North Franche-Comté is a land of inventors, scientists and industrialists, ranging from Oehmichen’s helicopter to the creation of Alstom’s TGV high-speed train. It is the birthplace of watchmaking and modern industry with names such as Japy, l’Épée, Peugeot and, nearby, Bugatti, the Lumière brothers, Schlumpf, Lipmann, Clemessy, Schlumberger, Dreyfus and Koechlin. It represents over a century of industrial experience and has become the seedbed for tomorrow’s development.
Alstom, General Electric (GE), PSA Group and other leading figures of the economy have developed their activity in the heart of this territory around the Belfort and Montbéliard conurbations. At their side, a concentration of stakeholders has generated a genuine ability to create innovative and competitive industrial solutions. Next to the major industrial sectors – automotive, rail and energy – the healthcare, agrifood, digital and leatherwork sectors have a growing presence in the economic ecosystem. Other sectors such as industrial doors or the transformation of special materials, seem seemingly more modest but at the cutting edge of competitiveness.
The growth of North Franche-Comté is based on a pool of skilled labor and bold, imaginative industrialists having a strong capacity to innovate. R&D makes up for 5% of local jobs in comparison to 2% for France overall. The presence of major international industries promotes innovation from both public and private research. The four competitiveness clusters – Vehicle of the Future, Microtechnology, Plastipolis and Vitagora – serve innovative companies. North Franche-Comté is truly in the lead for the “Industry of the Future”.
You will be surprised by the riches of North Franche-Comté. Leave gray towns behind you and marvel at the very colorful architecture. Here towns are in the country and the country brings oxygen to the towns. Nature is resting and the territory offers big city services without the inconvenience of a metropolis. Looking for thrills? You can snowboard, paraglide, go rock climbing, waterboarding or mountain biking.
Is your family with you? Discover the hiking paths, visit the parks and zoos. Enjoy the fine cuisine and the rich cultural life with theaters, movies, concerts, street performances, the Eurockéennes music festival, the Christmas markets, amateur or high-performance sports, renowned restaurants. Take your pick!
North Franche-Comté is the only territory in France with an American international section from elementary school to junior high. It is possible for your children to choose both the junior certificate and the baccalaureate with an international option.