Forum on New International Research Facilities for South East Europe
Jan 25-26, 2018
ICTP, Trieste, Italy
International Institute for Sustainable Technologies
WAAS Initiative for New International Research Institute in SEE
The World Academy of Art & Science is a network established by its founders to address global challenges confronting humanity. The power of a network is defined by the number and quality of its members, their interrelationships and commitment to a common cause. The Academy’s potential power to make a difference is illustrated by events initiated in November 2016, when the Board of Trustees unanimously approved a proposal by WAAS Trustee Herwig Schopper, former Director of CERN, to explore the feasibility of establishing a new International Institute for Sustainable Technologies (IIST) in South East Europe. The Board authorized Herwig to explore the feasibility and potential interest in the project among the countries of the Balkan region, with special emphasis on the former republics of Yugoslavia.
The objective of the project is to promote scientific development and cooperation among the nations of the region in state of the art fields of research with the potential to generate employment, stimulate commercial enterprises and serve the public of the region. The project is modelled after SESAME, Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East, the first major international research institute in the region which commenced operations in May 2017. SESAME is an autonomous intergovernmental organization at the service of its members countries, who are cooperating scientifically in spite of the political differences between their governments.
Over the past one year numerous meetings have been conducted at CERN and in the region with governments and leading research institutes to determine the level of interest in the project, identify potential technologies and collaborating partners. In September 2017, nine countries of the region met at CERN and agreed to collaborate on the project.
Two promising large projects are under consideration which have been identified by groups of international experts that could be of particularly benefit to the region. They are based on the most modern technological developments enabling cutting-edge research in many domains relevant to society. One is a synchrotron light source providing radiation research possibilities in many domains from physics to biology, material science, environmental science and even archaeology and medicine. The user community would come mainly from university faculties and also industry. The second project is a facility for cancer research and treatment with heavy particles (protons and carbon nuclei) which would also enable biomolecular research including experiments with small animals.
On January 25 and 26, 2018 representatives of these nations and potential partner organizations met at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste to examine these proposals and provide indications which choices would be most interesting for the region. The organizing committee was chaired by Herwig Schopper. WAAS Honorary President Ivo Slaus delivered the keynote address.