New JINR Directorate: First Report

News, 03 June 2021

Members of the JINR Science and Technology Council (STC) are used to beginning each meeting with the report of the JINR Director on the results of activities underway at the Institute. Opening this meeting, STC Chairman R. Jolos underlined the peculiarities of its agenda: all members of the new Directorate will speak on the activities in their fields and tasks for the year. “Seven reports is a kind of a marathon,” noted JINR Director Academician G. Trubnikov. “We constantly refer to the JINR scientific-technical community and share the results, which are important to convey to the Institute staff members.”

This short foreword started the first presentation ‒ the Director’s report. Among the most significant events and facts, he noted a technological run with an ion beam in the Linac ‒ Booster ‒ Nuclotron chain, which begins at VBLHEP JINR in June, and the adjustment of the Booster ‒ Nuclotron beam channel for the autumn run. The construction is progressing well, the facilities are commissioned on schedule, and the entire volume of capital construction should be completed by the end of the year.

At the Superheavy Element Factory (FLNR), a 27-day run on the synthesis of Fl in the reaction 48Ca+242Pu resulted in 43 decay chains of 286,287Fl (earlier 25 chains in all decays).

On 26 May 2021, at the IBR-2 reactor (FLNP), the fifth cycle of the reactor power operation was completed. In the fourth cycle (12‒24 April), only Russian users took part, in the fifth one, colleagues from Serbia and Egypt participated. In addition, irradiation of samples sent from centres of the JINR Member States was performed.

Since April 2021, data collection at eight clusters of deep underwater neutrino telescope Baikal-GVD has started. The programme of one of the largest neutrino conferences Very Large Volume Neutrino Telescope (VLVnT 2021), which took place on 17‒21 May, included 20 reports on this topic.

G. Trubnikov highly evaluated the operation of MLIT Multifunctional Information and Computing Complex (MICC). He also remarked that in 2021, 14 degree-seekers defended their theses at JINR Dissertation Councils. There were 15 short-term work visits to JINR this year: from Egypt, Italy, Serbia, Turkey, Belarus, and the Czech Republic; 192 JINR staff members went on business trips. Execution of material expenditures on major research projects exceeded 31%.

The Director informed the STC members on the distribution of responsibilities in the new Directorate, the establishment of departments, and the gradual restructuring of the Institute management system. He paid special attention to the broadening of forms of international cooperation and communication of JINR research activities at all possible levels. G. Trubnikov also spoke about JINR participation in preparation for opening the Lyceum named after Academician V. Kadyshevsky and repair of hotel “Dubna” in Moskovskaya Street. In his report, he also touched upon the establishment of the International Innovation Centre for Nuclear Physics Research aimed at consolidating the research in the fields of nuclear medicine, radiation biology, education, materials science, and other advanced areas.

One of the most urgent challenges of the Directorate is drafting the Seven-Year Plan for 2024‒2030: life sciences and radiation biology (LRB, DLNP, VBLHEP, FLNP, MLIT; spin physics at NICA: SPD collaboration; neutrino physics and multichannel astrophysics; heavy-ion physics and physics of light nuclei; new neutron source; advanced accelerator technologies (HTS, SHF); development of digital systems (grid’2021), educational component.

As Director G. Trubnikov reported, the revised action plan for 2021 on the implementation of decisions and commissions of JINR CP (March 2021, November 2020) includes the following issues:

  • to continue the strategic planning towards the elaboration of the Seven-Year Plan of JINR Development for 2024‒2030: forming competitive and attractive international scientific programme, setting goals and objectives, determining human and material resources for their implementation (during the year);
  • to draft the Seven-Year Plan of JINR Development for 2024‒2030 and submit it at CP session in March 2022 (February 2022);
  • to form a working group on strategic development under CP Chairmanship in accordance with the proposals of plenipotentiaries (1 June 2021);
  • to submit for approval the Regulations on Associate Personnel Members (15 June 2021);
  • to develop and submit for approval a plan to improve the remuneration system of the Institute’s employees, as well as measures to support JINR veterans (additional non-state pension provision and other possible mechanisms ) (1 July 2021);
  • to organize work on refining the remuneration system at JINR; submit a report to CP on systematic efforts of the JINR Directorate to provide a competitive level of wages of highly qualified specialists, as well as on the experience with the Incentive Fund (November 2021);
  • to continue working on the Regulations on Associate Personnel Members jointly with the working group on strategic development: submit the relevant proposals to CP (during the year); proposals on the unification of agreements between JINR and plenipotentiaries of the JINR Member States, as well as the system of payments to highly qualified specialists from the Member States upon recommendations of plenipotentiaries (June 2021);
  • to develop a digital Passport of the JINR Long-Term Development Strategic Plan (information system of indicators and monitoring), dedicated web portal of the Passport and its regular update ‒ at least twice a year (July 2021).

