All students following the MIR program will study the first year at the University of Toulon (UTLN), France, in partnership with the Seatech Engineering School and the Faculty of Sciences and Technology.

The university of Toulon is recognised for its close ties with Blue growth sectors and its interdisciplinary studies on the thematic poles of Sea, Environment and sustainable development and Information. The MIR master is based on the existing UTLN ISC Master . The university has access to important research infrastructure for marine science and deep sea exploration. Relevant research laboratories  of UTLN which are committed to contributing to the MIR programme through both teaching and research opportunities are COSMER, DYNI Team of LIS, and MIO. 

COSMER is a dynamic research unit created in 2015 at the University of Toulon to develop robotics activities in close relationship with local institutes and companies in the field of marine and underwater robotics. The team has started to develop marine robotics research in 2016 focusing on mobility and autonomy of sea-surface and sub-sea vehicles. Research topics deal with the visual serving of underwater umbilical’s inside a chain of robots designed for the progression inside a cluttered environment, the real time simulation of physically realistic fluid-solid interaction for the identification of hydrodynamic parameters, the active management of tethers between an autonomous surface vessel and an underwater robot thanks to an embedded smart winch, and the control of an object-oriented architecture of a swarm of underwater exploratory robots. Four ongoing PhD and five tenant research scientists are working together to reach the objectives of increasing the autonomous capabilities of marine robots. In addition, the team is putting forward teaching courses and workshops in the frame of the CORAL (Constructive Offshore Robotics ALliance) project (leader: IFREMER), and with the introduction of a new Master of Sciences programme at the University of Toulon that is dedicated to Robotics, namely Robotics and Connected Objects with marine robotics modules (started Sept. 2018).

DYNI is a research group of the LIS laboratory (UMR 7020 CNRS). The group is located at the University of Toulon and specializes in the use of advanced machine learning and data acquisition methods for the experimental sciences. DYNI’s research in artificial intelligence and representation learning aims to cover the data processing and transmission chain from sensors to users, applied to domains such as bioacoustics, speech and hearing, multimodal information analysis in physics, health and cognition. A major focus of the group is the study of the marine environment and its wildlife, proposing novel multi-modal sensing, autonomous robotics and representation learning approaches. Research topics include multichannel passive acoustic monitoring in underwater scenarios, passive acoustic mobile target tracking with USVs, sperm whale sonar modelling, unsupervised learning of sequential data and multiresolution learned representations. The team consists of 5 permanent members, 2 associate members, 4 PhDs and 1 postdoc. Furthermore, DYNI proposes, builds and validates multimodal data mass acquisition technologies based on IoT and robotics, through the university technology platform SMIoT.

The MIO gathers 240 scientists (among which 60 work in Toulon) from Aix-Marseille university, university of Toulon and research institutes of CNRS and IRD. The MIO is involved in the observation and the understanding of processes at sea and at the interfaces with atmosphere or with seashore. This concerns all aspects of oceanography: biology, microbiology, biogeochemistry, ecology, physics, modelling, in situ measurements and remote sensing. At university of Toulon, physicists focus on coastal processes and their interactions, with seashore on one side, open sea on the other side, the latter being remotely sensed by high-frequency radars. Chemists are involved in the determination and characterization of contaminants in the marine environment, the role of organic matter in their transfer into water and sediments, and in the development of spectroscopy. Biologists study the structure and functioning of marine coastal and pelagic marine systems and the impact of anthropogenic inputs on populations and communities. They also analyze the influence of the biotic compartment on the fate of contaminants in the marine environment. The MIO participates in a number of international interdisciplinary research projects focusing on marine sciences and implementing cutting edge technologies for marine exploration and protection.