JEMS-22 round table: JINR partnership geography expands

News, 11 May 2023

On 28 April, a traditional round table with the Directorate of the Joint Institute, dedicated to the results of the 22nd JEMS international training programme, took place. Representatives of scientific centres and educational organizations from Egypt, Russia, South Africa, Tunisia, and Vietnam took part in the event. Representatives from Pakistan participated in the training programme for the first time. The signing of the Letter of Intent between JINR and the National Centre for Physics (NCP) of Pakistan was one of the results of the round table.

JINR Vice-Director Latchesar Kostov opened the event. He noted that the JEMS international training programme has proved to be an effective platform giving an additional push for the development of cooperation between the Institute and world scientific centres. The festive signing of the Letter of Intent between JINR and the National Centre for Physics of Pakistan became an example of this. A seminar by NCP representatives for JINR scientists and training programme participants preceded the signing.

“I have long dreamed of working with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. I would like to sincerely thank JINR’s Director Grigory Trubnikov for accepting our request”, Director General of CoE Physics of the National Centre for Physics in Pakistan Dr Ishaq Ahmad commented on the signing of the document. NCP Professor Abdul Rehman Arif supported his words, “Despite the fact that the history of cooperation between Russia and Pakistan dates back as many as 76 years, our delegation visited Dubna for the first time. This can be considered a big beginning of a new stage of joint activity”. JINR Director Special Representative for Cooperation with International and Russian Scientific Organizations Boris Sharkov noted that the signing of the present document will help to increase the participation of Pakistani scientists in research conducted at JINR. He added that continuous effort will be made in this direction.

In the light of new opportunities opened up by the admission of the Arab Republic of Egypt to JINR as a full member, another seminar devoted to the prospects of cooperation between JINR and the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority was held as part of the JEMS-22 training programme.

Chairman of the Authority, Professor Amr El-Hag Ali introduced the representatives of the JINR Laboratories to the structure of his organization and research in progress. Commenting on the results of the training programme, he said, “Despite the fact that there were only a few working days, the good organization and passion of the JINR team maximized the benefits of the programme. During these days, I had the opportunity to be in direct contact with a lot of JINR’s scientific activities and learn more about the available advanced technologies and approaches. We had detailed and comprehensive discussions with our colleagues on opportunities to expand the collaboration between EAEA and JINR in all the possible areas”.

As a result of the seminar, a memorandum on the further development of cooperation between JINR and Arab Atomic Energy Agency was signed. The project of the opening of the JINR Information Centre at the AAEA Headquarters in Tunis, which was agreed upon during JEMS-22, was another tangible result. Head of the AAEA Department of Nuclear Technologies Khaled Abbas Zahraman plans to present the project upon his return.

The participants of the round table, members of the Vietnamese delegation said that it was very useful for them to learn detailed information about the JINR advanced research and facilities, as well as to communicate with scientists of the Institute from various fields. They expressed confidence that the format of the JEMS training programme could interest many colleagues from Vietnam and, as a result, increase the participation of this country in JINR activities. “Dubna is D – dedication, U – uniqueness, B – well-being, N – nuclear, A – achievments. This formula reveals itself in the phrase “Unique achievements of nuclear sciences dedicated to the well-being of mankind,” Director of the Institute for Tropical Technology of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) Tran Dai Lam highlighted. Deputy Director of the VAST Institute of Physics Do Hoang Tung put forward a proposal to establish a scholarship programme for student exchanges. He also stressed the importance of coordination of cooperation. His colleague from Hanoi University of Science and Technology Nguyen Van Quynh supported him, “We would like to collaborate in several fields of research, not only in physics but also in materials science, life sciences, and chemistry. This would help Vietnamese scientists to learn from the valuable experience of Dubna colleagues in those fields of research, which are underdeveloped in our country”.

Leaders of the Omsk State Transport University participated in the training programme for the first time. They considered it an opportunity to start a new stage of cooperation with the Joint Institute. “JINR specialists are very talented. During their presentations I was convinced that they understand us very well, as we immediately had ideas for joint work. At the moment, we have plans to implement three projects and one patent”, Associate Professor of the Department of physics and chemistry at Omsk University Ramil Kurmanov noted.

Head of the Software Engineering Division at iThemba LABS (South Africa) Thabang Mokoena stressed that he was glad to see the world-class scientific infrastructure, as well as to communicate with highly qualified specialists. “Engineers and developers are usually left behind when it comes to scientific tasks. Therefore, there are problems of communication between scientists and software engineers. We need to speak the same language, so it is wonderful that JINR provides an opportunity for the transfer of knowledge and experience”, he said. Being an Associate Member of the Joint Institute since 2005, South Africa has developed effective cooperation with JINR in the field of science and personnel training. However, as Thabang Mokoena highlighted, it is necessary to increase the degree of involvement of engineers from South African centres in the work of JINR. In addition, the idea of creating a JINR Information Centre in South Africa, which will function as a channel of unlimited access to information about the Institute was voiced.

The JEMS-22 participants stressed the need to receive more information about the Institute. They expressed their desire to keep in touch with JINR remotely, to learn about ongoing events and new discoveries in various fields of science. In particular, participants were interested in the subscription to the Institute’s weekly newsletter.

The round table was concluded with the festive presentation of certificates and traditional JINR souvenirs “Science brings nations together” to the participants of the training programme.