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Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian universities have officially established a CERN Baltic group to collaborate with the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN). On Tuesday, May 29, CERN in Geneva, major universities of the Baltic States signed a Memorandum of Understanding that is unique in the history of CERN, as none of the region's countries have yet been able to legally combine their efforts to coordinate their cooperation with the world's leading particle physics research, innovation and scientific discovery center.
With the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding, the CERN Baltic Group has been formally established, which includes all the major regional universities - Riga Technical University (RTU), University of Latvia (UL), Riga Stradiņš University (RSU), Kaunas University of Technology, Vilnius University, Estonian National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, Tallinn University of Technology and University of Tartu.
RTU professor and Latvian representative at CERN Toms Torims became the chairman of the CERN Baltic Group. The high level of the event was confirmed by participation of CERN's International Relations Director Charlotte Warakaulle at the signing of the memorandum.
«The establishment of the CERN Baltic Group is a strong signal to the CERN Council that the Baltic region universities will unite to coordinate their scientific work for joint participation at CERN experiments. Moreover, CERN Baltic group will cooperate with CERN not only at the scientific level, but also at the political level, contributing to the transformation of Latvia and Estonia into full-fledged CERN member states,» T. Torims says.
Lithuania has already acquired the status of CERN Associate Member, but Latvia and Estonia are on their way to it. In order to become Member States, the Baltic States need to develop high-energy physics research, and therefore the new CERN Baltic Group will develop an international Master and PhD level study programes in Particle Physics and Accelerator Technology to enable Baltic students to acquire the knowledge they will need for cooperation with CERN.
This will be an internationally unique interdisciplinary program that combines basic and applied science - particle physics with accelerator technology. It is anticipated that students will accquire research expierience at CERN.
The next CERN Group meeting will take place in September in Tallin.