SCK•CEN boosts its collaborations with Morocco

2018-11-29

As part of an economic mission in Morocco which took place from 26 to 28 November, the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) consolidated its cooperation agreements with the Centre National de l’Energie des Sciences et Techniques Nucléaires (CNESTEN). The Belgian research centre will put its expertise in dosimetry of test reactors and radioisotope production reactors to good use by making it available for its Moroccan counterpart.

No fewer than 470 politicians and entrepreneurs came to Marocco for this economic mission chaired by Princess Astrid. SCK•CEN was also part of the Belgian delegation in order to boost its partnership with the Moroccan research centre CNESTEN.

The two research centres have been working together on a large number of scientific projects for the past twenty years in various fields of nuclear energy. In 2011, they strengthened their partnerships by signing a Memorandum of Understanding, renewed in 2016. Within the framework of this cooperation agreement, the Belgian and Moroccan experts exchange knowledge in fields such as materials science, radiological monitoring, dosimetry, research and training to
name a few, as well as the production of radioisotopes used in nuclear medicine.

During this economic mission, Belgium and Morocco decided to give a new lease of life to this partnership by signing a Letter of Intention. This cooperation agreement was signed by Derrick Gosselin, Chairman of SCK•CEN’s Board of Governors, Eric van Walle, Director General of SCK•CEN, and Khalid El Mediouri, Director General of CNESTEN, in the presence of Pieter De Crem, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade and Special Envoy of the federal authorities for the research infrastructure MYRRHA.

Eric van Walle: “Belgium has a unique expertise in a broad array of applications in nuclear science and technology, mainly in nuclear medicine. Thanks to the research reactor BR2, we are able to produce up to 65% of the global demand in medical radioisotopes. We are delighted to put our expertise for the benefit of projects led by our Moroccan colleagues and to assist them in developing their production capacity for these radioisotopes which are essential for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.“

“The signature of this cooperation agreement shows that SCK•CEN confirms its status of global leader in the development and production of medical radioisotopes. Its expertise is offered to their partners so that as many people as possible can take the most of this technology”, explains Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem. “The government’s decision in September 2018, which safeguard financing of 558 million euros by the federal authorities in MYRRHA, allows SCK•CEN to maintain a vital role in the research and production of medical radioisotopes for cancer diagnosis and treatment. This investment is in everyone’s interest.“

Press contact

Maud Vanderthommen +32 (0) 473 58 61 04 - maud.vanderthommen@sckcen.be
Cathy Schoels +32 (0) 0477 68 02 80 - cathy.schoels@gmail.com