As of Monday, February 1, Estonia is officially an associate member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi, ambassador to the UN and other international organizations at Estonia's permanent representation in Geneva, on Monday afternoon handed over the note of enforcement to Fabiola Gianotti, director-general of CERN, spokespeople for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said.
Viljar Lubi, deputy secretary-general for economic development at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, said that this is an important milestone in increasing the knowledge intensity of Estonian companies.
"Smarter products and services increase the competitiveness of our businesses, create more added value and create more jobs," Lubi said, at the same time expressing confidence that local entrepreneurs and researchers will use the opportunities that have opened up and thus give a development leap to several Estonian companies.
According to the ministry, Estonia has engaged in good cooperation with CERN since 1996. "I am very pleased that with the transfer of the enforcement note, our joint activities can be further strengthened and expanded. Estonia hopes to take an active part in CERN's new research projects and help involve the private sector more," Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi said.
CERN project manager at Enterprise Estonia (EAS) Triin Kangro, the official Estonian contact person for CERN, invited all companies interested in cooperation to contact her.
"As an associate member of CERN, Estonian companies can now carry out cooperation projects with CERN and participate in the procurement. Estonians can also apply to work for CERN and participate in training and internship programs," Kangro said, affirming that, in addition to the ongoing scientific cooperation, it is planned to increase Estonia's participation in the organization's research projects.
Estonia's associate membership lasts for two to five years, after which Estonia becomes a full member of the organization. While, as an associate member, Estonia's income may not exceed the membership fee, then upon becoming a full member, this restriction will disappear and Estonia will also have the right to vote in the CERN Council.
Estonia has been participating in the activities of the organization on the basis of a cooperation agreement since 1996. Estonian researchers have mainly participated in CERN's experimental and theoretical studies of particle physics. In addition, Estonian students and physics teachers have been trained in the framework of CERN's summer school.
Estonia submitted a formal application for membership on September 5, 2018, to which CERN responded positively to the launch of accession negotiations on April 9, 2019.
CERN, or the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is an international research organization set up to develop science and technology. CERN's main activities are research into high-energy physics and the development of the necessary technology. CERN also provides training to improve the qualifications of students and researchers.
Editor: Roberta Vaino