A delegation from CMS visited the National Center for Nuclear Sciences and Technologies (CNSTN) in 2008, as well as universities and government officials in Tunisia. There were about ten particle physicists with PhDs and about five instrumentation engineers at CNSTN who were interested in collaborating with CERN. Many of the physicists had obtained their doctorates working on CERN experiments. A Tunisian group participated previously in OPERA.
After these first contacts and recent expressions of interest, CERN and Tunisia signed an International Cooperation Agreement (ICA) in May 2014. CNSTN would lead the Tunisian team, with university groups in collaboration. The initial effort would be in data analysis, where the team members have more experience. At a later stage, CNSTN plans to start an activity on detectors, likely on the future upgrade activities on CMS.
Tunisia is also benefiting from the CERN education and training programmes, such as the High School Teachers Programme and the Summer Student Programme.