A network & a competitivity cluster in the south of France


POPsud, or Pole Optique et Photonique Sud, an association fonded in 2000 at the initiative of industry and research, is today a professional community with more than 175 members, involved in industrial development, research and education in optics, photonics and image processing in the south of France.


POPsud is responsible for the governance of the OPTITEC competitivity cluster on « Optical and imaging complex systems ».

The photonics cluster is based on leading edge research and a dynamic industry in eight major industrial sectors, including three that are linked to work in hostile environments: Space, Energy, Sea, Health, Telecoms, Microelectronics, Environment, Industrial Processes.


The cluster is a key player in building bridges between academic research teams and industry. POPsud provides support for the development of partnerships and joint R&D projects. This work is mainly focussed on providing support for SMEs, which are thus able to play a key role in projects accredited and financed by OPTITEC, as well as benefitting from a range of services and counselling for their development.


Since 2001, OPTITEC cluster gives the label more than 95 joint R&D, associating representative of industry and academia. The project of our cluster is to build a European center for innovation in optical and imaging complex systems.


The PACA region has six universities and seven graduate schools of engineering that provide a wide range of courses in optics-photonics at various entry levels. Companies in the region generally recruit graduates by initially offering them grants for doctoral work, or in-company engineering internships and for support work on a specific R&D project. Educating highly selected young people to become managers with a broad scientific knowledge in particular in photonics is a unique possibility offered at the engineering school Ecole Centrale Marseille, member of POPsud. The companies and laboratories of POPsud are natural supports to this education. Grants are awarded by the cluster to the best foreign students to help them studying in the PACA region in photonics and this also contribute to have brilliant young people coming to the region.


Some key figures in the Provence-Riviera

·         the 2th region of national optics activity

·         20 % of national optics R&D

·         12 000 jobs, including 3 000 high skilled employees  

·         900 M€ of regional GDP

·         an annual growth rate around 10%

·         South-European localisation




POPsud ; Co/ECM

38, rue F. Joliot Curie - Technopôle Marseille-Provence

13388 Marseille cedex 13

Tél : +33(0)4 91 05 59 69