How can materials be reused during construction and later during dismantling of the Einstein Telescope, and what sustainable use can be found for the excavated material? How can waste and pumped water best be treated? How do we tackle energy supply?
These are some of the many questions that the Einstein Telescope EMR project office must find answers to in the coming years. After all, sustainability is a key issue on the way to a strong bid book. The subject was also recently at the centre of a meeting of the Climate Parliament in Zoersel, Flanders. The meeting provided the necessary tips and there appeared to be a lot of enthusiasm from entrepreneurs to participate in follow-up sessions.
The Climate Parliament came into being when a number of entrepreneurs from the Antwerp and Kempen regions mobilised their networks out of concern for the climate to devise joint solutions to the climate issue. The formula is simple: if you have a product or question that you want to develop in a sustainable or climate-friendly way, submit it to the Climate Parliament. With 200 entrepreneurs in the room, this almost always results in strong advice and a lot of support.
At the meeting in Zoersel, Jürgen van Gorp took charge of the presentation on the Einstein Telescope. He is working through the Flemish FWO (Fund for Scientific Research) on valorisation of techniques that can be used for the telescope and is looking for innovative companies that can play a role in this. The FWO is the Flemish partner within the project office, working on the feasibility and then the bid book on behalf of Belgium, the Netherlands and German North Rhine-Westphalia Germany.
The questions from the Climate Parliament members following the presentation were not only about sustainability, but also about the scientific value and usefulness of the telescope. In the field of the environment and sustainability, the ‘Einstein squad’ was already able to record the necessary advice. Many entrepreneurs also signed up for the further follow-up of the sustainability aspect in which UHasselt will take the lead. From the project office, UHasselt plays a coordinating role with regard to the various initiatives that should lead to a sustainable Einstein Telescope in the border area of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.