On Thursday 26 October, researchers, administrators and politicians from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany met at the Max Planck Institute in Potsdam-Berlin. The meeting was an initiative from the OWA (a network of education and science attachés), part of the Dutch embassy in Germany. Besides outgoing minister Robbert Dijkgraaf, from the Einstein Telescope EMR project office director Stan Bentvelsen (Nikhef) and Hans Plets (FWO Flanders) had been invited to sit on the expert panel.
The panel discussion focused on the importance of the Einstein Telescope for the border region and its opportunities for science, technology and the economy. In the long run, not only the three countries but the whole EU will benefit from the arrival of the Einstein Telescope, was one of the conclusions.
As he had done many times in the media in the past, minister Dijkgraaf came out with an enthusiastic plea for the Einstein Telescope in the border area of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Germany’s role and commitment to this are very important.
The latter was also the message of Stan Bentvelsen. The scientific director of the Einstein Telescope EMR project office: “To put down a strong bid book and bring the Einstein Telescope to this region, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have to work together. Today, I am happy to experience that there is a lot of interest in our case from the scientific and political field in Germany. Hopefully, this will also lead to growing commitment, so that we can really act as one team.”
In his contribution, Hans Plets focused on the scientific and social motivation for choosing the Einstein Telescope and then building it in the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion.
Incidentally, from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, it has previously agreed to help pay for the construction of the Einstein Telescope, on condition that ‘federal Germany’ also participates. On the question of how to deal with the construction of new wind turbines, Minister Nathanael Liminski (North Rhine-Westphalia) indicated in a video message that no steps will be taken from Aachen that could stand in the way of the Einstein Telescope’s candidacy. New wind turbines cause a lot of additional noise, which is detrimental to the Einstein Telescope’s measurements.
The meeting took place at the Max Planck Institute (Albert Einstein Institute) in Potsdam-Berlin. That is the world’s largest research institute on the general theory of relativity and other topics.