Signing of a cooperation agreement in Brasília
In the presence of German President Christian Wulff and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, the three directors of DESY, the European XFEL, and LNLS signed a cooperation agreement in Brasília on 5 May 2011.
Signing agreements and memorandums of understanding to facilitate cooperation between photon or accelerator laboratories in the northern hemisphere is not exactly a rarity for directors of research institutes. But it is something special when it is done in the presence of two heads of state and when it includes a partner based in the southern hemisphere. During the visit of German President Christian Wulff, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called a press conference in the Palacio Planalto. On this occasion, two research agreements were also signed, one of which was between the Brazilian synchrotron radiation laboratory (LNLS), the European XFEL, and DESY.
During this state visit of the German president in Brazil, science played an important role. President Wulff, who on the next day inaugurated the German Science and Innovation House (DWIH) in São Paulo, said: “Especially impressive has been the way our collaboration in the field of science has developed. The just-completed German-Brazilian Year of Science, Technology, and Innovation has given our scientific cooperation an added boost”. President Rouseff pointed to 75 000 foreign-exchange scholarships that are planned for the coming years, of which 10 000 should go to Germany. “One of the first consequences of this trilateral cooperation agreement could be to welcome Brazilian students and post-docs to DESY and to the European XFEL”, said Massimo Altarelli, Managing Director of the European XFEL GmbH. "We are looking forward to this new cooperation with Brazil!"
For the European XFEL GmbH and DESY, the cooperation agreement with the Brazilian LNLS is the first partnership with a Latin American research institute. It was developed during the German-Brazilian science year of 2010–2011 and manifested itself one month ago during the visit of the Brazilian science minister to Hamburg (see news on 6 April 2011)