CEO of the Europe’s first and biggest science & tech hub Sophia Antipolis visited Kyiv and Kharkiv

3rd of December has started the 3-days visit to Ukraine of Mr. Philippe Mariani – CEO of Sophia Antipolis, Europe’s first and biggest science and technology hub located near Cannes, France. 

Sophia Antipolis is a platform, cluster, ecosystem hub for startups, and innovation laboratory where private R&D centers share the arena with public laboratories and training sectors to encourage exchanging ideas and scientific and technological innovation among researchers, industrialists, students, and educators.

Founded in 1969 by French Senator Pierre Laffitte, today Sophia Antipolis is:

  • 2300 foreign asset resident companies from 24 countries
  • 6 billion euros turnover
  • 40000 employees
  • 4500 researchers
  • 5500 students
  • 65 nationalities
  • 2400 hectares

Philippe Mariani visited, the first innovation park in Ukraine, developed according to international smart city standards, prioritizing safety, environment, economic use of energy, residents’ health, and the like. During the excursion, the delegation discovered the ucode academy, Nest venue, and well-known chimney of an old motorcycle factory, transformed into an art object.

Kyiv – 3rd of December, Friday

Within the meeting with team (Constantine Yevtushenko, Managing Partner, Valentina Rakitina, Head of Ecosystem, Tetyana Morozova-Skydan, Head of International PR, Dina Nesterovych, Head of conference services), Apostera Cofounder and CTO Viktor Sdobnikov (Ukrainian startup that invented unique Mixed Reality technology that was recently introduced in the all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron and Audi Q4 e-tron: Sportback), Serge Osipenko, Universus (local partner of Sophia Antipolis in Ukraine), Iryna Supruniuk, communication and partnership at TechUkraine, Philippe Mariani and participants discussed: 

  • clusterization of technoparks and potential of specialization: Sophia Antipolis’s core clusters are AI, automotive – smart vehicle, health science
  • international collaborations, strategic alliances, and options of a partnership between Ukraine and France in a field of innovations
  • development of tech ecosystems by providing the full circle of services (concept of the 15-minute city), with the engagement of stakeholders (companies, government, universities, funds, accelerators, VFs, etc.)

At the very core of UNIT.City’s values is lifelong learning. We explore the world all the time; we meet visionaries and talents; we exchange experience with innovators all over the world in order to create an ecosystem of innovators at a global scale. It’s a big honor for us to host the core team of SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS from France at UNIT.City in Kyiv, Ukraine. We definitely are of the same breed – we want to make the world a better place. Together! – Dominique Piotet, CEO at UNIT.City.

It was a pleasure to meet the team and see the tremendous efforts developed in a very short time to layout the basis of what will undoubtedly be a vivid innovation ecosystem. Sophia Antipolis is thrilled to share experience and possible joint programs in the near future, particularly in AI / IoT and clusterization processes. I look forward to the venue of a larger representative delegation from our innovative science and technology park Sophia Antipolis soon. It is essential to gain momentum in internationalization in science, innovation, and technology and advance in these issues with our local partners both in Kyiv and Kharkiv and in the country at large. We look forward to soon greeting our partners in Sophia Antipolis – said Philippe Mariani.

Mr. Mariani visited AI HOUSE, a leading Artificial Intelligence ecosystem in Ukraine. Within the meeting with CEO Bogdan Ponomar, the sides agreed to join forces in cooperation in AI development, collaborate in conducting joint programs, and exchange the experience. Last week AI HOUSE hosted the first AI HOUSE Conference in Kyiv; at the same time, Sophia Antipolis is gathering the brightest minds of AI in France for the 4th year in a row.

Philippe Mariani and Serge Osipenko met with the Minister for Communities and Territories Development Oleksii Chernyshov. The discussions took place on implementing reforms primarily promoting Ukraine as an innovative destination for investment in industrial parks. The parties discussed the possibilities of joint projects through clusterization of processes and construction of industrial parks network. Sophia Antipolis was created more than fifty years ago to diversify the economy and has deep knowledge in operating and managing tech parks.

