Flemish Science Minister Jo Brouns is investing six million euros to prepare for the arrival of Einstein Telescope to the border region of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
To give Flemish researchers the opportunity to participate in the arrival of the Einstein Telescope, the Flemish FWO (science funding fund) makes available six million euros to a consortium of six knowledge institutions in Flanders (pdf). “That will allow us to conduct an R&D programme to develop essential technologies for the Einstein Telescope, in collaboration with industrial partners. The investment also allows for targeted geological studies in the search area” says Hans Plets, coordinator for Einstein Telescope in Flanders.
The Einstein Telescope will be a unique underground observatory where scientists can investigate the universe using gravitational waves. The border region of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany (Euregio Meuse-Rhine) is in the picture as a promising location for the Einstein Telescope. Researchers, governments and companies in the three countries are currently preparing a joint bidbook to host the facility. The site for the observatory is expected to be chosen in 2025.
“Whether it is challenges in the healthcare sector, the climate crisis or the energy transition, science and innovation are at the basis of all our progress,” said Minister Brouns. FWO is therefore investing a total of 49 million euros in 14 projects so that Flemish researchers can contribute to top scientific infrastructure.
Besides being a scientific asset, the Einstein Telescope is also a stimulus for the economy in the border region, minister Brouns stated.
According to studies on the expected return on investment, the arrival of the observatory will create some 500 direct full-time jobs, and another 1,150 jobs in the form of indirect employment. This is in addition to strengthening the regional knowledge economy, allowing companies to gain valuable knowledge and develop spin-offs.