Through a joint Taskforce, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands are pooling all current and future information from relevant authorities to work towards a strong, joint bid for the Einstein Telescope from the three countries. This marks the next step in cross-border cooperation towards a strong bid book.
Among those at the table were the German minister Nathanael Liminski (European affairs in North Rhine-Westphalia), the Dutch minister Robbert Dijkgraaf (Education, Culture and Science) and, from Dutch Limburg, governor Emile Roemer and deputy Stephan Satijn (economy, innovation). Also present were administrators and representatives from (federal) Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia, Flanders, the cabinet chief of minister Borsus (Wallonia), minister-president Oliver Paasch of the German-speaking community in Belgium, state secretary Thomas Dermine for the federal Belgium government, and the Benelux.
They were updated on the opportunities and on the state of scientific affairs by Professor Stan Bentvelsen, director of Nikhef, Professor Achim Stahl of RWTH Aachen, Professor Giacomo Bruno of the UC Louvain and Han Dols of CERN. In the scientific field, cooperation on preparations for an Einstein Telescope has been ongoing for some time by Nikhef and the universities of Maastricht, RWTH Aachen, Liège, Hasselt and Leuven, among others.
Belgium, the Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia have long supported joint projects to prepare the Einstein Telescope. These include the ETpathfinder, an R&D laboratory for the Einstein Telescope, the E-TEST project, in which geological studies are being carried out to determine the location of the Einstein Telescope in the Euregio Maas-Rhine, and ET2SMEs, which aims to promote high-tech companies.
The participants in the talk see great opportunities from the Einstein Telescope and look back on a meeting in which a next step was taken.
German Minister Nathanael Liminiski (European Affairs, North Rhine-Westphalia) and host of the meeting:
“The Einstein Telescope has great economic potential and this also benefits the people in the region. At the same time, this border region, with its rich science and research landscape, the many companies with expertise in the high-tech sector and the support of neighbouring countries and regions, offers ideal conditions for implementing the project.”
Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf (Netherlands, Education, Culture and Science):
“The Einstein Telescope is a fantastic project. For science, but certainly also for the border region between Limburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Flanders and Wallonia. In Bonn today, we agreed to take a nice next step towards forming a consortium to actually bring this telescope to our region. Only together can we ensure that the Euregio Meuse-Rhine Euroregion becomes the site of the Einstein Telescope.”
Director Stan Bentvelsen (Dutch research institute Nikhef and professor at the University of Amsterdam):
“This is an important step. We are used to science not caring much about borders, but it is good to see that governments in the three countries are also aligning their clocks and steps across borders at various levels. This Task Force is an important driver for the realisation of the Einstein Telescope in this area.”
Deputy Stephan Satijn (Dutch Province of Limburg / a.o. economy and innovation):
“The Euregio Meuse-Rhine is a top European technology region, with numerous universities and a concentration of high-tech companies. It is also a stunningly beautiful and welcoming place for scientists and the more than 1,700 people who will find jobs in and around the telescope.”
German NRW Minister Nathanael Liminiski of European Affairs (right) and host of the meeting, in conversation with Dutch Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf of Education, Culture and Science (left). Centre: Director General Volker Rieke (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research).
Credit: Land NRW / Uwe Völkner