Office in the morning, beach in the evening ?

If you've always dreamed of running your business in a coastal town and giving your employees a high quality of life featuring lovely beaches and outdoors activities, Saint-Nazaire is exactly what you're looking for. It is a land of a thousand facets that complement each other without ever clashing: urban and coastal, historic and innovative, industrial and bucolic.

This little California in Brittany is now a highly popular destination! Is it for the area's twenty beaches, its open-mindedness, its sense of community, its economic vitality or its ability to prepare for the future? Come find out for yourself!

Saint-Nazaire, urban lifestyle on the coast

An economy with great potential

Saint-Nazaire boasts some of the most dynamic industries in France, including aeronautics (Airbus) and shipbuilding (Chantiers de l'Atlantique), and has what it takes to rise to the challenge of the new ocean-based blue economy (marine renewable energy and other renewables, sail-powered freight, marine bioresources).

Saint-Nazaire also features a strong supply of multi-sector skills (shipbuilding, aerospace, composites, oil and gas, etc.) and efficient logistics and port services.

A human scale city

• 70,000 residents in Saint-Nazaire proper
• 125,000 residents in the greater Saint-Nazaire area

Affordable real estate

• Houses: average purchase price of €2,520/m²
• Apartments: average purchase price of €2,396/m²
• Offices: average rent of €145/m²/year

Dynamic tech sector in Saint-Nazaire

A thriving ecosystem

• 580 jobs: up 8.4% between 2017 and 2019
• €11 million invested between 2017 and 2021 in the area's digital strategy
• An innovative region: 30% of total jobs in design and research

An iconic building

Located in the city centre, Le Paquebot is a place dedicated to digital technology that will soon include a Makerspace, an incubator, a coworking and event space, as well as office space for startups and the CESI engineering school.

Dedicated events

• Saint-Nazaire Digital Week
• Plage Web, a tech networking group
• The Audacity Awards

Awarded the frenchtech label in 2019

Comprising a community of 70 local businesses and associations, the Frenchtech label has increased the visibility and boosted the growth of the XXL industry and Blue Tech.

One step ahead in blue tech

Saint-Nazaire is a leader in Blue Tech innovation, with the Algosolis platform and the GEPEA laboratory, recognized worldwide for their R&D work on microalgae, the SEM-REV platform for multi-technology sea trials and the Blue Lab, the first makerspace focused on the blue economy.

Industrial deep tech

Deep tech innovations are disruptive innovations driven by industrial companies or research laboratories that innovate by pushing back technological frontiers. The large corporations like Airbus, Chantiers de l'Atlantique and IDEA located in the area drive innovation and increasingly give rise to spin-offs.

To encourage the emergence and growth of Deep Tech projects, 4 initiatives are planned in the area:

  • Technocampus Smart Factory: focusing on virtual and augmented reality
  • PLUG IN: an initiative that connects local industrial companies and tech startups
  • The Audacity Awards that reward innovative entrepreneurs each year
  • A new incubator dedicated to digital innovation projects, to be launched in september 2023

Key businesses

Large established firms:

Airbus, Chantiers de l'Atlantique, MAN Energy Solutions, Seris, IDEA, DAHER, Cargill, General Electric, and more

Startups in the starting blocks:

- in industry, often spin-offs of large businesses: Geps Techno, fiftytruck, Akrocean, Akajoule, X-SUN, and more

- in 3D and virtual reality: Third, Creasynth, Spectrum

- in media communications and digital solutions: Digital&Co, Ouest Medias, Move and Rent

- in fintech: Qlara,

Research excellence: a singular achievement for a medium-sized city!

The ESR cluster focuses on engineering and technology, with a diverse range of educational opportunities, from initial training to doctorate degrees.

  • 15 schools
  • More than 60 study programs
  • 3,500 students
  • More than 100 professors and 80 PhD students
  • 4th largest research cluster in the Pays de la Loire region
  • 3rd largest engineering cluster in Western France
  • 4 university laboratories in key sectors
  • GEPEA: microalgae
  • GEM: civil engineering, maritime engineering, MRE, boatbuilding and aerospace
  • LEMNA: logistics
  • IREENA: energy conversion and control

By 2025, the ESR in Saint-Nazaire will boast 3 complementary sites that will welcome 4,100 students:

  • Technology campus of the University of Nantes (IUT, UFR, Polytech, IFSI, CRTT)
  • Cité Scolaire: BTS, preparatory classes
  • Digital Campus: 1,000 students – CESI

Third, a local success story

"The diverse skill set of the local workforce is one of the key strengths of this area, which boasts qualified people capable of learning how to perform 3D printing."

Maxime Mahé, co-founder of THIRD, a 3D printing startup formed in Saint-Nazaire in 2019

Plage web, networking on the beach

"Saint-Nazaire boasts a wide range of expertise. Of course, there's shipbuilding and aerospace, but there's so much more as well. In digital tech and media, strong skills are being developed. Here you see a "maker" mindset, people who embark on projects without being sure of generating profits right away, who try things out and experiment, sort of in start-up mode. This is exactly what's happening in Saint-Nazaire right now!" 

Sébastien Taraud, founder of Plage Web