Practical hints…

• Get a map - or you can make a printout of ours.
• The first time you get here - allow half an hour just driving around making your own mistakes.
• Try to find different ways to get to the same place - first on the map - then in reality.

The basic core value of Sophia is sharing: sharing ideas, sharing values, sharing environment, and of course the many qualities of life aspects. This is also reflected in the short history of Sophia, where the four different communities of Valbonne, Biot, Mougins and Vallauris in partnership host the Sophia Antipolis Science Park. Four communities which in a way correspond to the four major areas in the park.

This is also the explanation why Sophia doesn't have any real core - a campus center. Even though there are no clear borders between the different areas of Sophia, you can identify certain different characteristics of the various sections of the park:

Les Lucioles
In the original part of Sophia, Les Lucioles, you find the pioneering École des Mines and France Telecom which settled here in the sixties. In Les Lucioles you also find some high prestigious educational institutions like CERAM (Centre ETSIEnseignement Recherche Appliqué Management) and Theseus - a leading international management institute.

Les Lucioles moreover host ETSI, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, which nowadays plays a major role also when setting global standards for telecommunications. In the triangle between ETSI, Theseus and France Telecom you have the initial Agora - an amphitheatre-like meeting place which reflects the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean. In Les Lucioles you also find companies like Rhône Poulenc, TheseusCisco, Lucent Technologies, Schneider and SEMA group. And of course some nice hotels and restaurants. As a hint to remember the roads in Les Lucioles (which means glow-worm) are named after scientists and artists like Albert Einstein, Ludwig van Beethoven, Fjodor Dostojevskij and Fernand Léger.

Les TempliersLes Templiers
Eastwards from Les Lucioles, in the middle of a roundabout, you arrive in Les Templiers (an historical name for the Order of Nights Templars) where you find several institutions belonging to Nice University - UNSA, with more than 25 000 students in its campuses in Sophia Antipolis and Nice.

In Sophia Antipolis you find institutions in engineering sciences and technology, computer science, telecommunications engineering and networks, applied research in microwaves, antennas, radar and mobile communications field, studies in mechanics, energetics and experimental thermodynamics. You also find higher education in economic sciences, information sciences and corporate UNSAmanagement. Business and private research institutions work closely with UNSA - nearly half of the companies in Sophia Antipolis are involved in different partnerships with different research institutions of the University. In Les Templiers you also find INRIA (Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique) INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique).


Les 3 Moulins
Just beyond the University eastwards, you find Les 3 Moulins (The Three Mills) which is the part of Sophia Antipolis, which is more commited to services, manufacturing and trades.

picniqueLa Valmasque
On the other side of the A8 Coastal Highway, you also find many shops, supermarkets and specialized stores in the Saint-Bernard/Vallauris area. West from Vallauris you find the vast recreational area of La Valmasque, a wild forest with jogging tracks and picnic areas.

Les Bouillides
If you head north from the University - ignoring the fact that Route des Colles in Les Templiers host several companies and organizations such as Compaq/Digital, the International Heart Foundation and Institut Marcel Fournier - you arrive in Les Bouillides, (which got its name from the tiny river passing the area).

Les Bouillides is probably the most developed area of Sophia Antipolis, accommodating hundreds of high tech companies - among them Nortel/Bay Networks, Siemens, Rockwell, Trema, Amadeus, InFocus, Andersen Consluting and Air France. At the spectacular CICA complex (Centre International de Communication Avancˇe) several small and medium sized companies share location and services. Among them the advanced telecom school Eurecom, consultants and researchers such as Bikupan. As mentioned, there is no real city center or core in Sophia Antipolis, but if you insist on that there has to be one, it must be Haut-Sartoux. Here you find many restaurants, some shops and services. In Haut-Sartoux lies also SAEM, an organization founded to promote the development of Sophia Antipolis. Just down the valley from Haut-Sartoux is Garbejaire - a housing area from the late seventies where you also find the Mayor´s Office.

Leaving Les Bouillides heading west towards Mougins and Cannes leads us to Font de l'Orme which in fact is a continuation of the La Valmasque forest, but with some companies, schools and housing areas scattered among the pine trees.

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