According to Ratas, membership status in the organization will help create new opportunities for Estonian companies involving technical and scientific cooperation, and closer communication between scientists and engineers. ‘Estonian companies will also be able to participate in CERN’s procurements and the development of technologies related to CERN’s work in the future’, said the Prime Minister.
According to Ratas, there are a number of technology companies in Estonia that are already cooperating with CERN, or that are interested in doing so. ‘Estonia can share its experience in building a digital ecosystem, for example, but also in the field of data system interoperability and cyber security’, he said, expressing his conviction that cooperation will help Estonian companies to open doors in other parts of the world. In addition, Estonia’s membership status provides an opportunity for the regular exchange of lecturers and students, as well as in-service training for science teachers.
The agreement was signed on the behalf of CERN by Fabiola Gianotti, Director General of the organization. For the first time in CERN’s 66-year history, the signing ceremony took place online.
Estonia has been cooperating with CERN since 1996. Estonia submitted an application to become a member of the organization in September 2018.
The government approved Estonia’s associate membership agreement in February of this year. The agreement will enter into force once it has been ratified by the Riigikogu. After a period of two to five years of associate membership, Estonia will become a full member of CERN.
CERN currently has 23 member countries, in addition to two pre-accession associate members, six associate members, and six observer members.