A common past and future for ESA and CERN

By . Published on 28 April 2014 in:
April 2014, News, , , ,

On 28 March 2014, CERN and the European Space Agency [ESA] signed a framework agreement for future cooperation on research and technology in areas of mutual interest. The signature arises from the collaborative vision of Edoardo Amaldi, founding father of both organisations.

ESA Director General, Jean-Jacques Dordain, and CERN Director General, Rolf Heuer
ESA Director General, Jean-Jacques Dordain,
and CERN Director General, Rolf Heuer

Edoardo Amaldi (1908 – 1989) had an strong belief in the open nature of science and the need for international cooperation. After participating in the creation of CERN during the 1950s, he became Secretary General of the provisional organisation. Then, in 1958, he joined forces to urge European governments to set up a European organisation for space research, which later became ESA.

“ESA and CERN are the daughters of visionaries like Amaldi,” said Dordain, “testimony that, when we share the same challenging objectives and join forces, Europe is at the leading edge of progress, innovation and growth.”

Today, ESA’s space missions and CERN’s ground-based high-energy physics experiments address fundamental questions related to the physical properties of matter, energy and space, and to the origin and evolution of the Universe. As a result, both organisations have common interests in several technological fields. Their technologies must be robust and reliable over several years, highly autonomous and offer the utmost precision. Fostering reciprocal knowledge transfer actions in the selected areas can therefore bring very important mutual benefits.

The newly signed agreement describes the fields of research that this cooperation could involve. It includes the development and characterisation of innovative materials for applications in extreme conditions and for cutting-edge scientific performances, the development of new micro-technologies to be applied in miniaturized distributed sensor systems and the development and testing of high-performance detectors for high-energy physics experiments and space payloads.

“The research programmes of both organisations will benefit a lot from this cooperation agreement, a framework in which fruitful exchanges will surely blossom,” said Sergio Bertolucci, CERN’s Director for Research and Computing. “ESA’s Planck satellite is already a CERN recognized experiment and we look forward to further collaboration with ESA.”

Further information are available on the CERN website.

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