The sea and the littoral are territories that face specific challenges linked to their high biodiversity, their anthropization and their vulnerability to hazards such as climate change. Whatever the geographical area considered, multidisciplinary scientific knowledge and an effective innovation dynamics are required to ensure a consistent and sustainable development of these territories, notwithstanding the magnitude of pressures and the speed of changes they undergo. Blue growth is thus a priority around the world in many countries that depend on the sea and coastal areas. This notably is the case of Europe, which has identified blue growth as one of the priorities of its H2020 programme.

With its 220 kilometres of coastline, its 20 coastal resorts, its numerous lagoons and wetlands, its fishing fleet and the port of Sète (the leading fishing port in the French Mediterranean), our coastline represents a real economic asset for the Occitanie Region. The Region has defined the coastal economy as one of its major ambitions (with its 3S policy); it has set up a Maritime Directorate within its administration, as well as the Parliament of the Sea, which federates the maritime community, represents it and allows consultation and collaborative work between the various stakeholders of the sea and the coast.

The Montpellier area brings together a wide range of scientific skills, particularly in marine biodiversity and its uses, the coastal and marine environment, marine geosciences, modelling, marine engineering and human and social sciences. This is reflected in its high visibility in a number of specific fields, including coastal hydrodynamics and shoreline stability, marine protected areas, underwater robotics, borehole geophysics, marine ecosystem evolution scenarios, tuna fisheries, aquaculture, not to mention its recognised excellence in coral and mangrove ecosystems, marine micro-organisms, blue biotechnologies, ocean ridges and subduction zones, etc.

20 research structures… over 400 scientists

The scientific community linked to the Sea and the Coast in the coastal departments of Occitanie counts more than 300 permanent scientists across all existing organisations (of which more than 300 belong to a member organisation of MUSE).

The KIM Sea & Coast also relies on 2 Labex (Cemeb – Centre Méditerranéen Environnement et Biodiversité and NUMEV – Digital and hardware solutions, Environmental and organic life modelling), 1 Equipex (Géosud) and 8 doctoral schools.

A tool serving scientists and other players in the field of blue growth in our region, with two major ambitions:

  • To bring together a vivid ‘Science and Society’ community to take up the challenges of the Sea and the Coast
  • To increase the visibility of this community and attract the best international researchers, particularly from the South.

The ambition of the KIM is to enhance the scientific diversity of the Montpellier site in the fields related to the sea and the coast, while offering a common showcase to the various research and socio-economic players, in order to create a strong Science-Society community on these issues and to make it visible and attractive at an international level. Such ambition is underpinned by two real estate projects financed by the 2015-2020 CPER: the CELIMER project (Centre du Littoral et de la Mer) in Sète; and the Gladys Beach Institute project in Le Grau du Roi.