For a public applied research institute, such as Ifremer, which has always had the EPIC status (public institute of industrial and commercial nature), the strategic plan is an important rendezvous. It represents a time when Ifremer meets with itself, with the ministers it works under, and with its scientific, economic and territorial partners.
The strategic plan is closely linked to the 4-year plan that Ifremer signs with government representatives (present plan for INSER) but has a wider scope. A span of only 4 years is rather short from the perspective of both the challenges that the sea poses for sustainable development and the length of many of the research programmes. The strategic plan therefore lights the way ahead over a longer period of time, by attempting to identify the challenges of the next 10-15 years that will have implications for the institute, in terms of scientific priorities, strategic alliances and, first and foremost, human resources.