The Réseau Méditerranéen des Ecoles d'Ingénieurs (RMEI) was set up in June 1997 at the initiative of the Groupe Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs de Marseille (ESIM), an organisation run by the Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie Marseille-Provence ( CCIMP: Marseille-Provence Chamber of Commerce and Industry).
Following the first General Assembly in 1997 at Sophia Antipolis (France), the RMEI has held this annual meeting successively in Barcelona (1998) , Tunis (1999), Istanbul (2000), Rabat (2001), Madrid (2002), Patras (2003), Genoa (2004), Algiers (2005), Izmir (2006l), Marseille (2007), Hammamet (2008), Rome (2009) and Thessaloniki (2010).
Since 2001, the RMEI has become the network that associates the engineering schools and universities of the Community of Universities of the Mediterranean (CUM), an official UNESCO body.
In 2007, the RMEI adopted a legal status under French law (association under the French law of 1901) which has given it more autonomy and which facilitates the procedures for collaboration within the framework of partnerships between active members and with associate members, local authorities and industry. The RMEI is run by a bureau with 6 members and administered by a Board of Administration with 10 members.
Since its foundation, the RMEI has enjoyed the support of the CCIMP (Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie Marseille-Provence), the Ville de Marseille (city council), the Conseil Général des Bouches du Rhône (council for the département)and the Conseil Régional de Provence- Alpes- Côte d'Azur (regional council). It is also supported by UNESCO (Chair 651 Innovation and Sustainable Development). EDF and STMicroelectronics also support RMEI activities.
In 2009, the RMEI has 66 members in 15 countries having a Mediterranean culture. RMEI promoted academic partnerships among which are the network of the Black Sea (BSUN), 2 Unesco Networks in Russia and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
Since its foundation, the RMEI has sought to valorise the specific assets of the Mediterranean with the aim of enhancing its impact, by reinforcing the links between engineering schools, universities and other partners in the Mediterranean region :
- a historic Mediterranean identity that is culturally diverse and based on the sea that has long been a vector of commercial exchanges and activities, and the cradle of great civilisations and great cultural movements (e.g. the Renaissance);
- a present-day crossroads between cultures, the source of its creativity ;
- a unique geographical position at the interface between Europe, Africa and the Middle East.