Finishing his report, G. Trubnikov spoke about measures to prevent coronavirus infection. The key priority in the fight against the pandemic is to achieve vaccination of at least one thousand employees of the Institute by 1 September 2021.

JINR Vice-Director S. Dmitriev reported on the establishment of new departments of budget and economic policy, personnel and documentation, and development of property complex. JINR CP endorsed the establishment of the International Innovation Centre for Nuclear Physics Research.

The milestones of the project will be applied innovative research under the project of a complex of superconducting rings at colliding heavy-ion beams at NICA; establishment of the DC-140 cyclotron at FLNR JINR for the development of technologies for radiation material science, testing of radioresistence of electronic components, enhancement of technology and production of track membranes, and etc. (2021‒2023); state-of-the-art radiochemical complex with a radiochemical laboratory Class-I for the development of methods of radioisotope production in photonuclear reactions for nuclear medicine at industrial electron accelerator (2022‒2026); radiation biology: expanding research infrastructure of LRB, development of omics technologies, radiation neuroscience research, development of approaches of increasing beam therapy efficiency based on radiomodifiers (pharmaceuticals and transgene systems), search for new methods of targeted delivery (molecular vectors) of radiomodifiers and radionuclides to tumor cells; establishment of R&D center on radiation therapy: studies on the proton flash-therapy, new treatment planning; pencil beam methods, producing a superconducting p-cyclotron (230 MeV) as a pilot element for the future medical center (2021‒2024).

To realize the main stages of the project on the Innovation Center establishment, a roadmap should be formulated (November 2021).

Along with a detailed report on the NICA project progress, JINR Vice-Director V. Kekelidze spoke about the establishment of the Department of Digital Services Development, which is under his supervision in the Directorate. It comprises the Procurement and Logistics Service, the Division of Maintenance and Development of Information Systems, and the Group of Information-Technology Support.

JINR Vice-Director L. Kostov spoke about the establishment of an expert-analytical group, a working body to the JINR Director. The first meeting of the group took place shortly before the meeting of the JINR STC. It will prepare forward-looking decisions, as mandated by the JINR Director, jointly with a working group of experts under CP Chairmanship.

JINR Scientific Leader Academician V. Matveev acquainted participants of the meeting with the plan of action on preparing the new Seven-Year Plan of JINR Development for 2024‒2030. He noted that the Directorate would have a heavy workload, and a thorough consideration of the plan would allow for a successful achievement of the tasks. The speaker presented events in the scheme format that are necessary for the new plan elaboration being developed for 2021‒2023.

JINR Chief Scientific Secretary S. Nedelko introduced the structure of the Science Organization Department, which comprises the expert-analytical group, the group of planning and supporting the JINR Topical Plan, the administrative group, and a number of services providing information-communicative requirements of the Institute and recreation of its staff members. The JINR Development Strategy, approved by the JINR Committee of Plenipotentiaries, involves the update of the Topical Plan structure to optimize the financial, infrastructure and intellectual resources of the Institute at all planning stages. The first session of formulating proposals have been concluded with joint efforts of the JINR Directorate, directors and scientific secretaries of the laboratories, members of the Department of Budget and Economic Policy and the Accounts Department. S. Nedelko also spoke about starting regular meetings with scientific secretaries of the laboratories on the whole range of strategic and current tasks of scientific-technical work. He also reported that the Regulations on Associate Personnel Members is in the final drafting phase with the cooperation of several departments under the coordination of the Department of Personnel and Documentation and the Chief Scientific Secretary.

JINR Chief Engineer B. Gikal acquainted participants with the relevant JINR services. Among recent important events, he mentioned signing a cooperation agreement between JINR and the JSC “SEZ “Dubna”. A working group of leading JINR specialists will coordinate the implementation of the agreement. As current tasks, he highlighted extensive work on the reconstruction of MSDS-1, which is important with regard to the NICA complex construction. It involves three stages and should be completed by the end of 2021. After the reconstruction, MSDS-1 will have a capacity of 41 MW (20 MW at present).

After a break, LRB Director A. Bugay took the floor with the report “On the Project of the JINR Scientific Programme on Natural Sciences” extending and specifying some proposals made at the meeting. He demonstrated a paradigm shift in basic research ‒ an explosive growth of interest in natural sciences. The speaker focused on the application of nuclear physical methods of JINR in natural sciences. This report highlighted the relevance of research areas developed at JINR in harmony with the world trends of investigations on fundamental laws of nature. Extensive discussion of the reports, questions and comments demonstrated keen interest of the audience.

E. Molchanov
JINR Weekly Newspaper