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Directorate meeting summary

LIP-ECO/M. Pimenta | 20 September, 2023

"The LIP Directors Board met on 13 September 2023. The summary e-mailed to all LIP members by its president can be found here, translated to english. "

A) The Directors board met on 13 September 2023 and analysed the current situation and the challenges that LIP has to face, taking into account in particular:

i) the growth crisis of the National Scientific System, with the lack of institutional definition of the role and responsibilities of its main players (State, Universities, Laboratories and Research institutes) in terms of stable scientific employment and the respective medium and long-term funding framework;
ii) the lack of definition in the short-term of the funding related to support for scientific and technical activity and Portugal's participation in international scientific organisations, namely CERN;
iii) the inflationary framework that has, for the last year and a half, created considerable pressure on the budgets of institutions, but also and above all on the personal budgets of their employees, with a special focus on those earning the lowest salaries;
iv) the competition for human resources that are in the institutuions of the national scientific system exerted by the private sector, in areas of high technical skills, benefiting from financial support and/or conjunctural business opportunities;
v) the detailed recommendations of LIP's International Advisory Committee, which were made available to everyone before the holidays. (see here)

Decided to:

i) explore the scientific employment co-funding opportunities with Higher Education Institutions;
ii) explore the possibilities of increasing partnerships in scientific and/or technical projects, with the possible sharing of human and technical resources, with other national or international institutions in the public and/or private system;
iii) strengthen the internal management elements of LIP's infrastructures by providing them with their own budgets and greater autonomy in their operation;
iv) carry out, during September, in conjunction with those responsible for LIP's infrastructures, and taking into account the strict global limits imposed by LIP's current financial framework, an extraordinary review of the salaries of LIP's technical and administrative staff.

B) The board also highlights

i) the visit to Portugal made on 15/9 by RECFA, which analysed the situation of the particle physics community in Portugal. It should be noted that the members of RECFA spoke very favourably of the community's commitment and efforts, particularly those of LIP as reference institution in this scientific field and associated technologies, highlighting the aggregating role of our institution. LIP's concerns about the current lack of definition were corroborated by RECFA members, who once again emphasised the importance of funding instruments that can support Portugal's international commitments in terms of long-term participation in major experimental collaborations.
ii) the success of CERN Director General Fabiola Gianotti's public lecture at the Pavilion of Knowledge, which had great public participation, particularly from higher education students.

The Board takes this opportunity to publicly thank everyone involved in these events, in particular Patrícia Conde Muíño, ECFA secretary, the Ciência Viva team, Catarina Espírito Santo and the ECO group, as well as the LIP secretariat.