Normandy-based industries, SMEs, major groups, living heritage companies (EPVs in French) and start-ups are all onto something; they recognise the region’s undeniable potential when it comes to successful economic development. Thanks to its proximity to Paris, which helps avoid any logistical issues, and its status as France’s leading regional seaboard, Normandy is accessible both nationally and internationally. If you are a new business or investor, why not consider doing business in a dynamic region that is future facing and internationally minded?
A strategic location
Situated between London and Paris, right on northern Europe’s doorstep as well as on the most frequented maritime route in the world, Normandy is a convenient location for businesses to set up and access a potential market of 20 million consumers. The Normandy economy is influenced by maritime trade from the Channel and the North Sea, which passes through via the major ports of Le Havre and Rouen, as well as a number of secondary ports (Caen/Ouistreham, Cherbourg, Dieppe, Fécamp, Honfleur, Granville and Le Tréport).
Thanks to a well-developed transport network of road, rail, waterways, ports and airports, Normandy is home to a flourishing logistics industry. It is also the second most important region in France for cross-Channel transport.
A dynamic ecosystem
Home to several innovative economic sectors, supported by a business network, Normandy is a major industrial region in France, and boasts some renowned national competitive clusters including Pôle TES, Hippolia, Valorial, and Cosmetic Valley.
The region also enjoys a wealth of logistical resources, with fully fitted warehouses available to rent or buy, companies that provide logistical and related services, and specialised technological platforms on which to test out innovations and develop new products.
Normandy is home to some iconic companies and brands, as well as of some major industrial groups. Thanks to its history, specific expertise and location, these days the region boasts outstanding achievements across its many networks and sectors of excellence, whether in the automotive, luxury, agri-food, chemical, aeronautical, petrochemical, energy or pharmaceutical fields… take your pick!
This network of high-level skills means Normandy regularly features in top 10 listings; that is, when it isn’t ranking number one in France in the equine and agri-food sectors, or number one internationally in luxury bottling and flax production.
The region’s dynamism also comes from the fact that great emphasis is put on research and development, and on digital and innovative technologies, as illustrated by car parts manufacturer Faurecia or Schneider Electric’s site, accredited as ‘industries of the future’.
Convinced that data is the future? Artificial intelligence is well represented here too, with researchers and start-ups joining forces to increase businesses’ digital potential and increase their productivity. An exceptional economic and scientific hub, Normandy has also become home to no less than six competitive clusters.
The region has a one agency, AD Normandie, to help businesses set up in Normandy. AD Normandie’s dedicated team supports businesses on a daily basis, helping them to enter the local market as best as possible!
First businesses receive a welcome kit, designed to help them learn about the business environment in Normandy and the different steps to setting up their business. Because each project is unique, the team organises one-on-one meetings for businesses with carefully selected prospective partners and service providers.
For those already convinced by Normandy’s potential, AD Normandie then supports them as they go through all the formalities, both professional and personal. Key contacts are passed on to businesses so they can arrange meetings and grow their network.
Once businesses have broken into the French market, AD Normandie and its partners at the France Export Team in Normandy will help them develop further, providing advice on export so they can boost their business internationally.
Renowned for its expertise, Normandy is full of emerging talents and boasts advanced and effective training. AD Normandie’s dedicated recruitment service provides businesses with the best advice for growing their teams.
Finally, on the request of the French government, AD Normandie and its local partners have identified around 20 ‘turnkey industrial sites’ that are particularly attractive to national and foreign investors. Whether urban planning, the environment or preventative archaeology, administrative procedures have been anticipated to speed up compulsory procedures. AD Normandie can also provide support with any bespoke industrial projects businesses might have, by sourcing suitable real estate with the best financial advantages.
Are you looking for somewhere to create and develop your project? Normandy offers a range of different business incubators dedicated to innovation, mobility, the social and solidarity economy and the maritime, medical and digital sectors. Whether you need accommodation, personalised support, privileged access to funding, training opportunities or meetings with entrepreneurs, our business incubators provide the optimum conditions for developing your business!
Financial support is always welcome, and leader in economic development AD Normandie is there to help businesses in Normandy navigate the subsidies and financial support offered by the Region.
The Invest Team at AD Normandie encourage foreign businesses to set up in Normandy implantation, supporting in particular job creation and tangible and intangible investment programmes following a number of different business development plans.
Financial support forms part of a three-year programme where at least €150,000 goes towards business set-up and development, tangible investments (excluding real estate) and intangible investments like software (if these supplement tangible investments). AD Normandie also offers support with innovative and environmental projects, and businesses can benefit from support with job creation, with the salaries for new permanent positions covered for a period of two years if at least five new positions are created.
Investment funding is also an option, thanks to NORMANDIE PARTICIPATIONS, part of AD Normandie, a €100 million co-investment fund. From start to finish, via innovation and development, Normandie Paricipations works with businesses of all ages and in all sectors across Normandy. It also provides support to start-ups selected as part of the Fast Forward Normandie programme, a business accelerator that combines funding with tailored, in-depth support.
All of these businesses chose Normandy… will you?
Danone, Ferrero, Segafredo Zanetti, Nestlé, GlaxoSmithKline, Royal Canin, Nicherei, Maersk, Hyundai, China Shipping, Bosch, Exxonmobil, Presto Engineering, CH Robinson, Cargill, Magnetti Marelli, NXP, Siemens, Areva and Murata
Key facts and figures
- manufacturer of space and aircraft engines
- for energy generation
Second-largest French petrochemical rig
Second most popular tourist destination in France after Paris
The most cross-Channel traffic in France
Yannis Souami, founder of SINAY, a fast-growing Caen business working towards the protection of the undersea environment via data processing
I decided to set up my business, SINAY, in Normandy as there’s a local ecosystem in place that’s very favourable to new start-ups. Normandie Incubation, the BPI, the CCI Export, the ADN and Normandie Participations are some of the many services working together to accelerate the development of projects into dynamic businesses.
SINAY is a large-scale data platform dedicated to growing the economy and preserving the world’s oceans.
Here, once more, Normandy proves to have many assets. The association Normandie Maritime brings together naval, nautical, renewable energy, port and fishing businesses. We’re also part of French Tech, a community of entrepreneurs that share crossover feedback from our experiences.
Lastly, the network of universities and grandes écoles (private universities) fosters scientific skills and, every year, trains the fresh talent that businesses need so much.
What are our next steps? To interconnect the ecosystems currently in place, such as Normandie Maritime, French Tech and funding, to strengthen the bonds of local expertise and enable us to break into international markets.