I am thrilled to see the advancement in the field of attracting investment and economic development in Ukraine; no doubt we, as Sophia Antipolis, are happy to contribute with our local partners in bringing expertise and experience in the field of innovation ecosystems / sustainable development and environment protection. Our main goal will be to enable focus on accelerating inclusive and sustainable industrial development, building in a multi-stakeholder partnership at the national and international level – said Philippe Mariani.

Kharkiv – 4th of December, Saturday

During the visit to Kharkiv, Philippe Mariani met with the Rector of the Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics Valery Semenets, CEO of the Synergy Science Park Vadym Khachatryan, and the TECOR team (Vadym Synegin, Maxym Golovakhin, Eugene Ipatko). After getting acquainted with the university and its infrastructure, the sides determined the basic principles of cooperation in the field of knowledge exchange and the creation of a common scientific base.

The primary purpose of the meeting in Synergy Science Park was to present the concept of Synergy Kharkiv technology innovation park, where was showcased a development plan and projects, architectural solutions, and location of the main parts of Synergy Kharkiv (Knowledge and R&D center, Conference area, Entrepreneur center, Campus ). The parties agreed to set up a joint working group with Sophia Antipolis and Synergy to design a science model for the technology park.

And last but not least, Philippe Mariani visited the Kharkiv State Biotechnological University and met with the Chairman of the Academic Council, Andriy Odarchenko. As the initiator of the technopark, Andriy Odarchenko presented the main results and achievements in the university’s scientific activity, emphasizing the necessity of combining scientific potential in a single complex, which should be the university technopark “BIOTECH.”

In order to implement the concept of a technology park and a dedicated innovation ecosystems system sustainably, you need to have favorable conditions for success. Today the conditions are there, and my visit to Ukraine, including Kyiv and Kharkiv, confirms what I thought. We are happy to support technological, scientific developments that could be financed and promoted in the market. – Philippe Mariani

We are honored to be the local partner of Sophia Antipolis, the world-famous flagship technology park in Europe. We are ready to work hard to achieve an ambitious goal: to make Ukraine one of the core technological leaders and center of innovation on the continent. – Vadym Synegin

The creation of a technopark will significantly improve the importance of Ukraine in the international market and will entail the economic growth of the state. – Vadym Khachatryan

Today in Ukraine, there is an opportunity to use the latest achievements of science and technology to build an ecosystem of technology parks and research and innovation clusters. There is a scientific potential for this and political will and various sources of funding. We can use the experience of Sophia Antipolis and other similar players, parks, and incubators, thanks to the collaboration with such strong experts as our French guest Philippe Mariani (longtime colleague and spiritual heir of Pierre Laffitte, creator of Sophia Antipolis). I am convinced that our engineering talents, many of whom work in leading global companies (SpaceX, Google, Amazon, etc.), will be able to work in Ukraine, if we join forces to create a network of scientific and technological infrastructure, attract innovative global companies to implement ambitious projects here, as well as financing international venture funds for investment support of R&D and startups. – Serge Osipenko, UNIVERSUS

Additional Information

Thanks Serge Osipenko (Universus), Vadym Synegin (Tecor), Vadym Khachatryan (Synergy) for organizing the tour of high french guest to Ukraine!

UNIVERSUS – strategic communications agency with 20+ years of experience worldwide that develops complex strategies as well as targeted solutions to essential and challenging tasks, including crisis management.

TECOR is the Ukrainian tech company, united engineers, analysts, and marketing experts that transform business processes and provide turnkey innovative solutions at digital speed.

Synergy – IT school & Platform for innovations development, IASP member – global network for science parks and areas of innovation.

UNIT.City is the first smart city dedicated to innovation in Ukraine. A place where ideas come to life thanks to an ecosystem, based on technology, education, creativity, investment, and partnerships, supported by a culture of collaboration, co-creation, and innovation. A city in a city that by 2025 will welcome more than 20,000 residents, both working and living in UNIT.City.  

TechUkraine is a platform based on the desire to strengthen the Ukrainian technological ecosystem and bring Ukraine into the leaders of technological countries in the world.

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