One of the OT-Med objectives is to integrate its research with international partners into a common and interdisciplinary platform, tentatively named “Mediterranean Earth Institute (MEI) and also to create a Network. This network should advance the studies of human-environment relationships, by encouraging collaborative research projects, exchange of students with similar institutes and the organization of workshops and interdisciplinary advanced study schools.

The main objectives of the “Mediterranean Earth Institute” are:

  • To establish and develop scientific collaboration between participating research centers working on integrated studies of the sustainable development of the human-environment relationship under conditions of global environmental change
  • To share interdisciplinary experience in research and training,
  • To share methodological approaches,
  • To coordinate research activities related to the Mediterranean Basin (also aiming to support assessment activities such as MedECC, IPCC and IPBES).

Therefore the meeting "Towards the creation of the Mediterranean Earth Institute (MEI)” was organized by OT-Med on 30 November - 1 December 2015 in Aix-en-Provence. The objective of the meeting was to pave the way to the creation of a more formal network which will strengthen and extend the existing connections with selected partners, all being leaders in the field, and to explore joint research activities with them.

Scientists from the Labex OT-Med (Aix-en-Provence, France), the Earth Institute of Columbia University (New York, USA), the Institute for New Economic Thinking (Oxford, UK), the Grantham Institute (London, UK), the Energy, Environment and Water Research Center at the Cyprus Institute, the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change (Italy), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (Germany) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Laxenburg, Austria) were present. They agreed to pursue the plan in order to create new opportunities for research and collaboration in sustainability science, benefiting from the unique setting of the Mediterranean Basin as a region of rapid societal and environmental change.