New links between Ecuador and CERN

A new protocol recently signed in Quito opens the way to stronger links between the Ecuadorian scientific community and CERN. The operational framework provided by the protocol will enable scientists from Ecuador to take part in CERN’s projects, supported by the Ecuadorian authorities.


Picture taken during the signing ceremony at SENESCYT (Quito, Ecuador) on 12 July 2011. From left to right: Guillermo Solórzano, Minister for Coordination of Knowledge and Human Talent, Rene Ramirez Gallegos, National Secretary for Higher Education, Science and Technology - SENECYT, Felicitas Pauss and Jose Salicio from CERN.

Ecuador’s involvement with CERN dates back to 1999 when a first International Co-operation Agreement was signed. However, despite these early beginnings,   only a few scientists from Ecuador, affiliated to non-Ecuadorian institutes, have since been directly involved in CERN’s projects, in particular the CMS experiment at the LHC. The situation is now about to change thanks to a new protocol, which gives a better-defined framework to the collaboration between CERN and Ecuador. “We were extremely pleased by the very positive spirit of the Ecuadorian authorities at the signature ceremony,” says Felicitas Pauss, Head of International Relations at CERN. “Uniting people from different countries and cultures is part of CERN’s mission and I hope that, thanks to the new agreement, the number of Ecuadorian scientists and educators visiting CERN will soon increase.”

The new agreement will benefit both the scientific and the educational communities in Ecuador as it concerns not only physicists, engineers and specialized technicians from universities, but also high-school teachers and students. “One teacher from Ecuador has already participated in an early High-School Teacher programme at CERN,” confirms Felicitas Pauss. “The agreement also foresees the selection and funding, by the Ecuadorian National Secretariat for Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, of students participating in the Summer Student programme.”  One Ecuadorian student has already participated in this year’s Summer Student programme.

The protocol also promotes the development of undergraduate and graduate programmes in physics at Ecuadorian universities. These courses should increase the number of qualified students who can participate in CERN’s scientific activities.  Scientists from Ecuador will be involved in all aspects of these activities, from theoretical physics to experimental physics, GRID computing, electronics, etc. “The collaboration with Ecuador also aims at developing human skills that can better enable the local community to grow by building and strengthening research groups in the country’s institutions,” adds Jose Salicio, CERN’s Advisor for Latin American Countries. “There are scientists from Ecuador interested in becoming members of the CMS Collaboration, and this new protocol will play an important role in facilitating their efforts to stay on here,” confirms Felicitas Pauss.

by CERN Bulletin