RSA-JINR strategic workshop

News, 27 March 2014

The Strategic workshop on development of the RSA-JINR cooperation was held on 27 March 2014 on the sidelines of a session of the Committee of Plenipotentiaries of JINR Member States. The decision to hold a workshop was adopted at the 13th session of the Joint Coordination Committee on RSA-JINR cooperation (JCC) which was held on 3 December 2013 in the National cyclotron laboratory iThemba LABS (Cape Town) on the opening day of the 1st International African Symposium on Exotic Nuclei IASEN-2013.

A delegation from the RSA at the Strategic workshop was headed by Deputy Director-General of the Department of Science and Technology Thomas Auf der Heyde; Charles Mokonoto (the Department of Science and Technology), Simon Mullins and Rob Bark (the National cyclotron laboratory iThemba LABS), Jean Cleymans (the University of Cape Town), Noel Mkaza (the University of Stellenbosch), Sergei Rakityanski (the University of Pretoria) also participated in the workshop. JINR Vice-Director Mikhail Itkis was co-chairman of the workshop on the JINR side, representatives of the JINR Directorate, derectors of JINR laboratories and the UC, invited experts also participated in the workshop.

The criteria of efficiency and prospective restructuring of joint research projects with the aim of focusing on the most effective projects, renewal of an intensive FLNP cooperation with NECSA, and enhancement of the RSA participation in the mega-project NICA were in the focus of the workshop discussions. Colleagues from the RSA presented their vision of status of joint projects in all focal areas and spoke about activities on establishment of a new management structure of the RSA-JINR programme from the South African point of view. Possible joining of the RSA to the JINR neutrino physics and astroparticle physics programme and, respectively, possible JINR participation in the SKA project (Square Kilometer Array) which is the RSA large infrastructure on radio-astronomy were discussed. JINR presented the Summer Student Program which will start in summer 2014 and progress on development of a virtual laboratory: the first exhibition sample which was first shown three days before at the meeting of the working group on educational issues was prepared for this workshop.

Participants of the workshop noted the great progress in development of scientific cooperation and agreed that all thoughts and wishes expressed at the meeting will be a kind of «homework» for parties before the next session of the Joint Coordination Committee, which is planned to be held in autumn. On the results of work at the Strategic workshop a memorandum was prepared. Detailed excursion for participants of the workshop to FLNP, FLNR and VBLHEP was organized.