Invest in Pau

Key sectors

Geosciences and energy

Geosciences and energy are key areas for the region, unique in France by the richness of their industrial fabric and the importance of R&D. They cumulate more than 6000 direct jobs, 60 companies and research laboratories, and are mainly located in Pau and Lacq.


Béarn, natural land of geosciences

For a long time, the exploitation of the béarnais subsoil for economic purposes has known its hours of glory, notably thanks to the extraction of gas on the site of Lacq 25 km from Pau. This has made Béarn a land of choice for Geoscience companies, mainly working internationally.

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A space dedicated to Geosciences is made available within the Technopole Hélioparc in Pau.

The Geoscience sector brings together an international community of several thousand indispensable actors : geologists, geophysicists, tank engineers, trainers, researchers and students of Earth Sciences.

The important network of companies benefits from a unique ecosystem in Europe : research and technology transfer centres, simulators, public and private training establishments (Ecole Française de drilling of international renown).

Proof of the importance of this sector in the Department, Pau Béarn Pyrénées receives every year about fifty delegations in search of research and innovation.

Pole Avenia
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The only French competitiveness centre in the geosciences, it brings together more than 150 members (large groups, ETI and SMEs, R & D and training organisations) in the energy and environmental sectors.


A unique incubator/nursery in geosciences in France, it provides young entrepreneurs with multidisciplinary assistance (marketing, finance, legal, technological and human) to facilitate the creation of a company.


Institute for the sustainable engineering of fossil resources (Institut Carnot) brings together partners located in the greater South-West (Pau, Toulouse, Bordeaux). All the units represent more than 500 researchers and teachers-researchers including 250 doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows.


This paloise antenna aims to link the EAGE members based on Pau (Geophysicists, geologists, geomecanicians, field engineers) through scientific events such as expert presentations, technical workshops, trainings, field trips around the theme of Geosciences.


Grouping of companies and professionals of hydrocarbons and related energies, it represents a network of nearly 1350 members, 250 companies and 1100 professionals whose expertise covers the whole field of the hydrocarbon sector (exploration, production, development, logistics, refining, distribution).

Club export Oil&Gas

This structure allows to bring together the actors of the Geoscience sector to share their experiences but especially to carry out collective actions of development of activities in foreign markets.


Geoscopy is the only platform of economic intelligence for Geosciences. It is above all an advanced technology monitoring tool that centralizes patent data, scientific publications, collaborative projects and Geoscience news.

Its objective is to accompany companies, including SMEs, training institutions, research organisations and laboratories, and more generally, the partners of the competitiveness cluster.


Territory energy sector

The energy on the territory comprises activities and sectors as diverse as hydropower carried mainly by EDF hydraulics Adour and gave, biofuels and biogas with vertex bioenergy, the battery sector with IPREM, the transport and storage of gas with Teromega, or solar energy with total and its SunPower chain.

Vertex Bioenergy

Vertex bioenergy is the leading producer of bioethanol in Spain and France. The company develops transport biofuels and manufactures chemical products obtained from renewable resources using environmentally friendly technologies. He is one of the Bioenergy leaders. Its implementation in Southwest is a reference on the Induslacq site.

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EDF, the first hydro-electric producer in France, has been established in the region under the name EDF hydraulics Adour and gaves. Today, 36 hydroelectric power plants and 19 dams produce the equivalent of the annual consumption of 520 000 inhabitants, while preserving the environment and respecting other uses of water: support of flows in summer period for irrigation, water level management during Canoe-Kayak competitions, preservation and knowledge of protected species in partnership with the bird protection League (LPO), the Pyrenees National Park (PNP).


Terega, a major player in gas transport and storage infrastructures, in France and Europe, has also chosen to establish its headquarters in Pau. Determined to make gas an accelerator of the energy transition, the region offered them a privileged location, strategically at the crossroads of major European gas flows, enabling them to ensure security of supply and contribute to energy development in Europe.


SunPower’s innovation took off thanks to solar impulse II, which broke all world records by turning around the world without a drop of fuel. Today, SunPower total, manufacturer of solar panels, a subsidiary since April 2011 of total, has also made a place in the region : headquarters in Pau, solar photovoltaic plant in Lacq.

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On the research and training side, Pau Béarn Pyrénées is not in rest and welcomes many major specialized schools.

IPREM (Institute of analytical sciences and physico-chemistry for environment and materials) is a joint CNRS/UPPA research unit.

It comprises more than 200 people who are interested in the development of fundamental knowledge in Physico-Chemistry, analytical chemistry and microbiology, in relation to applications concerning the structure of living, environmental management and the functional properties of different classes of materials.
ENSGTI (the National School of industrial technology engineering), which is linked to the University of Pau and the pays de L’adour (UPPA), forms in 3 years high level scientific and technical engineers in “process engineering” and “energetics”.

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24h of innovation in the center of the Earth

The international business Convention GeoEnergy days is organized by the POLE AVENIA. It brings together actors from the different subsoil sectors and offers ideas for innovative projects and services, attending technical conferences and workshops, exchanging skills and needs, participating in planned appointments, develop its professional network, establish French or international partnerships and visit pioneer companies in the sector.

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The hydromeeting gathers every two years, many actors of the SHEM (Société hydro-Electricité du MIDI) sector of EDF and organizes business meetings around the development of hydropower technologies in the Pyrenees to export them worldwide. Nearly 400 hydro-electric actors were present at the Hydromeeting 2018 organized by the CCI of the Adour basin, demonstrating the dynamism of the region.

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