Invest in Pau

Key sectors

Chemistry and materials

Located less than half an hour west of Pau, the industrial basin of Lacq was born in 1951 following the search for an oil field that will eventually become the largest gas deposit in Europe for half a century.


As a result of this historic gas extraction and marketing activity, new activities have emerged such as fine chemicals, bioenergy and composite materials.

The Lacq industrial basin has undergone a successful reconversion thanks to sustained, collective and anticipated actions before the cessation of commercial gas exploitation by Total. This reconversion of the industrial basin has also allowed the emergence of start-ups like Chemstart’up, which hosts start-ups in fine chemicals, new materials and green chemistry.

The Lacq basin ranks among the most important industrial centers of excellence in Europe, supported by research, development and innovation skills of large groups such as Total, Arkema, Toray CFE, Sobegi, Air Liquide, Yara, Chimex, Sanofi, Novasep, Vertex Bioenergy.

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Chemistry and materials sector in Pau Béarn Pyrénées, 60 years of collective experience.

4 chemical platforms including 2 classified SEVESO II

40 leading industrial companies operating worldwide

8,000 jobs in the area

200 subcontracting and service companies in the territory

600 hectares of industrial activities

5 R&D centers



Research association of Lacq (GRL)

GRL is a research organization founded in 1959 on the Lacq Mourenx platform. Specializing in the design and development of acrylic polymers, sulfur derivatives and adsorbents, GRL is one of the ten Arkema research centers in the world. He is also involved in the field of technical assistance.
The sharing and transmission of knowledge are important missions of GRL. They are embodied in particular through the partnership set up with the Chemstart’up platform, which brings together innovative young companies. GRL puts its know-how at their disposal and thus supports their development.

  • 30 patents filed per year
  • More than 60 years experience
  • More than 160 employees
  • P. Potier Award in 2012
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Lacq Advantage

The Lacq Advantage is a unique experience unique in France created by SOBEGI to support the installation of new industrial structures in the Lacq Orthez area. They offer implementation solutions in the heart of a Seveso environment of 224 hectares, support in their CSR approach, technical specificities for those who wish to develop new industrial processes and thus benefit from the benefits of pooling in terms of saving of investment and access to a powerful energy mix.

Chemparc and Chemstart’up

Chemparc was created in 2003 to support the revitalization and contribute to the economic development of the Lacq industrial area. Today, a dedicated team aims to detect new industrial projects with high added value and to support potential investors. Chemstart’up was born from a simple observation : there was no host structure in France for young chemistry companies. Today, this technological platform hosts specialized R&D structures in chemistry, new materials and the energy transition. It has three buildings dedicated to energy transition technologies carried by the CANOE technology transfer platform.

Advanced and composite material technologique center of New Aquitaine

CANOE cooperates with SMEs and major groups in the field of composite technologies and advanced materials. Created in 2008 at the initiative of the Regional Council of New Aquitaine, the platform is equipped with pilot resources for the production of prototypes and pre-series. It supports SMEs and large industrial groups in the development of new materials and innovative processes in the field of transport, energy and construction in particular.

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Lacq Tour

The representatives of the National Education (faculty or administrators) are invited to participate in this study. The representatives of the National Education (teachers or administrators) are invited with their students and students to participate in this event to better discover the sectors, the specific trades that recruit locally.

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“Carrefour des métiers”

This crossroads of professions organized by the association Lacq Plus allows each year a highlight of trades represented on the Lacq basin to young students in full academic and/or vocational orientation, a privileged exchange with professionals, students, but also the promotion of the Lacq economic basin.

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