Towards more excellence with Aix-Marseille University

What is the Excellence Initiative?

The A*MIDEX university foundation supports the Aix-Marseille Excellence Initiative, winner of the national label obtained as part of the INVESTMENTS FOR THE FUTURE (PIA) PROGRAM. The Idex project presented by Aix-Marseille University and its partners (CNRS, Inserm, IRD, CEA, AP-HM, Sciences-Po Aix, Centrale Marseille) was selected in February 2012 by the international jury and definitively confirmed in April 2016.

Its objective is to enhance and develop the exceptional potential of the Aix-Marseille site by providing it with world-class research and higher education. A*MIDEX experiments with new actions and functions as a strategic growth lever for the territory.

This ambition is reflected in the following objectives:

  • Strengthen and improve our positioning as a leading intensive research university;
  • Improving our international recognition as a high-level higher education institution;
  • Increasing our economic and societal utility at the national and international level;
  • Strengthen our international reputation.

A*MIDEX's policy is based mainly - although not exclusively - on five funds serving its various objectives, in order to ensure an optimal concentration of Idex resources on the most promising projects. These five funds are: Attractiveness - Research - International - Transfer - Training.

The actions financed by the Idex pass through two vectors:

  • calls for projects or applications, with many projects labelled in the Units or components and partners of the Aix-Marseille site;
  • structuring actions with the objective of transforming the university institution.

Idex Aix-Marseille also supports the major structural projects of the Aix-Marseille site such as Convergence Institutes, University Hospital Networks (RHU), LabEx and University Research Schools, selected as part of the PIA programmes. The foundation also monitors these projects.


The A*MIDEX Foundation manages the funds allocated to the A*MIDEX project, representing nearly 26 million euros per year. To achieve these objectives, A*MIDEX must meet a series of challenges in a context of globalization and intense international competition:

A*Midex's action is based on major challenges:

  • Strengthen and improve the positioning of Aix-Marseille University as a leading intensive research university, with the objective of reaching the top 100 research universities worldwide;
  • Develop and make more visible the most innovative and attractive training courses in the region, in particular through the creation of the Academy of Excellence;
  • Promote a policy of valorizing the results of bold research, pushing the limits of partnership research and technology transfer, in line with the academic and economic potential of the Aix-Marseille site;
  • Propose an attractive human resources policy in order to attract and retain quality profiles, particularly with a view to anticipating the end of the activities of current scientific leaders;
  • Implement a process of scientific integration and mediation of the community, in particular by promoting the results and sharing knowledge with society;
  • Promote an interface between national policy and site policy, in particular by making actions consistent and projects converge in the establishment;
  • Implement a transversal approach to internationalisation with a twofold objective: to cultivate the site's Mediterranean identity and develop its international influence.

Défis Amidex

The achievement of these challenges requires the mobilization, beyond the actors of higher education and research, of all the living forces of the territory. Thus, the A*Midex foundation is also promoting innovative and ambitious synergies with local socio-economic and cultural actors. The foundation carries out numerous actions to benefit the university and raises funds to support the ambitions shared by all the players at the Aix-Marseille site. The donations received are used in particular to support the socio-economic dynamism of the region, through innovation and the high qualification of graduates, subjects that are inseparable from the dynamism of higher education and research. The foundation thus contributes to the prosperity and local, regional and international influence of Aix-Marseille. Cross-functional, these challenges pursue the same ambition to make the Aix-Marseille site a strong place for research and higher education at the international level.

At the national level, the IDEXs are organised and intend, with the support of the CNRS and Inserm, to fully play their role as the driving force of higher education and research in France and Europe.

Governance of the company

The Foundation is made up of a Steering Committee comprising the 8 institutions (University of Aix-Marseille, CNRS, Inserm, CEA, IRD, APH-M, Sciences-Po Aix and Centrale Marseille) members of the consortium that submitted the A*MIDEX project. It is administered by a Management Board, composed of 18 members divided into three colleges: representatives of the institution, founders and qualified personalities. President Yvon Berland was elected President of the Foundation by its Management Board.

The Steering Committee is the decision-making body of the Foundation. Its role is to issue an opinion (favourable or unfavourable) on actions financed by Idex credit. It meets eleven times a year. The Steering Committee prepares the annual programme of A*MIDEX. It submits it for deliberation and execution to the Management Board, which settles the Foundation's business through its deliberations. At the end of each year, the Steering Committee issues an opinion on the activity report submitted to the Management Board. This activity report and the associated opinion, as well as the upcoming annual programme, are submitted to the University's Board of Directors for deliberation. The Steering Committee also interacts with the Research and Development Commission and the Commission de la Formation et de la Vie Universitaire d'Aix-Marseille Universitéand relies on its consultative bodies: the Research Directorate, the Training Directorate and the Strategic Foresight Committee.

The A*MIDEX Foundation is supported in its strategy by international experts, renowned personalities and external to the institution, offering a diverse and varied range of skills. The International Strategic Council makes recommendations to strengthen the scientific and educational performance of the site as well as the European and international positioning. The Steering Committee submits to the International Strategic Council for its opinion the annual action programme financed by the Foundation. It issues an opinion on the annual report on these actions.

The monitoring of the projects selected by the Foundation's Management Board is entrusted to an Executive Directorate, which launches calls for projects, manages the programmes financed by the various funds provided for and supports the implementation of the actions. The Executive Management, composed of the Deputy Vice-President at A*MIDEX, the Executive Director and the Administrative Director, works with project managers and assistants. The administrative team supports the managers of accredited projects.


Minutes and calendar of proceedings

Find in private access (connect) the minutes and calendars of the management and steering committees


Contact information
  • For general questions about A*MIDEX, please contact :

A*MIDEX Foundation - Aix-Marseille University
Jardin du Pharo - 58 bd Charles Livon - 13284 Marseille Cedex 07

Tel: +33 (0)4 86 13 61 60 - email :

Director - Céline BRÉAL
Tel: +33(0) 4 91 39 65 51 - email:

excellence initiative