Research and innovation

Research, Development and Innovation at ADEME

Updated 06/16/2017

To ensure the expertise of ADEME's engineers is continually updated, research in support of the agency's operational actions permanently benefits from feedback on the dissemination and acceptance of new technological and organisational solutions.

ADEME is involved in every stage of scientific research and the innovation process thanks to three complementary instruments: the thesis programme, research programmes and the Investments for the Future Programmes (PIA).
The PIA focus on innovation in proximity to the markets. The agency's research and development activity is focused more upstream.
​The RDI actions supported especially aim to:
  • establish responses to societal expectations and provide support to the public authorities in constructing public policies;
  • support the emergence and implementation of a national provision of technologies and services that respond to environmental and energy challenges in a context of climate change.

The RDI strategy 2014-2020 The RDI strategy 2014-2020 lists the agency's specificities in terms of research, sets the objectives for its action and states the priority research programmes. Its main objective is to encourage research to accompany the energy and ecological transitions and the fight to mitigate climate change with a view to paving the way and providing support for operational activities led by ADEME.
More specifically, it aims to:

Foster the emergence of new energy and environmental solutions and technologies There are scientific and technological barriers to be overcome to support projects to research demonstrator phase. The agency's RDI activity is part of growing its involvement in industrialisation.
Produce pertinent knowledge that is relevant and directly usable by actors in the economy and in society, by accompanying Participatory Action Research projects ADEME looks to support cross-disciplinary Participatory Action Research projects conducted by local actors. The objective is to produce scientific knowledge in context so it can be used by actors in society and the economy. In this approach, ADEME benefits from its regional offices which facilitate the setting up of field experiments.
Accompany research that prefigures action on standards, regulations, labels and certifications Pre-normative research is a key stage in bringing commercially competitive innovations to markets. Supporting the development of regulations, labels and certification is also one of the agency's missions.
Strengthen the coordination of EU, national and regional research work At the European level, ADEME is a stakeholder in numerous actions and programmes: structural funds, contribution to transnational programming under ERA-NET and ERA-NET+, coordination of the community programmes of the FPRTD. The agency works to ensure that the various national programmes and initiatives under its guidance are consistent and compliant with EU tools aimed at financing research and innovation in order to facilitate project owners' access to these tools.


Research programmes ADEME's research strategy is structured into five main programmes, subdivided into thirteen specific programmes.

Main programme Specific programme
Sustainable cities, towns and territories The built environment: sustainable territories with high-performance buildings
Transport and mobility: from clean and energy-efficient vehicles to complex mobility systems
Smart energy systems and their environments
Sustainable production and renewable energy Ecodesign and ecoefficiency for production systems
Energy vectors from renewable resources: production, management and storage
CO2 capture and re-use
Waste and materials: waste collection, sorting, recycling and recovery of valuable materials
Agriculture, forests, soils and biomass Sustainable production of raw materials in agriculture and forestry
Characterisation of biomass, exploitation and materials recovery
Sustainable management of soils and subsoil zones, polluted site cleanup, rehabilitation of degraded lands and property, underground CO2 storage
Air quality, health and environmental impacts Protection and improvement of air quality
Evaluation of environmental and health impacts, decision-making aids
Energy, environment and society Energy, environment and society