Islamabad/Geneva, Aug 1 (IANS) The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, has formally conferred its associate membership on Pakistan, following completion of required internal ratification process by it, a media report said on Saturday.
The associate membership will open a new era of cooperation that will strengthen the long-term partnership between CERN and the Pakistani scientific community, Dawn reported, quoting a press statement issued by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).
Pakistan can now participate in the governance of CERN, by attending meetings of its council. It will allow the Pakistani industry to bid for CERN contracts.
It will also allow Pakistani scientists to become members of the CERN staff, and to participate in CERNís training and career-development programmes.
The cooperation between Pakistan and CERN can be rooted to the signing of a cooperation agreement in 1994.
The signature of several protocols followed this agreement, and Pakistan contributed to building the CMS and ATLAS experiments, the body, founded in 1954 and located on the Franco-Swiss border, said on its website on Friday.
Pakistan contributes today to the ALICE and CMS experiments. Pakistan is also involved in accelerator developments, making it an important partner for CERN, it added.
After Pakistan sought membership in 2013, CERN sent its task force to evaluate the country’s science and technology base and industrial capabilities in early 2014.
The task force was mandated to evaluate the membership application on three fronts: existence of solid basis in elementary particle physics, sufficiently-developed industries and the will of the national authority to support the basic research.
The CERN task force concluded that Pakistan fulfils the criteria and on September 18, 2014, the CERN council unanimously approved Pakistan’s membership application.