Technological Research and Development research unit

The Technological Research and Development (Recherche et Développements technologiques — RDT) research unit contributees to the technological developments required for the exploration and sustainable exploitation of the oceans as well as environment monitoring from the coast to the depths.

It ensures the link between targeted technology research and applied developments that lead to technology transfer to scientists and the private industry.


The Technology Research and Development unit includes two research laboratories and one service:

  • The Behaviour of Offshore Installations Laboratory (Comportement des structures en Mer — LCSM) conducts research on the hydrodynamics of underwater gear and new offshore designs.
  • The Detection, Sensors and Metrology Laboratory (Détection, Capteurs et Mesures — LDCM), seeks to improve knowledge on the phenomena that affect the interfaces between materials and the marine environment; it also studies measurement systems in the marine and subsea environment and investigates new chemical physical analysis techniques that can be transposed to the sea.
  • The Engineering and Marine Instrumentation Service (Ingénierie et Instrumentation Marin —SI2M) optimises equipment and instruments intended for observation, monitoring, in situ measurements and ocean sampling for research projects, scientific exploration and oceanography.


The unit conducts research, studies and experimental and digital developments to

  • Contribute to the sustainable exploitation of mineral marine resources and renewable energies in collaboration with stakeholders from the private sector, organisations and professional associations;
  • Innovate on recent technology with a high potential for studying geological processes in the deep sea, for the identification of mineral and energy resources and for the observation of the global ocean to study and forecast the climate, to cite but a few examples;
  • Adapt equipment, materials and structures to the marine environment, investigate and improve their behaviour and introduce new innovations.

The unit thus continuously carries out studies upstream on the main research topics (behaviour of materials and structures, marine renewable energy, in situ measurement systems, subsea observatories, etc.) and new topics (development of biosensors, in situ chemical analysis, passive samplers). It sets up beneficial collaborations with researchers in France and internationally, particularly in Europe. It gleans research results from other sectors to integrate the innovations required for the technology developments that it works on.

To carry out its studies, the research unit has extensive testing facilities and specific equipment: test tanks (Research Infrastructure THeoREM), instrumented hyperbaric chambers, facilities for chemical analysis, optical analysis, vibrational spectroscopy, microbiology, molecular biology, metrology and marine corrosion laboratories, mechanical testing benches, controlled-climate rooms, marine test sites in Brest, wave-current circulation flume tank in Boulogne-sur-Mer. It is in charge of managing, updating and operating these test facilities.