After it ratified an agreement in December, Pakistan on Friday became an associate member of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).
According to a statement from the Geneva-based research institute, Pakistan and CERN had signed a co-operation agreement in 1994. Signature and implementation of several protocols later, Pakistan was contributing to building the CMS and ATLAS experiments.
Today, Pakistan contributes to the ALICE and CMS experiments in addition to accelerator developments, making it an important partner for CERN.
With an associate membership, a new era of cooperation will open that will “strengthen the long-term partnership between CERN and the Pakistani scientific community,” the statement said.
Associate membership status will allow Pakistan to participate in the governance of CERN, through attending the meetings of the CERN Council. Moreover, it will allow Pakistani scientists to become members of the CERN staff, and to participate in CERN’s training and career-development programmes.
The status also means that Pakistani nuclear industry can now bid for CERN contracts, thus opening up opportunities for industrial collaboration in areas of advanced technology.
Pakistan is the 21st member of the research organisation. It joins the 11 founding states Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Yugoslavia was also a founding member. Subsequent members include Austria (1959), Spain (1961-1969, re-joined 1983), Portugal (1985), Finland (1991), Poland (1991), Czechoslovakia (1992), Hungary (1992), Bulgaria (1999) and Israel (2014).
Romania is a candidate to become a member state while Turkey is an associate member. Serbia is an associate member in the pre-stage to membership.