STAFF REPORT ISB: Pakistan is fast heading towards becoming associate member of the CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) as its capabilities particularly in the area of science and nuclear research have been found satisfactory. Recently a four-member technical team from the CERN, headed by Dr Sergio Bertolucci, has visited Pakistan to assess its capabilities in the field of science and nuclear research.

“Pakistans nuclear research capability is satisfactory as we have scrutinised nuclear research capability of different installations including Heavy Mechanical Complex),” said Dr Sergio told the media at the conclusion of his teams four-day visit to Pakistan.

However, he said that the Pakistani government will have to ratify the international agreement for becoming an associate member of this forum.

Dr Sergio said the CERN technical team will table its findings before its council in coming June or September for decision.

Taking about the expertise of the Pakistani engineers, he informed young Pakistani engineers and scientists are equally capable to develop the country; the only difference is the opportunity. “We believe in young brains. They think out of the box,” he remarked.

It is to be mentioned here that Pakistan had submitted an application in February last year to become associate member of CERN.

Dr. Sergio informed that in 2000, Pakistan had supplied 8 Magnet Supports, manufactured at the HMC and were meant to hold up the main structure (main magnet) weighing 4 times the weight of Boeing 747 at the CMS detector, CERN. Presently, as many as 30 Pakistani technicians are working at the CERN, he said.

Dr. Sergio informed CERN is not focused on science and engineering only as its focusing three times more for the benefits of the society.

When asked to identify the areas where Pakistan requires improvements for becoming associate member of CERN, Dr Sergio said that Pakistan would have to improve its networking capability, which will become catalyst for moving at accelerated pace in the area of scientific and nuclear research capabilities.

Located in Geneva, Switzerland, CERN is a world leading scientific organization which has been conducting research on High Energy Particle Physics since its inception in 1954.

While exclusively talking to the Technology Times, Sue FOFFANO, the Scientific Assistant to Research Director and Computing Grid Resource Manager, CERN, said that due to limitations of bandwidth Pakistan currently is getting less projects from CERN. Pakistan needs to get high bandwidth by investing more in this regard, she said.

On the occasion, Chairman PAEC Dr. Ansar said that all procedural requirements would be accomplished in next six to eight months.

He also said that there are numerous benefits, if Pakistan becomes CERNs associate member. These include engineering contracts to support CERN programmes, which will be beneficial for our industrial sector and human resource development.

“It would also help in technology transfer in key areas of radiofrequency technology, ion beam optics, cryogenics,” Dr. Ansar maintained.

Pakistan has very cordial relationship with CERN which has been conducting research on High Energy Particle Physics since its inception in 1954.

A Protocol for collaboration was signed in 1997, jointly between PAEC, National Centre for Physics (NCP) and CERN.

There are numerous benefits if Pakistan becomes Associate Member of CERN such as: Increased number of engineering contracts to support CERN programmes which will be beneficial for our industrial sector, human resource development and technology transfer in key areas of radio-frequency technology, ion beam optics, cryogenics etc.

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