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The Institute

Ifremer, through its research work and expert advice, contributes to knowledge of the oceans and their resources, to monitoring of marine and coastal environments and to the sustainable development of marine activities. To these ends, Ifremer conceives and operates tools for observation, experimentation and monitoring, and manage the oceanographic databases.

It also operates a great part of the ocean research fleet, including all underwater systems and large-scale mobile facilities and equipment (seismics, penetrometer, etc.). Since March 2011, scheduling and development of the entire French oceanographic fleet are supported by the UMS Fleet joint service unit, whose management has been entrusted to Ifremer for a four-year period.

Created in 1984, Ifremer is a public institute of an industrial and commercial nature (EPIC). It is supervised jointly by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.

Ifremer works in a network with the French scientific community, but also in collaboration with partner organisations in numerous other countries. This cooperation is centred on large international programmes, on French overseas regions and targeted countries (United States, Canada, Japan, China, Australia, Russia), and on Mediterranean policy-forming partnerships between Europe and countries of the southern Mediterranean coast.

Ifremer undertakes research missions, offers expert advice and acts as a funding agency

Ifremer performs targeted applied research to address the questions posed by society (climate change effects, marine biodiversity, pollution prevention, seafood quality etc.). Results include scientific knowledge, technological innovations, and systems for ocean observation and exploration. Partnerships may be public, private or a combination of the two.

Monitoring of the seas and coastal waters is conducted in support of public policy on management of the environment and its resources.
Through expert advice, reports on studies, evaluation campaigns, and monitoring or surveillance networks of the marine environment, Ifremer provides expertise on the major scientific questions in its fields of competence and in collaboration with the professionals of the maritime world.

Ifremer oversees the development, management and provision of large-scale research facilities – a research fleet, mainframe computer, data centres and experimental facilities – which are available to national and European scientific communities, as well as within private or public research partnerships.

Key figures
  • An annual budget of close to 213 million euros (not including internal transactions)
  • 1 593 Ifremer employees* and 372 Genavir employees (* number of persons on 31/12/10)
  • 5 centres: Channel/North Sea, Brittany, Atlantic, Mediterranean and French Polynesia
  • 26 sites spread along the coastline of metropolitan France and French overseas regions
  • 8 research vessels (including 4 ocean-going ships), 1 manned submarine, 1 remotely-operated vehicle for deep sea explorations (- 6000 m) and 2 AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle)