The OCEVU Laboratory of Excellence (Origins, Constituents and EVolution of the Universe) is a federative project aimed to explore the big questions of contemporary physics on the history of the Universe, its origins and what constitutes it, like: origins of very high energy cosmic rays, nature of dark energy and dark matter, formation of the first stars and galaxies, exploration of new theories in particle physics and in cosmology.


To answer these big scientific questions at the frontiers of cosmology, astroparticles and particles physics, the OCEVU Labex gathers the whole academic community working on these research fields located in the Southern belt of France (Marseille – Montpellier – Toulouse), and catalyzes collaborations on interdisciplinary projects. On one hand, these collaborations combine various approaches like theory, observation, experiment, modelling, and on the other hand, the various thematics like cosmology, astroparticles and particles physics.


Relations between science and society as large also constitute an important stake of the OCEVU Labex, and this at different levels: concerning the students through academic formation, but also children and the general public through science dissemination and popularization, and finally industrials through technology transfer. In each of these domains, the OCEVU Labex is aimed to support and to promote original initiatives by favoring collaborations between the involved labs located in Marseille, Montpellier and Toulouse.


The OCEVU Labex is coordinated by Eric Kajfasz (Centre de physique des particules de Marseille). 6 laboratories are involved, that is approximately 450 staffs (scientists, engineers, technicians and administration staff), located in 3 administrative regions (Provence-Alpes Côte d'Azur, Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées). OCEVU has been selected in the second call for Laboratory of Excellence launched by the French government and officially started in July 2012 within the A*MIDEX of Aix-Marseille University in collaboration with the University of Montpellier 2, the Paul Sabatier University of Toulouse and CNRS. OCEVU was granted 10 M€ over an 8-year period (2012 - 2020).