The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) is located near Geneva, at the borderline between France and Switzerland. CERN was founded in 1954 and presently has 20 member states. Besides the member states, also the US, Japan and Russia take part in CERN projects. Some 6,000 nuclear scientists, from more than 80 different countries and 500 universities, use CERN's laboratories. Researchers in other fields, for example computer science, electronics and materials science, also work at CERN.
Finland has participated in CERN projects since 1966 and became a full member in 1991. The membership makes it easier for Finnish particle phycisists to take part in experiments conducted at CERN. Besides particle phycisist, the laboratory employs Finnish researchers from other fields as well. CERN offers summer schools and courses for young scientists in the field, but the laboratory also provides training opportunities for a number of university and polytechnics students in natural sciences and engineering. In addition to training and research opportunities, companies may offer their services and products to the laboratory and carry out research and R&D cooperation with it.