CERMIM, A Research Centre in the Magdalen Islands
One island, a whole world:
studying and developing island and maritime environments
The starting point of the Centre de recherche sur les milieux insulaire et maritimes or CERMIM was the common will of the people of the Magdalen Islands and the Université du Québec à Rimouski, in 2003, to create a research entity in the Magdalen Islands. What is its underlying purpose? Insularity.
In order to anchor the Centre in its home environment and to respond to the needs of the island communities, its founders wanted it to be a nexus for area stakeholders. It would bring together basic and applied research, researchers and decision makers, theory and practice. The Centre would also work on issues related to the island and maritime environment, including socio-economic and cultural issues, natural resources, adaptation to climate change and waste management.
These principles became a reality in May 2004, when the Centre de recherche sur les milieux insulaires et maritimes was established. The founding partners are the Université du Québec à Rimouski, the Municipality of the Magdalen Islands and the Conférence régionale des élu(e)s des Îles-de-la-Madeleine. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, new socio-economic partners joined the founders of CERMIM to support its mission and allow its implementation, namely the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles, the SADC des Îles and the Centre local de développement des Îles. Since then, CERMIM has benefited from significant support from the MEI through various programs or specific agreements.
Subsequently, CERMIM has continued its mission and development. In 2021, the Centre took a major step forward with the opening of its factory lab, a central infrastructure for conducting applied research, in addition to continuing to build partnerships with island communities around the world. Indeed, several issues and problems specific to the Magdalen Islands territory are echoed in other island environments. The similarities that exist between the world’s island environments lead the CERMIM team to create and maintain these relationships in order to acquire knowledge and to compare technologies, approaches and initiatives related to various fields.
Insularity at the heart of every project and in every value
At CERMIM, projects, initiatives and actions are aligned with the values of sustainable development, consultation, innovation and adaptability. These are the cardinal points guiding our mission, which is to use research to drive innovation in a maritime and island context.
Clients, partners and the island and maritime communities can base their expectations of CERMIM on the following values:
Sustainable development allows economic and social development to be balanced with environmental conservation, while focusing on the sustainability of resources.
Consultation facilitates collaboration and agreement between the parties on a common project.
Innovation promotes the development of new solutions adapted to the issues of island and maritime communities.
Adaptability allows the Centre to change its priorities and methods to meet the changing needs of society.
The strengths of CERMIM
The CERMIM team has members with complementary skills in multiple disciplines, in addition to thorough knowledge of island challenges and opportunities. It offers its clients a relevant and enlightening analysis of the risks and benefits of an issue, in addition to its great strength, which is its ability to propose innovative, adapted and effective solutions.
It knows how to adapt its actions in order to innovate, but also how to be a cohesive unit. Its solid roots and extensive network in the Magdalen Islands community and in the scientific community are a solid foundation for its projects and initiatives. To carry out a mandate, the CERMIM team calls upon the key people and organizations in the area concerned. It is committed to the success of its mandate, as well as rallying the community.
The Applied Research Process
At CERMIM, applied research processes are adapted to the clients, based on the nature of the projects. With institutional clients, applied research work allows us to arrive at well thought-out concrete solutions. Application of these solutions allows them to save money or to find sustainable solutions to long-term issues.
With companies or industrial clients, CERMIM’s applied research processes make it possible to seize development opportunities. R&D is carried out in collaboration with the company and takes into account the transfer of knowledge and the calculation of the return on investment for the products or services adopted.
In both cases, the applied research process requires little client supervision time. It is easy to apply the solutions proposed by CERMIM.
CERMIM offers its clients access to state-of-the-art equipment, which solidifies its position as a key player to utilize the full potential of the Magdalen Islands’ geo-strategic positioning in the field of research and innovation.
In its factory lab, industrial research equipment is used to create test benches for applied research projects. In this pilot factory, products are developed that are ready to be marketed.
In the Carrefour insulaire d’innovation, de recherche et de développement, a building that houses the organization’s headquarters, a chemical laboratory, a geomatics laboratory and a project office, CERMIM enables networking and collaboration in order to promote the eco-responsible growth of businesses in the archipelago. This hub of island innovation enables networking and collaboration for research and innovation.
Various types of equipment are available to realize technical mandates such as data acquisition, visuals, aerial and maritime 3D surveys for photogrammetry and bathymetry. This equipment is key to CERMIM’s position as an applied research centre and a specialized laboratory located in the heart of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
CERMIM’s specialized equipment fleet is completed by its research vessel, the mid-shore vessel Francis-Éric. Nearly 20 metres in length, this steel vessel allows CERMIM to deploy its marine equipment in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It allows CERMIM to carry out projects that are vertically integrated, with the possibilities offered by the combination of its Carrefour insulaire de recherche, de développement et d’innovation and its factory lab.
The Client-Based Approach
Focused on partnership, CERMIM’s client-based approach reflects the image of its team: local, proactive and positive. It establishes a relationship of trust by creating synergies between the CERMIM team and the client’s team. Each project is tailored to solve the particular issue facing the island community. The most important quality of CERMIM’s client-based approach is the common will to succeed in bringing the project to a successful conclusion.