2022-03-11 National label of excellence I-SITE definitively awarded to UPPA


French National Label of Excellence I-SITE Definitively Awarded to UPPA

Photo : © Université Gustave Eiffel

On March 10, 2022, the Prime Minister of France announced the final approval of the last 8 university initiatives of excellence, including that of the University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour (UPPA), joining the 9 already confirmed. In total, 300 million euros per year, including just over 5 million for UPPA, will be permanently entrusted to these 17 French universities.

“This perpetuation of our I-SITE E2S shows that whatever the size of the institution, when you capitalize on the assets of the region, you can achieve excellence,”  enthused Laurent Bordes, UPPA President, at the lunch organized at the Gustave-Eiffel University (ex-Paris-Est-Marne-la-Vallée) in the presence of French Prime Minister Jean Castex and the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation Frédérique Vidal.

World-Class Universities

These initiatives of excellence are an important part of the French government’s “Investments for the Future programs.” Launched in 2010, they aimed to create world-class higher education and research clusters. They are divided into IDEX (Initiatives of Excellence), which cover a wide range of skills, and I-SITE (Initiatives Science-Innovation-Territories-Economy), which recognise the innovative capacity of universities whose scientific strengths are concentrated on a few areas of excellence.

These universities and research organisations, generally supported by local authorities and companies, have been able to build joint projects that enhance their strengths and are based on the integrated governance of all the components of higher education and research in their territory. This is the result of highly competitive selection procedures managed by the National Research Agency (ANR).

March 10, 2022 Government’s press release (in French)

France 2030 for Research and Education press kit (in French)


The University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour (14,000 students) received the I-SITE label in 2017 for its “Energy and Environment Solutions” (E2S) major project. This label was accompanied by a 4-year probationary phase which was evaluated at the end of 2021.

E2S relies on a top-notch research consortium with INRAe, INRIA and CNRS research organizations, and strong support from the local authorities, to advance knowledge on energy and environmental transitions and to establish an intensive partnership with the region’s businesses. The latter can access the UPPA Tech instrumental center, some of whose technical platforms are unique in France or in Europe.

E2S has developed a transdisciplinary vision materialized by four missions allowing to respond to crucial societal issues. These interdisciplinary missions focus on energy subsidiarity, the future of territories, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem resilience.

Researchers are also working on increasing the international attractiveness of UPPA by participating in training and research projects with renowned institutions, such as the University of California at Berkeley, MIT, etc. This international development is now consolidated at the European level by the European alliance UNITA Universitas Montium, of which UPPA is a founding member.

More information on our I-SITE on the E2S UPPA institutional website .

Examples of current research projects