The CIML building covers a surface area of 6,500 m2 and was designed to foster meetings and exchanges between all research stakeholders. It is home to research teams, technology platforms and support services of the institute. It was built by the CNRS in collaboration with INSERM, the Université de la Méditerranée, the Association pour la Rercherche sur le Cancer (ARC), the city of Marseille, the Bouches-du-Rhône department and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.

The CIML is located in a natural setting, at the heart of the Marseille-Luminy Scientific and Technological Park, which is connected to the future Parc National des Calanques bordering the south coastline of Marseille.

The 1,000 acres of the Luminy domain, which once belonged to the Cistercians, gave rise in the 70s to an “American-type” multi-disciplinary campus combining schools, universities, research centres and leisure areas (natural park, sport facilities, restaurants and student accommodation facilities).

With its 2 faculties, 6 French elite schools and institutes, 32 research laboratories and 15 biotechnology companies, the campus has now become one of the first European research and teaching hubs. Marseille-Luminy produces 750 scientific publications each year on average and houses major public French research organisations such as the CNRS, INSERM, INRA, the CEA and IRD.

In 2009, the University of Aix-Marseille was chosen by the French Ministry of Research and Higher Education to be one of its ten French model universities. The university sites of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille-Luminy have been included in the Campus programme launched in 2008 by the French President, and have therefore received exceptional funding of €500 M, which can be used for attracting the best researchers, the best students and the best French or foreign teachers.