GSO Meeting: shared research area and strategy coordination

News, 19 October 2017

On 9-12 October 2017, a Meeting of the Group of Senior Officials on Global Research Infrastructures was held in the Russian Federation for the first time. This Meeting, which is the tenth, was held on the basis of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, the NRC “Kurchatov Institute” (Moscow), the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Dubna) and the Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute named by B.P. Konstantinov (Gatchina).

The Meeting was attended by representatives of Austria, Belgium, Britain, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, China, the Netherlands, the USA, France, Switzerland, South Africa, Japan, representatives of ministries and agencies of the Russian Federation, leading Russian and international research centers, educational organizations and foundations, as well as and representatives of the European Commission and delegates of embassies, leaders of mega-science projects and international research consortiums.

The GSO was established in 2008 with the aim to identify opportunities for international collaboration and establish a system of effective use of objects of research infrastructures in all fields of knowledge. Deputy Director of the Department of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Education and Science Andrey Anikeev said that the GSO began in the G8 format with the further expansion of the group to 13 countries, and, at present, the issue of future development of the GSO in the formats of the BRICS and the G20 was raised. A.V. Anikeev also noted that this meeting has the largest number of participants, which means the global interest in the Russian scientific infrastructure.

Today Russia actively participates in establishment of global research infrastructures, taking part in the major projects, such as the European x-ray free electron laser XFEL (Germany), the Large Hadron Collider LHC (Switzerland), the nuclear fusion reactor ITER (France), the heavy ion accelerator FAIR (Germany).

According to the rules of the GSO, the chairmanship periodically rotates among the participating countries. The GSO, since March 2011, has been chaired once by the European Commission, the United Kingdom and Australia, and twice by South Africa, Germany and Italy. During the meeting in Dubna, the chairmanship passed to Russia and the meetings were chaired by the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation Grigory Trubnikov.

The previous Chairman from Italy, Professor of physics at the University of Milan Giorgio Rossi highly appreciated the organization of the 10th GSO meeting in Russia; he also noted the high interest of the scientific community in the flagship project of JINR, the NICA collider.

Among the goals of the Meeting and the tasks of the GSO Academician Grigory Trubnikov emphasized the formulation of strategies and specifying the directions of the research infrastructure development. That includes issues of higher-priority research, scientific directions, synchronization of plans of strategic development of countries, issues of user access to the infrastructure —access to experimental facilities or to the data obtained at the facilities, as well as issues of warranty of verification of this data.

In his interview to journalists Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation G.V. Trubnikov noted that this meeting is a great honor to Dubna and Russia because its participants actually prepare recommendations and advice for country leaders at the G8 or G20 meetings. He also emphasized that since the participants in their countries are sources of information about our potentials, it is important to demonstrate them opportunities of Dubna and present them our projects.

The next meetings of the Group of Senior Officials on Global Research Infrastructures will be held in the United States of America in Spring 2018 and the United Kingdom in Autumn 2018.

Based of the article of Galina Myalkovskaya, JINR Weekly Newspaper,
Photos by Igor Lapenko