BRGM presents its 2022 yearbook in 7 episodes. Watch a video of the projects that are part of the 2018-2022 Objectives and Performance contract signed with the French government.
27 February 2023

BRGM's overriding goal is to make research, expertise and innovation available to all. It collaborates with many public and private partners in the domain of Earth science applications.

BRGM produces and enriches geological knowledge for the sustainable management of resources and risks in the ground and subsurface. It strives to strengthen the resilience to climate change of regions in France and around the world.

BRGM: an institution committed to addressing major societal issues

The major societal issues that set the pace for BRGM in 2022.


Achievements that fall under the 2018-2022 Objectives and Performance contract

All the projects presented are part of the 2018-2022 Objectives and Performance contract signed with the State. The contract includes the following 6 strategic goals:

  • Promote a research policy to support the production of knowledge, expertise and innovation.
  • Deploy BRGM’s expertise to help shape public policies.
  • Support a proactive policy for innovation, adding value and transferring knowledge.
  • Strengthen BRGM’s European and international strategy.
  • Develop a sites and training policy in line with BRGM's scientific strategy.
  • Boost governance and management dynamics.
The Ray-Pic waterfall, Ardèche

Production of knowledge, expertise and innovation

BRGM’s research promotes the production of knowledge, expertise and innovation. Discover some of our 2022 success stories.

Promote a research policy to support the production of knowledge, expertise and innovation

BRGM's research promotes the production of knowledge, expertise and innovation. Discover 5 of the 2022 success stories.


Three exploratory research programmes (PEPRs) are underway.

In 2022, BRGM was selected under the ‘France 2030’ investment plan to co-lead two new exploratory priority research and equipment programmes (PEPRs):

  • “SOUSSOL - Subsurface, a common good”, dedicated to the future uses of the subsurface, is led jointly by BRGM and CNRS and aims to develop knowledge of the French subsurface.
  • IRiMa, dedicated to natural and technological risks. Led jointly by BRGM, CNRS and Grenoble-Alpes University, this programme aims to strengthen risk science in France.

The “OneWater - Water as a Common Good” PEPR, led by BRGM, CNRS and INRAE, had already been selected in 2021. This programme is structured around 6 scientific challenges to have water recognised as a common good.

These three strategic research programmes are undertaken for periods of 7 to 10 years.

Life ADAPTO: exploring natural solutions to deal with coastal erosion and coastal flooding

The Life ADAPTO project ended in 2022. Over a period of 5 years, it experimented with flexible management of the coastline in 10 pilot areas of the French coast, and in 5 different types of environment, from low-lying, Atlantic beaches to mangroves. With a budget of 52 million euros, this project has made it possible to implement soft solutions for managing the coastline on several sites, thus providing an example for other French and foreign coastal sites.

PRIME platform: a first experiment to simulate polluted soil under controlled conditions

In 2022, through the SPLODGE project, the PRIME platform, BRGM's test laboratory for soil and water decontamination, furthered our understanding of environments that have been polluted by petroleum hydrocarbons.

In a few figures, SPLODGE accounts for:

  • 80 m3 of test volume
  • 125 tonnes of calibrated sand
  • 6 m3 of diesel fuel
  • 75 TDR sensors
  • 275 geophysical probes
  • 24 pressure sensors

The only platform of its kind in Europe, PRIME allows for large-scale studies (several tons or tens of cubic metres).

RenovRisk Érosion: analysing and understanding the internal structure of large landslides

To understand how large landslides work, the RenovRisk project studied the role of water as a catalyst of landslides, imaged the geometry of the subsurface by combining electromagnetic and seismic approaches, and modelled the dynamics of moving masses.

Exceptional success rate in French research agency (ANR) calls for projects

This year, 11 projects submitted by BRGM in response to the French Research Agency's calls for projects were selected, 4 of which are European or international in scope and 8 of which are coordinated by BRGM. Eleven projects have also been selected under the Horizon Europe programme, including one coordinated by BRGM.

Cliffs on the coastal road, Urrugne

Support for shaping public policy

In 2022, BRGM continued to provide support for its public partners and local authorities in charge of defining and carrying out public policies. Four success stories are highlighted here.

Deploying BRGM’s expertise to help shape public policies

From crisis exercises to train for potential emergency situations to actual crisis management, including the acquisition of data on a region, we provide ongoing support for shaping and deploying public policy and for assisting regional and local authorities.


Leading a full-scale crisis exercise

In 2022, BRGM coordinated the scenario of a serious collapse of an unstable cliff in Bidart as part of the European cross-border research project RiskCoast. This collapse simulation tested the ability of actors to work together in an emergency, but also to practice emergency responses and to test in-situ and satellite monitoring tools.

Assessment of the mineral potential of the Massif Central: two historical campaigns

With a budget of €5M, an airborne geophysical campaign combining three different imaging methods was conducted in the western Massif Central. This was followed by a regional geochemical exploration campaign covering areas that had not been prospected in the geophysical survey. Over a four-week period, 645 samples were taken and 49 substances were analysed.

