I would like to bring you the main news from the last Council week of 2016, which concluded today. First of all, the Council congratulated CERN on a superb performance across the board this year. Although it is traditional for Council delegates to offer their congratulations, this year they recognised something truly special: the year in which the LHC reached and exceeded many of its design parameters.
Among the main developments of the week, the Council approved the timetable for the next update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics, scheduled to be adopted in May 2020. There is much at stake for this next update, as we will start setting the direction for CERN in the post-LHC era.
Coming back to the present, we reported to the Council the results of the second Cost and Schedule Review of the LHC injector upgrade (LIU) and High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) projects, which took place in October.
Over recent years, it has become increasingly clear that the present staff strength is not sufficient to conduct our scientific programme and other strategic activities in a timely way. We informed Council that we will be opening an extra 80 LD positions over the next few months to deal with peak workloads and help us achieve the challenging programme we have ahead of us.
Council re-elected Professor Sijbrand de Jong (NL) as President of Council for a second period of one year from 1 January 2017. Professor Eliezer Rabinovici (IL) was re-elected as one of the Vice-Presidents of Council for a second period of one year as of 1 January 2017. Professor Keith Ellis (UK) was elected as Chair of the Scientific Policy Committee (SPC) for a first period of one year from 1 January 2017. The Council and the Directorate warmly thanked Mrs Charlotte Jamieson, outgoing Chair of the Finance Committee, and Professor Tatsuya Nakada, outgoing Chair of the SPC, for their strong contributions to the Organization during their three-year terms.
The week ended on a high note: we were treated to a series of presentations that really brought home the momentous achievements represented by the performance of the accelerator complex, the LHC experiments and the WLCG computing infrastructure in 2016.
On Friday afternoon we signed the Associate Membership agreement with Slovenia, as announced in a dedicated press release.
I would like to thank the Council members for their strong support to the Organization over the year and all of you for your great contributions to all of CERN’s activities. Without Council’s support, along with your competence, diligence and hard work, all the superb accomplishments of this very successful year would not have been possible.
Fabiola Gianotti, on behalf of the whole Directorate