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Scientific infrastructure in and beyond Europe Herwig Schopper UNESCO – IBSP, CERN, SESAME Capacity building What does it mean? Formation of scientists is necessary (“human capital”, fellowships, exchange programs, etc) But Infrastructure is indispensable

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scientific infrastructure in and beyond europe

Scientific infrastructure in and beyond Europe

Herwig Schopper


capacity building
Capacity building

What does it mean?

  • Formation of scientists is necessary(“human capital”, fellowships, exchange programs, etc)
  • But Infrastructure is indispensable
  • in EU programs practically nothing for infrastructure of basic science:
  • Nothing in previous Framework Programs
  • Some funds for hardware in mission programs in technology (IT),
  • use of large facilities
natural sciences
Natural Sciences
  • are phenomenology based need equipment (experimental equipment, books, IT networks)
  • even theorists need it (libraries, computers)

Without research facilities at homescientists cannot benefit from training

→ disappointment, frustration, emigration, brain drain

failures and unsatisfactory situation learn from errors
Failures and unsatisfactory situationlearn from errors

Including new EU Members

  • “Rebuilding of Research in South East Europe”by ROSTE-UNESCO, proposals, 2002, some good effectsMinisterial Conference :no great success,no sponsor meeting (other such conferences good)
  • Creating a regional research centre(e.g. by Octagon states, Austron), no agreement reached among scientists, failed
  • Participation in large European organizations(e.g. CERN, ESO,EMBL) is still unsatisfactory(but good in various countries, in some fields)

The use of regional and international facilities

  • works more or less in Western Europebut improvement possible,
  • strengthen it in East and South East Europe,
  • but should also be extended beyond Europe to neighboring regions (many scientific and political reasons)
  • e.g. Mediterranean region, Middle East
what else should be done
What else should be done?

The ERC should make it possible to:

  • provide minimal equipment for universitiese.g. computers, links to outside, data analysis, small accelerators, spectrometers, etc
  • Help to create some centers of excellence(regional or international)serve as reference for standards of quality
  • A European Technical University??

In a new member state ? (France, Poland)

Interlinked with existing institutions (e.g. CERN, EMBL, ESO, ESA)

3 examples and what to learn from them for international use of infrastucture
3 Examplesand what to learn from them for international use of infrastucture
  • UNESCO International Basic Science Program IBSP
  • CERN: from European institute to global international cooperation with unique facilities
  • SESAME: medium size facility for Middle East with strong links to Europe
unesco international basic sciences programme ibsp

UNESCO International Basic Sciences Programme IBSP

UNESCO Flagship Activity

First round just started,General Conferenceapproved its future strategy (October 2005)

First UN Program dedicated to Basic Sciences and Science Education

Not for fellowships, but project orientedprovides exactly what is needed, but at low financial level

310 applications for projects 39 recommended for 2005 2007
310 Applications for Projects, 39 recommended for 2005/2007

Great interest !

Almost all projects concern experimental activities, no fellowships

future strategy major issues
Future strategy(major issues)
  • concentrate region-specific actions involving networks of national, regional and international centresof excellence;
  • actions based on projects fostering regional and/or international cooperation in development-oriented areas;
  • transfer of excellence and the sharing of scientific information and facilities through cooperation between national and regional institutions in the North and South;
  • innovations and improvement of the quality ofscience education;
  • stimulate new partnership with governmental institutions and major non-governmental scientific organizations in the basic sciences.
  • Co-funding is essential element

ERC could provide similarhelp for Europe at more adequate financial level

  • IBSP overlaps in its objectives with ERC
  • A cooperation would be opportune and beneficial
european science not so bad
European Science not so bad!!
  • Quite competitive in some fields
  • Learn also from positive examples

Working Style of CERN

Tasks shared between CERN – Users

  • CERN builds and operates (unique) facilities, coordinates exploitation (Technical Competence)“Service Station”
  • Users come from Universities, national Labs, etc. (Scientific Competence, Rejuvenation)

CERN international organisation

  • Foundation based on 2 initiatives :1.Physicists:join European forces to be competitive with US, in nuclear and elementary particle physics
      • 2. Political initiative: European Movementbring Europeans togetherafter war
      • The two initiatives were combined at 5. General Conference of UNESCO in Florence, June 1950Constitution approved in 2004, 1. European Organisation
    • Two objectives:
    • Promote science and technology and
    • Contribute to better understanding between nations

Memberstates of CERN

From 12 to 20 Member States

+ Associates USA, Russia, Japan, India, Israel,........and special agreements with many other countries


CERN crossing the Swiss-French Border




Tunnel 27 km circumference, built for LEP (e+e-), used now for LHC (p-p)


cern and europe
CERN and Europe
  • CERN is older then EU and EU application oriented (EURATOM) from its beginning
  • Hence little contact in the past(recently for GRID, after the invention of WEB by CERN)CERN has academic training program, but cannot award academic titles(strong cooperation with universities, how to improve?)
  • ERC should help users to participate in CERN program providing infrastructure at home institutions (detector building)
  • Make use of its infrastructure and competence for other institutions (Technical University?), create network among major European technical institutions

SESAMEinternational organisation

A 3rd Generation Synchrotron Light Source for the Middle East

  • International organisation created by UNESCO according to CERN model
  • 8 Members of SESAME Council; Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestine, Turkey, Iran?, Iraq??, Cyprus ?
  • Observer Countries: France*, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Russia, UK, USA, United Arab Emirates
  • Jordan is host country; selected from 7 competing countries, Lab must be open to qualified scientists from everywhere
  • Jordan is providing the site and funds for the building now in construction
  • Some capital funds sought from other sources (EU, Japan, US…)
  • First operation expected in 2009


APRIL 2005

The site of SESAME in Allaan, Jordan; 30 km NW of Amman

Elevation ≈ 1000 m

Summer 2005

Building to be finished fall 2006


SESAME and Europe

Whenunanimouslyapproved by UNESCO General Assembly(November 2001, more than 150 Countries) and Executive Board(>50 countries Mai 2002)

”...model project for other regions....Quintessential UNESCO project combining capacity building with vital peace-building through science.” Seed money for similar projects suggested

Was possible only by help from Europe: donation of equipment(BESSY I Germany, beam elements from LURE and Daresbury)

European SR labs accepted trainees from Middle East

Request for funds for upgrading from EU (MEDA programme) pending

My experience: Large funds for development available (Roads, Water), Very low priority for research!! 1% of funds for development would help basic research!


The tower of Babelby Breughel

Architects (scientists) on their knees asking for funds

some conclusions
Some Conclusions
  • Provide funds for infrastructure, not only for training
  • Keep bureaucracy to minimumBest scientists find funds anyway
  • Transparence for decision taking
  • Promote international cooperation

in and outside Europe

Do not make simply gifts, require:

  • engagement of local scientists with competence (to avoid “white elephants”!)
  • participation from local authorities (co-funding)

Energy concentration like about 10-10 s after Big Bang

Known particles

Unknown particles


Mini Big Bang

Investigate state of matter at high energy densities (temperature)