Involvement of BRGM in the inter-ministerial Drought Crisis unit

This summer, BRGM was called upon during the period of exceptional drought in France to contribute its hydrogeological expertise. Our experts put forward proposals for monitoring and predicting the fluctuations in aquifers in the short term via MétéEAU Nappes and for deploying tools such as regional models to improve the management of bodies of water and their use.

Emergency consolidation work on the steel pit-head frames of the mine shafts in Oignies

In 2022, responding to an urgent need, our post-mining teams supervised the consolidation of the old mine pit-head frames in Oignies, which are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the evolving cultural landscape. The work took 5 months, including the complete renewal of the pipes.

Rough copper ores.

Valorisation, innovation and transfer

In 2022, BRGM continued to promote innovation by supporting several promising projects for the future.

Supporting a proactive policy for innovation, adding value and knowledge transfer

Focus on our future projects and partnerships for the valorisation and transfer of innovation.


VALOMAG: 3 innovations protected by patents

As part of the VALOMAG project, our teams have filed three patent applications for enabling the extraction of metals from electronic or mining waste that are essential to the digital and ecological transitions. This innovation opens up promising prospects for securing the supply of essential raw minerals for the circular economy.

BRGM strengthens its R&D agreements with partner companies

In 2022, BRGM strengthened its partnerships for adding value to scientific results and transferring them to businesses, with new agreements and the renewal of existing partnerships.

Launch of France Géoénergie and OFREMI

BRGM is committed to securing the supply of critical metals, with the launch of the French Observatory of Mineral Resources for Industrial Sectors (OFREMI), and to ensuring the development of near-surface geothermal energy with the creation of France Géoénergie. These two collectives together federate 10 partners to promote access to strategic subsurface resources in France.

First step in the field, Gabon

European and international strategy

To strengthen its European and international strategy, BRGM supports high-stakes projects around the world.

Strengthening BRGM’s European and international strategy

Water, mineral resources and risks are not just French issues. We use our skills in European and international projects to address these issues around the world.


BRGM's new strategic focus for developing its international reach

In 2022, BRGM strengthened its international activities and reaffirmed its ambition to be the leading partner in Earth science applications. In pursuit of this goal, a tripartite partnership framework agreement has been signed between AFD, Expertise France and BRGM.

Launching of the Horizon Europe AfricaMaVal project

The Horizon Europe AfricaMaVal project, coordinated by BRGM, aims to ensure an ecologically and socially responsible supply of critical metals to European industries. The aim is to ensure sustainable local co-development under the best environmental, social and governance conditions, by proposing 100 investment projects in Africa, and to create a durable environment conducive to business for European and African companies. The AfricaMaVal project involves 18 European and African partners, including NGOs, from 11 countries. It has an overall budget of €9M to be spread over 42 months.

Students from ENAG, Alpes

Sites and training policy

BRGM developed a sites and training policy in line with its scientific research strategy. For 2022, two key achievements are in the spotlight.

Developing a sites and training policy in line with our scientific strategy

Our first e-learning course is on Geology and Geotechnics for Development Projects and was developed in partnership with RTE. And this is not the only training novelty at BRGM. Our platform is now Qualiopi-certified to guarantee the quality and sustainability of our ongoing vocational training.


Deployment of the e-learning platform

BRGM’s training department, BRGM Formation, has set up an e-learning platform. Our first e-learning course on “Geology and Geotechnics for Development Projects”, was developed in partnership with RTE, France's Transmission System Operator.

QUALIOPI certification obtained

In 2022, our BRGM training platform was awarded a state-approved QUALIOPI certification which guarantees quality and sustainability for ongoing vocational training. This label, which has been compulsory since 1 January 2022, helped to attract 800 trainees during the year.

A "tentative diagram" of different geothermal heat sources

Governance and management

In 2022, two major achievements boosted BRGM's governance and management.

Boosting governance and management dynamics

An eco-district heated and cooled by the largest mine shaft in Europe? This largest mine shaft is located in Gardanne and, thanks to geothermal energy, it allows us to heat and cool the 14 hectares of the eco-district in which our new premises are located. This video also covers the result of the HCERES report on BRGM.


A second BRGM building connected to geothermal energy in Gardanne (Bouches-du-Rhône)

In Gardanne, the 14-hectare eco-cluster will now be powered by geothermal energy from the 30°C water in Europe's largest mine shaft.

HCÉRES: positive evaluation of BRGM for the period 2017-2021

On 29 June 2022, the French High Council for Assessing Research and Higher Education (HCÉRES - Haut conseil de l’évaluation de la recherche et de l’enseignement supérieur) published its assessment of BRGM for the period 2017-2021. It identified 6 strengths:

  • Quality of research and expertise on ground and the subsurface.
  • BRGM has a substantial scientific position in the fields of mining and post-mining, critical materials, energy transition and the circular economy.
  • State-of-the-art databases.
  • Development of research units with universities.
  • Significant improvement of the internal organisation: human resources, budgetary management, transversality.
  • The teams at BRGM are highly motivated specialists.

HCÉRES concluded its report by positioning the French geological survey as the second most important in Europe in terms of number of publications.