CERN pursues its partnership with the Department of Haute-Savoie

The third framework agreement between CERN and the Department of Haute-Savoie was signed at an official ceremony in Archamps, Haute Savoie, on 4 February 2010. The main theme of the agreement, which lays down the guidelines for collaboration between the two parties, is the transfer of knowledge and technology.


Christian Monteil (left), Chairman of the General Council of Haute-Savoie and Rolf Heuer, Director-General of CERN after the third signature of the convention-cadre between Haute-Savoie and CERN.

CERN and Haute Savoie have a long tradition of cooperation. Fourteen years after their first agreement (see box), the two parties have just signed a third framework agreement that adds knowledge transfer to the range of items covered. The Department of Haute-Savoie wishes to place the focus on advanced and unique training in areas where CERN has considerable expertise. "Two highly successful schools in which CERN is directly involved, one on accelerator physics and the other on medical applications, have already been hosted by the European Scientific Institute in Archamps for the last ten years", says Danièle Lajust, who collaborates with Philippe Bloch in the coordination and follow-up with the Department. "The Department of Haute-Savoie wishes to take advantage of CERN's knowledge and technologies to develop training initiatives in the field of informatics and life sciences, such as medical imaging and cancer therapy using particle beams. This kind of training can be set up via the recently created Institut transfrontalier des Technologies et Sciences de la Vie (ITTSV), in which CERN is a participant."

Collaboration benefits both parties alike. CERN offers the Haute Savoie its expertise in developing leading-edge technologies and derives benefits in return. “For example, the Conseil général of Haute-Savoie contributes to the funding of research and development activities carried out by research institutes and companies in the Department, in the fields of microelectronics for the TOTEM experiment and control electronics and micro-mechanics for the CLIC project”, adds Adolfo Fucci, who is involved in CERN-Haute Savoie relations.

Convinced of the merits of cooperation, the Department of Haute Savoie and CERN have thus decided to continue it and adapt it to their changing requirements. "One of CERN's missions is to bring the benefits of its knowledge and know-how to society, starting with our closest neighbours. CERN has a major role to play as an economic motor in the local community", concludes Philippe Bloch, Head of the PH Department and the Director-General's representative in relations with the Department of Haute Savoie.


Did you know? - Summary of past agreements between CERN and Haute-Savoie

A framework agreement is a formal agreement setting out the main lines of what is to be done by the parties over a number of years.

The first framework agreement between CERN and the Department of Haute Savoie was signed in 1996, at the start of LHC construction, when the CERN Council requested exceptional contributions to the project from the Host States France and Switzerland. This first agreement was confined to the LHC project and lasted until 2003. In 2004 the Department of Haute Savoie decided to sign a second framework agreement for a period of 5 years, during which cooperation between the two parties was extended to cover several fields. This second agreement concerned scientific and technical collaboration and technology transfer. It has just been succeeded by a third framework agreement, in spite of the current difficult economic climate.

Every year the Conseil général of Haute-Savoie votes an average budget of 300 000 euros, allocated via implementation agreements, to the funding of several projects with partners in industry and research in the Department like the ones described above. According to Christian Monteil, President of the Conseil général of Haute-Savoie, in a speech during the signing ceremony on 4 February, the annual contribution for this third framework agreement should be of the same order of magnitude.

by CERN Bulletin