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Launch of the Montpellier Institute of Water and the Environment

11/15/2013

Research, innovation and training in the field of water : these are the main aims of the Montpellier Institute of Water and the Environment (IM2E). Launched on 22 November in Montpellier, IM2E is a unique interface between 400 researchers and the result of a partnership between 7 research organisations - including Irstea - and 11 higher education institutions.

Water and aquatic ecosystem resource management is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century for the environment, the economy and society. The scale of this challenge explains the mobilisation of such high-level skills : a synergy of active forces. For this reason, 7 research organisations [1] and 11 universities and grandes écoles[2] joined forces to create a Scientific interest group (SIG) called the Montpellier Institute of Water and the Environment, which was inaugurated on 22 November 2013 in Montpellier (Agropolis International).

A unique scientific interface

The aim of IM2E is to reinforce research and develop interdisciplinary projects around 10 major themes linked to water and the environment :

  • Hydrosystems : circulation and resources
  • Hydroclimatic risks
  • Innovative metrology and processing methods
  • Contamination dynamics and the responses of aquatic systems
  • Water, stakeholders and regions
  • Viability and interactions in hydrological regions
  • Water resources and possible scenarios
  • Water & agriculture
  • Technological innovations to protect, save and reuse water
  • Risks, contaminants and health

Why Montpellier ? The Languedoc-Roussillon region has the greatest potential for experts in this field in France and the majority of these will be involved in IM2E. In addition to the exceptional concentration of researchers specialising in the field of water and the proximity to other research groups (in ecology and agronomy) which will encourage the development of relevant solutions for an integrated policy of water management, the region is also a significant breeding ground for companies, united as part of the Pôle de compétitivité à vocation mondiale sur l’Eau (Competitive Cluster for Water with a Global Outlook) or the SWELIA group of companies. This is innovation supporting competitiveness.

Furthermore, in terms of training, the region is home to first-class European-level higher education potential.

It is an ideal location to set up a first-class European-level research, innovation and training centre in the field of water.

What are the aims of IM2E ?

  • Bring the community together and lead and promote it ;
  • Create and complete major scientific projects ;
  • Develop the training and innovation potential.

Within Irstea, 3 research units from the Montpellier Centre have been working together, representing the institute's 3 departments: Water (G-EAU), Environmental Technologies (ITAP) and Land Use (TETIS). This clearly demonstrates the scope and diversity of the IM2E project.

IM2E in figures

  • Research: 14 research units bringing together nearly 400 scientists including 150 PhD students.

  • Training: 1000 students including 150 PhD students, 1 Water Master's (110 students per year including 30% foreign students, especially from developing countries), 4 engineering schools, 6 PhD programmes in Montpellier.

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  • Cross-disciplinary projects on 10 major themes.

For further information

[1] BRGM, Cirad, CNRS, Ifremer, Inra, IRD and Irstea.

[2] AgroParisTech, CIHEAM-IAMM, EMA, ENSCM, SUPAGRO, University of the French West Indies and Guiana, Montpellier 1 University, Montpellier 2 University, Montpellier 3 University, University of Perpignan Via Domitia and University of Reunion Island.

En savoir plus

[1] BRGM, Cirad, CNRS, Ifremer, Inra, IRD et Irstea.

[2] AgroParisTech, CIHEAM-IAMM, EMA, ENSCM, SUPAGRO, Université Antilles-Guyane, Université Montpellier 1, Montpellier 2, Montpellier 3, Université Perpignan Via Domitia et l’Université de la Réunion.