Sustainable engineering of georesources

ISIFoR team

Pierre CÉZAC
Managing Director of the ISIFoR Carnot institute
Coordinator of Extra&Co
Deputy Director of the LaTEP (Laboratory for thermics, energy and processes)
+33 (0)5 59 40 78 30
+33 (0)6 86 88 11 12

Virginie BUIL
Executive Manager of the ISIFoR Carnot Institute
Technology Adviser for Extra&Co
+33 (0)5 59 40 77 96
+33 (0)6 13 67 17 98

Communication & Marketing Officer for the ISIFoR Carnot Institute and Extra&Co
+33 (0)5 40 17 52 89

Catherine MAUPEU
Quality Manager

Professor at the UPPA (University of Pau and the Adour region)
Holder of a chair in X-ray imaging
International Correspondent for ISIFoR
+33 (0)5 59 40 73 30

ISIFoR also coordinates theExtra&Co program and liaises with its team.

The Carnot label

A Carnot institute is a public research structure that places partnership research, dedicated to businesses and regional authorities, at the heart of its strategy. The Carnot institutes are recognized for:
    • their cutting-edge scientific expertise,
    • their professionalism and commitment to developing high-quality partnership research.

In this sense, they take a proactive approach to promoting innovation in businesses – Very Small Businesses, Small to Medium Enterprises, middle market companies and major groups – by proposing R&D support that takes into account the economic and marketing constraints of these companies. 

Each Carnot institute is strongly committed to developing R&D activities tailored to businesses. In return, they receive financial support from the ANR (French national research agency), calculated on the volume of their partnership activities, to help them perform the actions they consider essential for meeting these commitments.

The Carnot institutes are certified by the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research with audits scheduled every three years.

The Carnot institute network is spearheaded by the Carnot Institute association (AiCarnot).

For more information, go to the Carnot institute website. 



ISIFoR is a network of partners located in the Greater South West of France (Anglet, Pau, Toulouse, Bordeaux). Its 11 research units include nearly 500 researchers and research professors and 250 PhD and post-doctoral students whose competencies cover geosciences, mathematics, chemistry, engineering sciences and social sciences:

GEOSCIENCES: reservoir characterization, monitoring, high performance scientific computing, basin analysis, seismic and seismotectonic imaging, thermochronology, gravimetry, fluids interactions-boulders, experimental geochemistry. 

ENGINEERING SCIENCES: physical chemistry of oil fluids and interfaces, fluid mechanics, multiphase flow, geomechanics, fracturing processes, enhanced recovery, heavy crude oil, acid gas, wastewater treatment, heat transfer, high voltage method, CO2 sequestration, safety procedures and organization of production.

MATHEMATICS:  numerical simulation, functioning safety, statistical analysis and data analysis by imaging, modelling and mathematical analysis, porous media.

CHEMISTRY: analysis, characterization and dating, microbial oil degradation, surfactant and polymers for enhanced recovery process (solubilisation-emulsification), experimental geochemistry.

SOCIAL SCIENCES: environmental impacts of human activities. Contamination of natural habitats, social and political dynamics, human health hazard.

Since it was accredited, ISIFoR has also created a valuable partnership with the POLE AVENIA, also based in Pau. To confirm their commitment, ISIFoR and the POLE AVENIA decided to sign a framework agreement. By developing synergies and joint actions such as project initiation workshops, visits of companies and laboratories, the objective is to concretely promote and increase the number of collaborative projects and research projects between ISIFoR and the members of POLE AVENIA, with a particular focus on SMEs and middle-market companies.


Mixed laboratory with an industrial partner

Laboratory of Complex Fluids and their Reservoirs (LFCR)

Academic laboratories

Georesources & Environment, Bordeaux (G&E)

Geosciences, Environment, Toulouse (GET)

The Toulouse Institute of Fluid Mechanics (IMFT)

The Institute of Analytical ans physical-chemical sciences for the environment and materials (IPREM)

The Laboratory for Thermal Energy and Processes (LaTEP)

Laboratory of Mathematics and its Applications Pau (LMAP)

Laboratory of Engineering Sciences Applied to Mechanical Engineering and Electricity (SIAME)

Research centers

The Open and Experimental Centre for Crude Oils (CHLOE)

Applied research petroleum organization (OPERA)

Mixed service unit

Development of experimental methods (DMEX)

Objectives & Missions

Following the renewal of its accreditation on July 6, 2016, ISIFoR defined three new objectives as priorities:

    • Step up its partnerships with SMEs and middle-market companies, particularly on the energy transition market
    • Develop its activities on an international scale
    • And finally, continuously improve its management processes to shorten the contract negotiation and signing period with companies and monitor the level of satisfaction of its partners.

The objectives of the ISIFoR Carnot institute for 2021 are to:

    • Build up emerging themes in keeping with the scientific policy of the laboratories, structure a technological program in tandem with parent institutions and local authorities, take part in research efforts in keeping with major societal challenges, support competencies to assert its leadership on a national scale with a view to preparing tomorrow's industrial partnerships
    • Steadily increase the volume of partnership research activities with the socioeconomic world over the next five years while remaining consistent with a sustainable and responsible local economic development strategy
    • Ensure it is acknowledged as a model research group in terms of contractual research activity management and professionalism with regard to the socioeconomic world
    • Gain international exposure and increase the attractiveness of the region through scientific excellence.

Challenges & Positioning

Despite the significant growth of renewable energies, worldwide energy consumption forecasts for 2035 show that 75% of energy needs will still be covered by fossil energies. 40% of the resources essential for meeting these needs until 2050 still remain to be discovered. In this context, the ISIFoR Carnot institute is focusing on subsurface energies – mainly hydrocarbons – and the associated environmental challenges.

ISIFoR is at the heart of the energy transition challenge and its two main dimensions:

    • Development : energy is crucial for economic growth. It must be available and its price kept competitive.
    • Sustainability : global warming and pollution (water, air, soil) are two major challenges for the future. 

There are four levers for action in the energy transition challenge and ISIFoR is active on each of them:

Economic and societal stakes Techno-sectoral focuses of ISIFoR
Manage the risks and reduce the environmental footprint of fossil energy exploration and production activities on conventional and unconventional fields 
  • Water cycle
  • Safe techniques for exploring and producing unconventional resources 
Avoid a crisis in global fossil energy supply by improving exploration and production techniques
  • Increase the recovery factor of producing fields
  • New techniques for producing complex fields
  • New techniques for exploring frontier basins
  • Maintaining production on installations
Develop techniques for decontaminating, reducing, capturing and storing emissions and waste
  • CO2  storage
  • Energy storage
Support the development of decarbonated energies, energy savings and low carbon footprint transportation
  • Deep geothermal energy


The ISIFoR Carnot institute functions as part of a partnership agreement which guarantees both flexibility and responsiveness:

    • An annual grant agreement between the ANR and ISIFoR was signed by the ANR, the ADERA and the parent institutions (UPPA, UT3, UB3, CNRS, INPT, INPB, IRD, CNES)
    • The partners of the ISIFoR Carnot Institute are preparing to sign a partnership agreement regarding the duration of the Carnot quality label.
The decision was made to entrust ADERA with the management of resources related to the specific running of the ISIFoR Carnot institute.  

The ISIFoR Carnot institute has set up an organization that enables it to ensure a sound governance of partnership research actions. The ISIFoR Carnot institute has a strategic orientation and scientific committee (COSS), which is its decision-making body, and a management committee (CoDir). Daily management is ensured by an operational office (BO).