Prospects for Sri Lankan scientific community to engage in research carried out by CERN
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka, Geneva
May 20, 2016

Minister of Science, Technology & Research, Susil Premajayantha who visited the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) 10 May 2016, has agreed to enhance collaboration between CERN and Sri Lanka, through the development of a network of scientific community of Sri Lankan scientists and researchers, who could remain engaged with the research activity carried out by CERN - the most prominent particle physics research institute in the world which is best known for its flagship discovery of the ‘Higgs-Boson” in 2012. It has been suggested that a ‘network’ of scientists with an organizational structure could be formed within Sri Lanka, with one institute serving as the nucleus in collaborations with CERN. It was suggested that the suitable scientists to be members of such a ‘network’ can be identified with the help of CERN, through national science institutions such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Arthur C. Clarke Institute, 7 science faculties in Universities etc.

The cooperation between Sri Lanka and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) was formally initiated on 25 June 2015, following the signing of an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) Agreement between Sri Lanka‘s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha and the then Director General of CERN, Prof. Rolf-Dieter Heuer at the CERN Headquarters in Geneva. Following this formalization of relations, 2 Sri Lankan undergraduate students will for the first time join the CERN Summer Student Programme in June 2016, while it has also enabled Sri Lankan teachers to apply to participate in the CERN High School Physics Teachers Programme. Also, Sri Lanka and CERN will explore possibilities for Masters and PhD students to participate in the research activities of CERN in the fields of Physics, Engineering or Computing.

Minister Premajayantha was received by the Director-General of CERN Prof. Fabiola Gianotti, and had the opportunity to visit the CMS experimental area in Cessy, France. The Director for International Relations of CERN, Mrs. Charlotte Warakaulle, Senior Adviser Dr. Rüdiger Voss, Head of Associate Member and Non-Member State Relations Prof. Emmanuel Tsesmelis and CMS Collaboration Spokesperson Dr. Tiziano Camporesi, and Additional Secretary (Technology Research Development) of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research, H.M.B.C. Herath and Second Secretary of the Permanent Mission in Geneva Dilini Gunasekera were associated in the discussions. The prospects of Sri Lanka entering into an 'International Co-operation Agreement' with CERN, a framework agreement for future cooperation on research and technology in areas of mutual interest, was also discussed.

As a further measure of enhancing further collaboration between CERN and Sri Lanka, it is also envisaged that a group of leading scientists, representing the different Universities in Sri Lanka undertake an ‘exploratory visit’ to CERN in order to be exposed to the research.

During the discussions with CERN officials, Minister Premajayantha also invited CERN representatives to participate in the Science and Technology Symposium scheduled to be held from 7-10 September 2016 in Colombo, which is expected to be attended by about 100 Sri Lankan scientists, 100-200 expatriate scientists and 100 international science institutes.

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