Sophia Antipolis is a leading European technology park. Much of the park falls within the commune of Valbonne, which lies northeast of Antibes and southwest of Nice, France. Created in 1970-1984, it houses primarily companies in the fields of computing, electronics, pharmacology, and biotechnology.
Several institutions of higher learning are also located here, along with the European headquarters of W3C and the ETSI. In the early years, one of the main challenges of Sophia Antipolis was to relate to people and create a sense of community. The Human Factor is what was to distinguish the Science and Technology Park in the world as a landmark of science, invention, innovation, and research.
Sophia Antipolis is named after Sophie Glikman-Toumarkine, the wife of French Senator Pierre Laffitte, founder of the park, and incidentally, Sophia, the Greek word for wisdom, and Antipolis, the ancient Greek name of Antibes. Many of the roads within the technology park have Greek names. There is a giant sculptured Greek urn as a centerpiece on one of the roundabouts.