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Brazil Achieves Historic Milestone as First CERN Associate Member State in the Americas

Lígia Breda Melo | 22 March, 2024

"In an extraordinary development for global scientific collaboration, Brazil has cemented its status as the inaugural Associate Member State of CERN in the Americas. "

Photo credits: © CERN

The remarkable achievement follows Brazil's successful completion of internal approval procedures, signifying a momentous juncture in the nation's scientific trajectory. Effective March 13, 2024, Brazil officially joins the esteemed ranks of CERN's Associate Member States, heralding a multitude of opportunities for collaborative advancements in particle physics and beyond.

Brazil's engagement with CERN traces back to 1990, characterized by the signing of an International Cooperation Agreement that facilitated Brazilian researchers' participation in groundbreaking experiments such as the DELPHI project at the Large Electron–Positron Collider (LEP). Over the past decade, Brazil's particle-physics community has thrived, witnessing a doubling in size and making significant contributions to various experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and other forefront projects.

Presently, Brazilian institutes play indispensable roles in numerous CERN experiments, encompassing ALICE, ATLAS, CMS, and LHCb, alongside pivotal projects like ALPHA and instrumentation endeavors such as Medipix. Beyond scientific endeavors, Brazil's collaboration extends to accelerator technology research and development, exemplified by its partnership with Brazil's National Centre for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM).

The significance of Brazil's attainment of Associate Member status is underscored by the vast array of opportunities it unlocks. Brazilian representatives will now have representation in key CERN Council and Finance Committee meetings. Additionally, Brazilian nationals will gain access to limited-duration staff positions, graduate programs, and the potential for local industries to bid for CERN contracts, thereby fostering innovation and industrial collaboration.

The journey leading to this historic milestone for Brazil has not been devoid of challenges. Spanning over a decade, Brazil's accession process navigated through political transitions and economic uncertainties. However, with a renewed commitment from Brazilian authorities and unwavering support from entities like LIP, Brazil surmounted obstacles to join the esteemed ranks of CERN's membership.

With Brazil's formal inclusion into the CERN community, the global scientific fraternity anticipates an era of heightened collaboration and innovation, propelling the boundaries of particle physics and scientific discovery. As CERN continues its trajectory into the future, Brazil's integration marks a pivotal stride towards fostering international cooperation and advancing the frontiers of scientific exploration.