- Economic Dynamics
The Midi-Pyrenees strategy is to promote the added value and jobs in green chemistry (or sustainable chemistry).
The chemical industry relates to many economic sectors (automotive, health, agri-food, energy, materials, electronics, cosmetics, etc.) and therefore brings together a wide range of scientific and technical skills (organic and inorganic synthesis, process engineering, nanotechnology, biotechnology, instrumentation, physical measurements, etc.).
With revenues of 77 billion Euros, France ranks 5th world wide and 2nd in Europe among chemical producing countries. The French chemical industry is the 3rd largest industrial sector (in terms of added value) after the automotive and metallurgy sectors. Today Asia is the continent experiencing the fastest growth in this industry, Europe having lost its competitiveness, is refocusing on activities with greater added value.
The 2001 AZF explosion triggered a 50% reduction in the Midi-Pyrenees industrial chemicals workforce by 2003. This sector has been heavily impacted by delocalization. However, since 2005, the regional industry has been redeploying, notably through the creation of start-ups and the presence of large companies and SMEs positioned in growth segments such as human and animal health, cosmetics, environment and energy. As such, the potential for training and R&D existing in Midi-Pyrenees is a definite plus for businesses as well as one of the key sources of attractiveness of our region.
Following the 2012 study of the chemical sector, sponsored by the Union of Chemical Industries in Midi-Pyrenees, the manufacturers decided to permanently establish green chemistry in their activities. In this respect, our region has a rich agricultural heritage, in particular its production of oleaginous crops, with Midi-Pyrenees contributing almost 26% of the French production in maize seed and 25% in sunflower.
This development strategy is based on:
- Companies specializing in the extraction and recovery of naturally occurring molecules
- The presence of significant and varied agricultural and forested areas as well as first rate seed breeders
- Diversified application sectors
- A unique R&D potential in France.
France has 3,100 establishments in the chemical sector, with 220,000 employees, which corresponds to 1% of the total employment and 6.4% of industrial employment, 95% of French chemical companies being VSE-SMEs.
Midi-Pyrenees, with 130 establishments employing 5,100 people (70% with fewer than 10 employees), ranks 10th in the country. This represents 1% of total regional employment and 4% of industrial employment.
75% of the jobs in the chemical sector are concentrated in Tarn and Haute-Garonne taking into account, in particular, the establishment of large companies (Pierre Fabre, Sanofi, Merial, Seppic, etc.).
Education & Training
The higher education system in the field of chemistry is particularly well developed in our region with 3 large organizations that train nearly 450 students per year:
- Paul Sabatier University
- DUT Génie Chimique, Génie des Procédés (University Diploma of Technology Chemical Engineering, Process Engineering) - Toulouse
- DUT Chimie (University Diploma of Technology in Chemistry) - Castres
- Professional degree (Process Engineering) - IUT Paul Sabatier - Toulouse
- Professional degree (Processing and Recovery of industrial waste) - IUT of Tarbes
- ENSIACET (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Ingénieurs en Arts Chimiques et Technologiques - National School of Engineers in Chemical and Technological Arts)
- INSA of Toulouse (Process Engineering and Biochemical Engineering)
Our region has a strong potential in public research dedicated to chemistry with nearly a thousand researchers.
4 structures include teams from different laboratories:
- The Institut de Chimie de Toulouse (Toulouse Chemistry Institute)
- CEMES (Centre d’Elaboration de Matériaux et d’Etudes Structurales - Development Centre for Materials and Structural Studies)
- CIRIMAT (Centre Inter-universitaire de Recherche et d’Ingénierie des Matériaux – Inter-University Centre for Research and Materials Engineering)
Research and development of agricultural resources is boosted by the presence of major manufacturers in Midi-Pyrenees such as Ragt, Syngenta, Caussade Semences, Biogemma and Soltis.
- LIPOCHIMIE platform (ENSIACET)