During the visit in Riga on Friday, 2 February, leading universities of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania established the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) Baltic Group, which will work to promote collaboration between the Baltic States and the leading particle physics research, innovation and scientific discovery centre. On Tuesday, February 6, the Latvian government will review an informative report on Latvia’s accession to the CERN, and if approved, Latvia will officially start its integration into the CERN.
To become a fully-fledged member of CERN, a pre-stage to membership status must first be obtained. Taking note of the informative report by the government, the Ministry of Education and Science will officially inform the CERN Council of Latvia’s intention to become associate member in the pre-stage to membership. By the end of this year, a draft agreement between the Government of Latvia and CERN has to be prepared and submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers. Similar formalities are also handled by Estonia, which, like Latvia, wants to become a full member of the CERN. Lithuania is already an associated member of CERN.
After officially starting its way towards CERN, CERN National Contact Point has been established in Latvia, whose mission is to ensure Latvia’s link with CERN and to promote the country to become a full member of the CERN.
To do this, Latvia needs to develop research in high-energy physics, and therefore the new CERN Baltic Group will develop an international Master’s and Doctoral study programme in particle physics to enable Baltic students to acquire the knowledge they will need for cooperation with CERN.
The mentioned study programme will be a unique international interdisciplinary programme that combines basic and applied science – particle physics with accelerator technologies. It is planned that students will gain experience in research at CERN. It is thought that the University of Latvia could provide the study programme with content in particle physics, while Riga Technical University (RTU) – content in technologies.
CERN scientists will help to develop the programme in the Baltic States and they will also conduct lectures in particle physics and accelerator technologies. On 31 January, when the CERN delegation had a meeting with RTU Rector, Academician Leonīds Ribickis, a contract about two CERN scientists – Christoph Schaefer and Maurizio Vretenar — becoming the visiting professors of RTU, was signed.
RTU signed cooperation agreement with CERN back in 2012 and after RTU initiative CERN integration process has been started in Latvia. In May 2017, activating the cooperation between Latvia and CERN, the CERN Science Week took place in Latvia. During that time, a letter from the Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia Māris Kučinskis was sent to the CERN delegation, in which he confirmed Latvia’s desire to become a member of CERN. In January this year, at a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos with CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti M. Kučinskis confirmed that Latvia’s accession to CERN had been on the government’s agenda.
On 17 January 2018, a delegation of Latvian entrepreneurs also visited CERN to make sure that Latvia’s accession to CERN would also promote cooperation between Latvian entrepreneurs and CERN, as to ensure its scientific work CERN would need raw materials that could be supplied by Latvian companies.
«Kur rītdiena ir jau šodien» — LTV raidījums «Aculiecinieks» par CERN (03.02.2018.)
«Where tomorrow is already today» — Latvian Television broadcast «Aculiecinieks» about CERN (03.02.2018.)