Page 4 - BRGM -2019 digital annual report
P. 4

Editorial                                                                          3D scanning of a former
                                                                                   underground quarry. This technique
                                                                                     gives the geotechnician precise
                                                                                    information on the geometry and
                                                                                         degradation of the cavity.
                                                                                                 © BRGM – S. Yart

      In 2019, BRGM

       celebrated its 60th anniversary! A national geological survey
       reporting to three different Ministries, respectively of Higher
       Education, Research and Innovation - Ecological Transition
       - Economy, Finance and Recovery), it is responsible for under-
       taking research, and providing expertise and innovation for
       the sustainable management of resources and risks in the sur-
       face and subsurface. Its daily mission is to provide knowledge
       gleaned over the long, even very long, time-scale of the geologist
       to meet current needs.
          BRGM’s challenge today is to contribute practical solutions
       for exploiting the subsurface in the 21st century. France’s surface
       and subsurface are both little known, despite being an essential
       part of our heritage. BRGM’s job involves harnessing different
       technologies to draw up a digital map of them, at various scales
       of space or time, to help meet a range of societal needs for
       renewable heat, energy or waste storage, a circular economy   Michèle Rousseau
       of land and mineral raw materials, traceability, groundwater   Chair and Managing Director
       resources, reclamation of industrial wasteland, management
       of natural risks (landslides, earthquakes, subsidence caused by
       cavities, marine flooding and coastline retreat, etc.).
         BRGM has undergone many changes since its creation
       and has always adapted to the times. Today, it leads the way in   2020 began with the unprecedented and exceptional crisis
       applied research, producing knowledge of the sub-surface and   of the coronavirus pandemic. BRGM had to close its laboratories
       providing technical and scientific expertise.     but also succeeded in switching to teleworking on a massive
         In 2019, BRGM contributed to an exceptional scientific dis-  scale for almost 90% of its staff, once again demonstrating its
       covery with its partners CNRS/INSU, Ifremer and IPGP, that   ability to adapt. BRGM’s recognised experience in crisis man-
       of a new underwater volcano that emerged off the coast of   agement and regular exercises with the authorities and civil
       Mayotte. BRGM experts were also heavily involved in on-site   protection agencies enabled it to manage this epidemic crisis as
       support for mitigating the consequences of the Teil earthquake,   well as possible with its fully mobilized staff. None of our staff
       which occurred on 11 November 2019. BRGM’s reconstructions   have been hospitalised and no clients appear to have been lost
       by interferometry from satellite images produced in near-real   as a result of the pandemic.
       time, made it possible to identify the fault that slipped and to   Subsurface potential and related topics are essential to our soci-
       illustrate the displacements generated by the earthquake.  ety. BRGM’s teams are fully mobilised to tackle this issue. They
         We also continued to renovate our scientific facilities,   aim to work with academic researchers, but also with the local
       notably with the commissioning of the PRIME experimental   and regional authorities who manage our territory (including
       platform, the only one of its kind in Europe, which will make it   the subsurface), and with industry, which has an undeniable
       possible to validate all ground remediation techniques more   capacity for disseminating knowledge and innovative technol-
       efficiently than in the laboratory. At the Group level, we have   ogy and techniques.
       taken a 40% stake in Soltracing, the first French company to offer   Everything is ready for the economic recovery!
       the possibility of securing the flow of excavated earth from site
       to site in order to develop short circuits, much in demand by
       French citizens, with respect to public works.

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