On 3 March, CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti and Brazilian minister for science, technology and innovation Marcos Pontes signed an agreement admitting Brazil as an Associate Member State of CERN. The associate membership will enter into force once Brazil has completed all necessary accession and ratification processes.
Brazil will be the first country in Latin America to join CERN as an Associate Member State, marking a significant step in a geographical enlargement process that was initiated in 2010. Formal cooperation between CERN and Brazil started in 1990 with the signature of an international cooperation agreement, allowing Brazilian researchers to participate in the DELPHI experiment at LEP. Today, Brazilian institutes participate in all the main experiments at the LHC and are also involved in other experiments, such as ALPHA, ProtoDUNE at the Neutrino Platform, ISOLDE, Medipix and RD51. Brazilian nationals also participate very actively in CERN training and outreach programmes, including the summer student programme, the Portuguese- language teacher programme and the Beamline for Schools competition.
Over the past decade, Brazil’s experimental particle-physics community has doubled in size. At the four main LHC experiments alone, more than 180 Brazilian scientists, engineers and students collaborate in fields ranging from hardware and data processing to physics analysis. Beyond particle physics, CERN and Brazil’s National Centre for Research in Energy and Materials have also been formally cooperating since December 2020 on accelerator R&D and applications.
“The accession of Brazil to CERN Associate Membership creates a robust framework for collaboration in research, technology development and innovation,” said Marcos Pontes. “I am certain that this partnership will take the Brazilian science, technology and innovation sector to a whole new level of development.”
As an Associate Member State, Brazil will attend meetings of the CERN Council and finance committee. Brazilian nationals will be eligible for limited-duration staff positions, fellowships and studentships, while Brazilian companies will be able to bid for CERN contracts, increasing opportunities for industrial collaboration in advanced technologies.
“We are very pleased to welcome Brazil as an Associate Member State,” said Fabiola Gianotti. “Over the past three decades, Brazilian scientists have contributed substantially to many CERN projects. This agreement enables Brazil and CERN to further strengthen our collaboration, opening up a broad range of new and mutually beneficial opportunities in fundamental research, technological developments and innovation, and education and training activities.”