The Russian Federation has taken a decisive step in becoming a full Member of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble (France). On 17 December, the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, signed a governmental act authorising the accession of the Russian Federation as a new Contracting Party of the ESRF Inter-governmental Convention. The Ministries of Science and Education and of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation - with the support of the Kurchatov Institute – will now finalise the Protocol of Accession with the current ESRF Contracting Parties to complete the accession process in early 2014.
The Russian Federation intends to become the 21st member of the ESRF with a participation of 6%.
'This is very good news for the future of the ESRF, for France and for the Europe of science and innovation. We need more than ever to strengthen large research infrastructures such as the ESRF', says Geneviève Fioraso, French Minister of Research and Universities, in a statement.
'Russia's accession to the ESRF Convention will provide guaranteed access for Russian scientists to a unique scientific infrastructure, it will increase the effectiveness of their participation in topical research and help organise a modern platform for training of students and scientists', the Russian government said in a statement to the news agency ITER-TASS.
Russian scientists have from the early days of the ESRF, more than 20 years ago, made important contributions to the development of the ESRF. Negotiations on the accession of the Russian Federation to the ESRF started in 2011 with discussions between the National Research Center Kurchatov Institute and the ESRF. Since 2012 Russian scientists access the ESRF peer review research programme under the same conditions of those from the Partner Countries. Today, they contribute some 3% to scientific research at the ESRF, a figure that is bound to grow rapidly over the coming years.