Step to other continent: JINR Information Centre opened in Cairo

News, 24 December 2020

On 23 December, an online opening ceremony of the Information Centre of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research on the platform of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) of the Arab Republic of Egypt (ARE) was held. The event took place with the participation of representatives of the ARE Government, leaders of JINR, ASRT, and the North Ossetian State University (NOSU), as well as some honorary guests from the Member States and partner countries of JINR. A representative international seminar dedicated to the concept of JINR Information Centres was organized on the eve of the opening ceremony.

The solemn meeting was opened with a welcoming speech by ASRT Vice-President for Culture and Scientific Communication Gina El-Feky who noted that “this JINR Information Centre is the first not only in Egypt but also on the entire African continent” and compared the new JINR IC with a bridge that connects the ancient history of Egypt with future studies on the peaceful atom and provides access to a wide range of objects of the advanced JINR scientific infrastructure. JINR Director Victor Matveev in his turn expressed confidence that opening of the Information Centre in Cairo will be an important stage not only in the development of cooperation between Egypt and JINR but will also be a good impetus for expanding the Institute’s partner network. “We can say with confidence that Information Centres are becoming important elements of the JINR development strategy,” the JINR Director added.

In the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology of Egypt during the speech by JINR Director Victor Matveev

Chief Scientific Secretary Alexander Sorin, Head of the International Cooperation Department Dmitry Kamanin, Director of the University Centre Stanislav Pakuliak, and Wael Badawy, Head of the National Group of Egypt at JINR and the Coordinator of the cooperation with Egypt, took part in the ceremony on behalf of the Joint Institute.

The event was continued with key presentations on the JINR scientific infrastructure and opportunities for increasing the cooperation on the basis of the newly opened Information Centre. JINR Vice-Director Boris Sharkov spoke about the concept of the JINR development until 2030, including the new facilities of the Institute’s scientific infrastructure being prepared for commissioning. ASRT President Mahmoud Sakr presented the main results of the Egypt-JINR cooperation, which included 100 scientific projects and more than 120 final publications. The cooperation fields presented by him included the JINR Virtual Laboratory project, a joint PhD programme for young researchers to prepare qualifying papers, as well as the participation in the SPD experiment at NICA.

President of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology of Egypt Mahmoud Sakr speaking (right in the photo)

Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt Khalid Abdul Ghaffar congratulated the audience on the opening of the Information Centre in Cairo. When noting the importance of scientific cooperation between JINR and ASRT for young scientists and engineers, the Minister highlighted, “The JINR Information Centre at ASRT is the first information centre of the kind opened in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). And we consider it as a significant mechanism of interaction with JINR providing a starting point for expanding the cooperation, as well as a strong tool for informing the countries of the region about the scientific results of our joint research.

Rector of the North Ossetian State University Alan Ogoev gives his welcoming speech in the JINR Information Centre in the South of Russia

Alan Ogoev, Rector of the North Ossetian State University

Symbolic passing of the key to the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology of Egypt. In the photo (from left to right): Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt Khalid Abdul Ghaffar and ASRT President Mahmoud Sakr

Alan Ogoev, Rector of NOSU at the basis of which the JINR Information Centre in the South of Russia has been successfully operating since 2018, passed a symbolic key of the new JINR Information Centre to ASRT. He noted high results in attracting young people to science, which was provided by the opening of the JINR Information Centre at NOSU, as well as the opportunity to use the JINR IT infrastructure and the participation of NOSU researchers in the NICA mega-science project. “It is both a challenge and an excellent chance to work with such a world-known institute. We wish our colleagues from Egypt that this symbolic key will open the door to new opportunities of international cooperation for the benefit of all the participants of the JINR partner network in which Egyptian scientists and engineers could make a considerable contribution to the development of world science and technology,” the NOSU Rector said.

During the live broadcast from ASRT, participants of the online event could witness how Minister Khalid Abdul Ghaffar and ASRT President Mahmoud Sakr cut the symbolic red ribbon and solemnly opened the plaque of the JINR Information Centre, which marked the official start of operation of the JINR Information Centre in Cairo. Thanks to the live broadcast, participants of the event in different parts of the world could see how the first JINR Information Centre on the African continent looks like from the inside.

At the opening ceremony of the JINR Information Centre in the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology of Egypt. Mahmoud Sakr and Khalid Abdul Ghaffar cut the symbolic red ribbon

JINR Vice-Director and co-Chairman of the Joint Coordination Committee on the ARE-JINR Cooperation Richard Lednický congratulated colleagues from ASRT and noted that the newly opened Centre will provide JINR with a new exciting opportunity to become closer to its partners in Africa. “After becoming an associate member of JINR, Egypt paid special attention to the human capacity building and educational programmes. Egypt was also one of the initiators of the JEMS programme aimed at bringing knowledge about JINR to the decision-makers in science. Thus, today both these initiatives have met under one roof – in the JINR Information Centre at ASRT. Today, we celebrate this significant and remarkable event which should, no doubt, contribute to the strengthening of our cooperation. Surely, it represents an important step towards the full membership of Egypt in JINR!” Richard Lednický added.

Honorary guests of the event made speeches in the final part of the opening ceremony. Deputy Director of the Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics of the Czech Technical University (IEAP CTU) Ivan Štekl (Czech Republic) was one of them. He highlighted that the opening of JINR Information Centres is a unique practice among large scientific organizations. Talking about the important role of JINR as of large international research infrastructure, Ivan Štekl noted that the creation of ICs may also contribute to the development of the industrial partnership. “For the Czech Republic, cooperation with JINR is very important and useful. We are involved in many aspects of the Institute’s activities – research, education, or industrial cooperation. We have already started discussion concerning the organization of a JINR Information Centre in the Czech Republic,” he said. According to Ivan Štekl, Egypt is an excellent potential for organizing the operation of a JINR Information Centre, “I had an opportunity to work several times with Egyptian students during summer practices organized by UC JINR. They are very gifted and highly motivated people.

Director General of the Institute of Atomic Physics (IFA), Plenipotentiary Representative of the Government of Romania in JINR Florin-Dorian Buzatu said, “I am convinced that other organizations in the Member States and partner countries of JINR will support the idea to open JINR Information Centres in various countries. We also consider the possibility to open such an Information Centre in Romania so that to strengthen our cooperation with JINR. In this regard, the relevant experience of organization and operation of IC in other countries will be useful for us. I wish the Information Centre in Cairo successful work and great scientific results!

Salem Hamdi, Director General of the Arab Atomic Energy Agency (AAEA) located in Tunis, said in his speech, in particular, “It is my honour to extend the AAEA sincere gratitude to JINR for its continuous support under the framework of the /posts/memorandum-of-understanding-between-jinr-and-aaea-was-signed/ and its subsequent protocols signed between our institutions. We highly appreciate the JINR’s desire to establish the Information Center and Virtual Laboratory at AAEA and look forward to work together to make these plans real. AAEA sees the opening of IC at ASRT an important asset for Egypt and all Arab countries to strengthen their scientific capabilities. This will also pave the way to open the Information Centre in Tunis where it will be easily accessible to all Arab countries as AAEA is the technical arm of the League of Arab States in the fields of nuclear science and technology. I wish all the success to JINR and ASRT and we are looking forward to close cooperation with both institutions.