipped with all of the facilities necessary to the well-being of those who live and work there. Over 4,000 companies provide 90,000 jobs for an approximately equivalent size active population.

Cergy-Pontoise, located 30 km from Paris, has the major communication routes needed for its development. Three SNCF railway lines as well as the A and C RER suburban train lines place Cergy-Pontoise 20 minutes away from La Défense and 35 minutes away from Paris (Opéra). The A15 and A86 motorways place Cergy-Pontoise 20 minutes by car from La Défense. The La Francilienne motorway makes the Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport easily accessible. The "Express Bus" line connecting Cergy-Pontoise to the Charles-de-Gaulle Airport and its integrated TGV high speed railway station by this motorway route (40 minutes) provides new prospects for the active population living in the New Urban Area. These rapid links place Cergy-Pontoise at the centre of the Ile-de-France region's northwest quarter development.

For both shops (250,000 m²) and facilities (4 theatres, 11 cinemas, 83 school complexes, 11 high schools, 18 middle schools, 1,400 hotel rooms, 180 restaurants), supply meets demand. This has always been the developers' objective.

Creating the Cergy-Pontoise University in 1991, which accommodates 13,000 students, as well as the 11,000 additional students enrolled in grandes écoles ( ESSEC , ENSEA , EISTI , ITIN , Institut Polytechnique Saint-Louis ) all show - as if more proof were needed – the will shared by all development actors in the New Municipality to provide itself with the necessary assets for its expansion.

Economic activity poles

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The Val d'Oise departement (French County), created when the Paris Region was divided up in 1967, quickly asserted itself as a dynamic department. Its 1.2 million residents, the City of CERGY-PONTOISE'S nearly 200,000 residents, and 32 towns with over 10,000 residents all give the department a two-fold aspect:

an urbanised area along its entire southern fringe, from the Argenteuil - Bezons district through the southeastern municipalities (Sarcelles, Gonesse , Garges-lès-Gonesse ),

as well as extremely vast rural areas maintained in agricultural production zones: mixed farming and breeding in the Vexin Français (in a Regional Natural Park), with large-scale agriculture procuring high added value in the Plaine de France are (with another Regional Natural Park).

The Val d'Oise department, located in the North and Northwest periphery of the Paris urban area, truly enjoys a privileged location as both "gateway" to the Paris metropolis, and as an area open to Northern Europe (Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, etc.).

Its international character is strengthened by the presence of the ROISSY CHARLES-DE-GAULLE Airport on its territory, with an integrated TGV high speed train railway station providing remarkable connections for plane and train passengers.

The Val d'Oise department's eastern area: major opportunities

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This area enjoys an exceptional location due to major trunk roads (RN16, RN17, A1, A16), current creation of quick links (connecting the northern section of the Francilienne, Parisis Intercommunal Boulevard), as well as the Roissy Charles de Gaulle international airport (airport, TGV high speed train railway station, RER suburban train station, etc.). The progressive creation of 100,000 m² of office space ("Roissy-pôle") and establishment of a business incubator (" Aéropole ") create a driving force within the airport platform.

To meet the extremely high demand of national and foreign companies, several business parks for approximately 1,000 hectares located within the municipalities of Roissy-en-France, Gonesse, Bonneuil-en-France, and Goussainville are planned by the SDRIF (Ile-de-France Region basic development scheme), and have started accommodating high technology companies, foreign companies, and companies with an international calling.

Many municipalities such as Sarcelles, Louvres, or Saint-Witz are also developing new activity zones to accommodate companies interested by the nearby airport and its services, the exceptional road infrastructure quality (RN16, RN17, A1, A16, etc.) as well as this zone's international calling.

Economic poles and axes

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The Val d'Oise department has mutually complementary economic poles:
- in the heart of the Plaine de France area, opening of the A 16 motorway has caused the current expansion of activity zones along the RN 1 between Deuil-la-Barre, Domont, and Monsoult, built near quality urban centres,

- the Persan and Beaumont-sur-Oise economic pole, with its rich, vivacious industrial past, is a versatile site on the Val d'Oise department's slope. Metallurgical industries, as well as high-tech companies, henceforth work towards strengthening this geographical structure that offers particularly accessible activity zones (A16 motorway towards the Channel Tunnel). Developing logistic and "post-production" poles in the Bruyères-sur-Oise port area reinforce this branch's economic perspectives,

- the " Vallée de Montmorency " is above all a much sought-after residential area, but the human-scale activity zones located along the RER suburban train route also provide a fabric rich with specialised small and medium sized firms and companies: high technology and subcontracting in mechanics, plastics, and electronics.

A dense, rich, diversified economic fabric

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While the Val d'Oise department's economic fabric is largely composed of small and medium sized firms and companies, it also accommodates many large firms that have an essential role in its economic dynamics. Headquarters and industrial groups of national and inter-national renown have already chosen the Val d'Oise department.

The City of CERGY-PONTOISE , the Argenteuil-Bezons industrial area, and the Roissy district accommodate a considerable number ( 3M, Spie, BP, Johnson Controls, Dassault, Sagem, Thales, Sharp, Konica, General Motors, Yamaha, Nielsen, Kubota, Pioneer, Airbus Helicopters, Air France, Goodrich, Atos, Emc, Huawei, Valeo, Autoliv, LVMH, Manutan, Raja...).

Large companies are major contractors and work with a dense, diversified network of sub-contractors. But a large part of the Val d'Oise department's industrial production is generated by many medium-size size companies.

These are mainly directed towards an entire series of technologically based activities: computer equipment, industrial equipment, digital services, biotech companies, electronics, manufacturing with high added value, etc. For example, The Val d'Oise department ranks among top French departments in the robot production branch.

2,000 hectares of surface area in the Val d'Oise department (1.6% of the department's territory) are currently allotted to economic activity zones. The Cergy-Pontoise and Roissy CDG airport economic poles still have areas which are immediately available: 17 economic activity zones already have over 1,000 employees each.

Since 1990 the department has created over 100,000 salaried jobs, one of France's best performances in terms of growth. In 2004, the Val d'Oise department was ranked among top French departments in terms of growth in the number of salaried jobs. While jobs increase more rapidly in tertiary economic activity sectors, the depart-ment is more resistant to the deindustrialisation phenomenon affecting the Ile-de-France region.

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Conseil départemental du Val d’Oise - 2 avenue du Parc - Bâtiment F - 3ème étage - CERGY

Contacts

2, avenue du Parc - CS 20201 Cergy
95032 CERGY-PONTOISE cedex France
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 +33 (0) 1 34 25 32 42

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