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N° 10–2014: ESA and CERN sign cooperation agreement

28 March 2014

ESA, the European Space Agency, and CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, signed a cooperation agreement on 28 March to foster future collaborations on research themes of common interest.

This year, CERN is celebrating its 60th anniversary as ESA is celebrating 50 years of European space activities.

Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, the State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation of Switzerland, highlighted how the two institutions comple­ment each other as examples of successful European collaboration and worldwide excellence in science and technology: “CERN and ESA are two examples that attest to the approach of European collaboration for global benefit.”

Geneviève Fioraso, Minister for Higher Education and Research of France, stated that, “This cooperation agreement brings concrete expression to the long shared history of two international organisations that are emblematic of the strength of European science: CERN and ESA.

“This joining together in the exploration of the infinite, from the infinitely large that is the focus of the sciences of the Universe to the infinitely small in high energy physics, opens up new avenues for science and technology, bringing progress and strengthening European industry.”

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

During the signing ceremony at Geneva airport, ESA presented CERN with the Amaldi letters that flew on ESA’s spacecraft named in the honour of the famous scientist.

Edoardo Amaldi was a leading figure in the drive to pool European forces in the name of science. Originally a nuclear physicist, he became interested in space science after participating in the setting-up of CERN. He pushed hard for CERN to be used as a successful model for the creation of a new international scientific organisation.

Years later, his vision became reality with the creation of the European Space Research Organisation, which later became ESA.

ESA’s third Automated Transfer Vehicle, which flew to the International Space Station in 2012, was namedEdoardo Amaldiin his honour.

“CERN and ESA have common roots and share a long history of pioneering research work in their respective fields,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. “This new cooperation agreement will foster synergies between the expertise, knowhow and facilities available in the two organisations.”

Today, ESA’s space missions and CERN’s ground-based high-energy physics experiments address fundamental questions linked to the physical properties of matter, energy and space, and to the origin and evolution of the Universe. As a result, there are not only overlapping areas of scientific expertise, but also of the advanced technology required by such complex experiments.

“In addition to their long history, ESA and CERN share many comple­mentary research interests. By fostering close collaborations, we will keep Europe at the forefront of cutting-edge science and technology,” added Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. It is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Den-mark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU.

ESA has Cooperation Agreements with eight other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecomm­unications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office, Communication Department
Email: media@esa.int
Tel: + 33 1 53 69 72 99



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