Following a comparative study performed in the nine conurbations to have received the ‘FrenchTech’ label, the Journal des Entreprises has just awarded Lyon the title of “France’s 2nd Silicone Valley” (after Paris). “This title demonstrates our region’s dynamic in the digital industry, which has been undergoing rapid growth as is reflected by the 300 new companies and 3200 new jobs created over the past 6 years” explains Karine Dognin-Sauze, Vice President of Innovation, Smart Cities and Digital Development.

The title is based largely on the level of employment in the companies listed. According to these quantitative criteria, Lyon is way ahead in the lead with 50, 000 jobs in 3741 digital companies. The runners up include Aix-Marseille (31,673 jobs), Toulouse (28,953 jobs and 1692 companies), Lille (28,807 jobs and 2161 companies) and Nantes (27,941).

One of the criteria was also how the companies evolve within the industry. In this area, the city provides the kind of conditions that encourage development but also innovation and the emergence of start-ups. Over the past 6 years, 300 companies and 3246 jobs have been created.

Today, the digital industry is structured around Lyon French Tech. After it was announced that Lyon had been approved for this label last November, an association will be created in May this year to coordinate and manage Lyon French Tech actions. This digital platform will bring together various actors from the sector: companies, clusters and competitive clusters and higher education establishments, among others.

By 2016, the Halle Girard, located in the heart of the Confluence district, should become the “iconic home of Lyon’s digital identity.” Indeed, this “totem building” project will offer 4000 sq. m devoted to digital companies, with  co-working facilities and spaces for start-ups , as well as a venue for organising and hosting events. Total investment in this project is 10 million euros, 3.2 million of which will be funded by the Rhone-Alpes region.