An ambitious scientific policy to better exploit subsurface resources for societal challenges, to reinforce BRGM's impact on society through innovation and expertise, and to enable more efficient management of the ecological and energy transition; these are the main guidelines in BRGM's new objectives, resources and performance contract (COMP - Contrat d’Objectifs, de Moyens et de Performance) for the period from 2023 to 2027, signed with the Government on 31 March. With a real change: a State-allotted budget, which reaffirms with renewed conviction the missions entrusted to the institution.
The new objective, resources and performance contract was signed on 31 March 2023 by representatives of BRGM’s four supervisory Ministries including:
- Sylvie Retailleau, Minister for Higher Education and Research;
- Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate for Industry representing the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty;
- Cédric Bourillet, Director of the General Directorate for Risk Prevention, representing the Minister for Ecological Transition and Regional Cohesion and the Minister for Energy Transition.
This objectives and performance contract is part of a more ambitious scientific strategy and a renewed mission for BRGM to support public policy-making to meet challenges related to ground and subsurface resources. The need to adapt to climate change and the important role that the subsurface will play in the energy transition require the highest level of scientific research and expertise, which BRGM is responsible for developing in partnership with other research establishments. From this perspective, BRGM's integrated model, which combines research, expertise and innovation in the same teams, is a clear asset that will enable France to responsibly develop and protect the subsurface and its resources.
I am completing my mandate at BRGM by signing this COMP. BRGM will be undertaking it with more financial and scientific resources. It sets a course for 2027 for BRGM, giving it both a trajectory and additional resources to achieve it.
A new contract with a State-allotted budget: a first for BRGM
This is a real novelty for BRGM, as the traditional five-year framework for BRGM and its supervisory ministries has for the first time been provided with a State-allotted budget to enable it to achieve its objectives. This new framework was recently put in place by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research under the recent research-programming Act, which enables research institutions to adopt strategies with multi-year budgets.
The COMP was largely based on the evaluation and recommendations of the High Council for the Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (HCERES) in 2022. The drafting phase enabled BRGM to discuss the objectives with its supervisory ministries, but also with its main partners and on the basis of a broad internal consultation of its staff.
The COMP 2023-27 reaffirms the threefold missions entrusted to BRGM:
- scientific research,
- a mission of scientific and technical expertise in support of public policies and economic actors,
- support to help companies innovate.
This contract sets an ambitious course for BRGM, positioning it as one of the key partners of the State, local authorities and industry, to help them adopt a scientific policy focused particularly on the issues of adaptation to climate change and the energy transition, and thus to assist in the deployment of national strategies for energy transition, decarbonisation of industry and regaining our sovereignty, while also adapting to climate change.
The COMP is structured around three strategic goals and is intended to serve as a guideline until 2027. It sets 13 objectives and 31 actions to be undertaken:
Goal 1: Carry out an ambitious scientific policy for the acquisition of new knowledge in order to be able to respond more fully to societal challenges
This goal aims to stimulate and consolidate its scientific activity and strengthen BRGM's role in the research and innovation ecosystem in order to make a decisive contribution to mitigating and adapting to climate change, as well as to the key role of the subsurface in energy and ecological transitions.
It describes the actions relating to the institution's scientific policy, its breakdown into scientific programmes, its partnership strategy and its digital strategy. Actions aim in particular at improving the management of scientific knowledge and expertise in the medium term, and especially at increasing the number of young doctoral and post-doctoral students.
Goal 2: Develop BRGM's impact on society through its science, innovation and expertise
The aim is to strengthen BRGM's impact on society, in particular through expert appraisal with high scientific added-value for the State and local authorities, but also to increase the dissemination of environmental information to civil society and citizens.
This means strengthening synergy when research results are transferred to ensure expert appraisal at the highest level.
Goal 3: A management system committed to sustainable development, modernised and simplified to strengthen its economic model and resources
This last goal reflects the desire to modernise and simplify processes and tools to ensure greater efficiency in operating and managing the institution. Actions will include optimising financial management and reducing the institution's carbon footprint.
The State-BRGM objectives, resources and performance contract (COMP) for 2023-2027
Signing of the State-BRGM objectives, resources and performance contract in Paris on 31 March 2023.
From left to right: Cédric Bourillet (Director of the DGPR/MTECT), Roland Lescure (Minister Delegate for Industry), Sylvie Retailleau (Minister for Higher Education and Research) and Michèle Rousseau (former Chair and Managing Director of BRGM).
© BRGM - F. Moreira
Michèle Rousseau (former Chair and Managing Director of BRGM) during the signing of the State-BRGM objectives, resources and performance contract, in Paris on 31 March 2023.
© BRGM - F. Moreira
Cédric Bourillet (Director of the DGPR/MTECT) during the signing of the State-BRGM objectives, resources and performance contract, in Paris on 31 March 2023.
© BRGM - F. Moreira
Roland Lescure (Minister Delegate in charge of Industry) during the signing of the State-BRGM objectives, resources and performance contract, in Paris on 31 March 2023.
© BRGM - F. Moreira
What they say about it
For more than 60 years, BRGM has been a key actor, recognised in France and around the world. It is important to be able to rely on BRGM's expertise for the monitoring and management of ground and subsurface resources. The COMP 2023-2027 allows us to develop responses to meet societal challenges with respect to ground and subsurface resources. It also allows for a good balance between upstream research activities and support for shaping public policy. Finally, it emphasises BRGM's scientific role undertaken with and for society thanks to the scientific expertise it provides and the major efforts made to make it accessible.
The State has high expectations of BRGM, particularly in the context of climate change. Less water in the ground and subsurface, rising sea levels, shrinking and swelling of clays, supply of critical metals, responsible mining, geothermal energy development: these are major challenges for which BRGM's expertise is indispensable for implementing effective adaptation and mitigation strategies. These are also sensitive issues for the population and the scientifically-validated results produced by BRGM are one of the best sources for shaping public policy. The Ministers of Ecological Transition and Energy Transition reaffirm their reliance on BRGM and its competent, attentive staff, whose expertise is invaluable for meeting the challenges ahead.
BRGM embodies French geological expertise, which is recognised in France and throughout the world. It gives me great pleasure to sign an ambitious COMP on such crucial issues as our water resources, responsible mining, the circular economy and geothermal energy. BRGM's future action will be based on better knowledge of our mineral resources and critical metals, but will also involve important research on CO2 storage, which is a very important factor in our decarbonisation strategy.
From left to right: Roland Lescure (Minister Delegate in charge of Industry), Christophe Poinssot (Acting Chair and Managing Director of BRGM), Michèle Rousseau (former Chair and Managing Director of BRGM), Sylvie Retailleau (Minister of Higher Education and Research) and Cédric Bourillet (Director of DGPR/MTECT).