CP session: building future strategy

News, 26 May 2022

The session of the Committee of Plenipotentiary Representatives of the Governments of the JINR Member States was held on 25 May in Dubna. The session chaired by Professor Florin-Dorian Buzatu (Romania) had a mixed format. Director of the Joint Institute RAS Academician Grigory Trubnikov welcomed participants of the CP session, among whom there were representatives of the governments of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Georgia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Romania, and Russia.

In his speech, the Director of the Joint Institute spoke about the latest achievements of the scientific centre and presented plans for the current year. Nowadays, JINR ranks the second after CERN in the rating of international scientific organisations in terms of the staff. It takes the sixth place in the rating among organisations engaged in natural sciences. The Institute carries out almost 500 joint projects within grants and programmes of Plenipotentiary Representatives of the Member States. The JINR experimental base is growing at a good pace.

The JINR Director spoke in detail about a number of striking results achieved in the Institute’s laboratories. For example, the NICA project is ready by 83%. From 1 January to 1 April 2022, the record-breaking commissioning run was held. Specialists achieved uninterrupted simultaneous operation of the three major accelerators of the NICA complex, accelerated and extracted a beam with an energy of up to 3 GeV/n from the Booster to the Nuclotron. The physical run was successful at the SRC experiment on the study of short-range correlations. Scientists collected more than 185 million interactions of carbon with the hydrogen target. In autumn, it is planned to conduct a large-scale experiment at the BM@N facility. Work is continuing on increasing the number of optical modules at the deep-underwater neutrino telescope on Lake Baikal. At the beginning of this year, its effective volume reached 0.5 km3. The facility already operates and provides experimental data: for three years, about 10 events have been registered that may confidently be identified as discoveries. The Superheavy Element Factory successfully operates. Since the beginning of its work, 235 new events and 2 new isotopes have been discovered. Now it is the world-best facility of the class, which allows the Institute to outperform friends-partners-rivals by 50-70 times in terms of its performance. According to experts, the facility will not have rivals in the world for at least another 10 years. MLIT JINR employees continue active development of the MICC. The Laboratory’s staff has ambitious plans to reach hundreds of petaflops. The volume of stored data has tripled. The international educational programme continues, the network of JINR information centres in Russia and the world is expanding.

In his next report, the JINR Director presented the concept of the Seven-year plan for the development of JINR for 2024 – 2030, taking into account the adjustments of the JINR long-term scientific strategy, the optimisation of the structure of the JINR Topical Plan for Research and International Cooperation, as well as the financing and staffing of research projects. “The Institute should develop, it has its budget growing. The world considers JINR as a leading scientific organisation dominating the fields we are working in. It is necessary to support the dynamics of growth and development,” Grigory Trubnikov highlighted. The Institute’s Director expressed hope that JINR would make the next seven-year period the “golden era, the harvest time” by adhering to the scientific truth and its Charter. According to the leader of the scientific centre on Volga, the Institute should enter new research areas since the focus in scientific studies is shifting towards life sciences and the innovation programme. Active work is already underway in this direction – an innovation centre is being created in Dubna. “JINR should not be only modern. It should be ahead of world trends, be “half a corps” ahead,” Grigory Trubnikov highlighted in his comment. He paid special attention to the fact that the formation of the next Seven-Year Plan based on the Institute’s opportunities, its potential. However, a more energetic work pace is necessary thus to correspond to the rapidly changing conditions in the world. Another focus in the next seven-year period will be the attraction of scientific personnel, which is necessary to ensure successful implementation of the JINR scientific programme. The Committee of Plenipotentiary Representatives was satisfied to note that the concept of the next Seven-Year Plan for the JINR Development fully revealed the architecture and logics of the JINR strategic development. The CP instructed the Institute’s Directorate to present the report of the Seven-Year Plan for consideration at the next meeting of the JINR Scientific Council on 29 – 30 September 2022.

Head of the Budget and Economic Policy Department Nikolay Kalinin reported on the execution of the JINR budget for 2021 and draft of the revised JINR budget for 2022. Chairman of the Finance Committee Arsen Khvedelidze summed up the results of the meeting of the JINR Finance Committee. The JINR budget increases by 2% per year. As of 18 May, the Institute’s budget is filled by 84%. Most of the countries have fulfilled their obligations to contribute to the Institute’s budget.

The consistent efforts towards increasing the status of membership of the Republic of Serbia in JINR continues. In the near future, discussion will start on the possibility of expanding cooperation with Israel, Turkey, Greece, China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. The Committee considered the address from Plenipotentiary Representative of the Government of the Republic of Slovakia Fedor Šimkovic on the special format of Slovakia’s participation in the Institute’s activities. Within the framework of the CP session, an active discussion took place on the adaptation of the format of participation of some European member states in JINR activities, taking into account the complicated geopolitical situation in the world.

As the CP noted, JINR considers CERN as its strategic partner. Several hundreds of JINR employees are engaged in its four large projects. The CP confirmed openness of the Institute and its readiness to continue fulfilling all current obligations to and agreements with CERN and the collaborations in which JINR participates, thus counting on CERN’s counter movement towards mutually enriching bilateral cooperation. CP has noted the high value of mutual intellectual exchange between JINR and CERN throughout many decades aimed at the development of global science. The current mission shared by the two largest centres of fundamental physics is to ensure strong friendly open cooperation in the future. The Committee of Plenipotentiary Representatives has expressed its firm conviction that international fundamental science should be kept away from any political contradictions.

Having heard and discussed the report by JINR Chief Scientific Secretary Sergey Nedelko “On membership of the JINR Scientific Council” and the report by JINR Director Grigory Trubnikov “On proposals for changes in the membership of the JINR Scientific Council”, the CP instructed the Institute’s Directorate to prepare proposals on the new membership of the Scientific Council by the next CP session in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the JINR Scientific Council. Moreover, new members of the JINR Scientific Council were elected at the CP session: Zhao Hongwei, Deputy Director of the Institute of Modern Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tran Chi Thanh, President of the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute (VINATOM), and Ana Maria Cetto, President of the Mexican Physical Society.

After the general discussion, adoption of decisions and signing of the protocol concluded the event. The next meeting of the JINR Finance Committee and the session of the Committee of Plenipotentiary Representatives of JINR are preliminarily scheduled for November in Egypt.

Next seven-year period will be the “harvest time” for JINR. CP session