Foundation of the Non-Profit "BEL Center"

Pictures of the event are HERE

Press release HERE
(FR version, NL version)

On September 8th, 2020, the Rectors of the 4 universities (KULeuven, UClouvain, VUB, ULB) or their representatives
met in Brussels to sign the convention  creating the "BEL Center" non-profit.

This makes now the collaboration of these leading institutions in Fundamental Interactions research official,
and opens the way to the planned activities (see the manifest here).

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ceremony was  kept to a small number of participants (see below).
Apart from the Rectors or their representatives, the members of the non-profit General Assembly and Board had to attend.
Inspiration was given through 2 keynotes speeches, one by Minister Barbara Trachte, Secretary of State (Brussels Region), which offered the beautiful location of the Tournay Solvay castle, and, of course of Nobel Laureate 2013 François Englert, who reminded us of the history of this collaboration, but also insisted on the importance of fundamental research.These words will serve as inspiration for the action of the BEL Center and are reproduced below.

"I wish however to issue a final comment: Fundamental research in science is the
quest for a rational understanding of nature. But presently, it is losing its appeal and
is even often despised in some parts of the western world where in fact it was born
with the Renaissance revolution and became an essential element of our Culture. Its
fading may signal the surge of irrational, destructive and dangerous ideologies, which
so often in the past have been the support of barbarity and are again threatening today
by the violence they carry. It is therefore essential that BEL be not only a success in
research but invent and provide an adequate diffusion to all levels of learning of the
results stemming from fundamental research."

Pictures of the event are HERE
Participants :
representatives of the instiutions:  Profs. Yvon Englert, Rector, ULB, Caroline Pauwels, Rector, VUB  Gerard Govers, Vice-Rector, KULeuven, Jean-Cristophe Renauld, Pro-Rector, UCLouvain,  and  M. Pierre Gurdjan, Chair of the Board, ULB,

members of the" BEL Center" board : Profs Jean-Marie Frère (chair), Ben Craps (vice-Chair), Fabio Maltoni (secretary) and Piet Van Duppen (treasurer)
other members of the General Assembly: Profs Daniele Carati,
Michel Devillers, Alexander Sevrin, Antoine Van Proeyen,