IRAM is an international research institute and Europe’s leading center for radio astronomy at millimeter wavelengths. Our mission is to explore the universe, study its origins and its evolution with two of the most advanced radio astronomy facilities in the world.

NOEMA is the most powerful millimeter observatory of the Northern Hemisphere, located in the French Alps. The 30-meter telescope is one of the largest and most sensitive radio telescopes to date built in the Spanish Sierra Nevada.

Our scientists and engineers work at the forefront of modern radio technology. The institute’s laboratories cover the complete field of high frequency technology. Thanks to their unique expertise, our staff develop cutting edge technology not only for our own observatories but also for the benefit of the international astronomical community.

IRAM was founded in 1979 by the French CNRS and the German MPG. Initially an associate member, the Spanish IGN became a full member in 1990. After 40 years of fruitful cooperation, the institute is considered a model of multinational scientific collaboration.


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Founding members

IRAM was founded in 1979 by the French CNRS, the German MPG and the Spanish IGN – initially an associate member, becoming a full member in 1990. Today, the institute is considered a model of scientific multinational cooperation.


The institute maintains a wide network of partnership programs with high-profile universities and international research organisations in order to foster progress in millimeter astronomy and related techniques.