Italian minister Anna Maria Bernini (University and Research) has pledged about 950 million euros for the construction phase of the Einstein Telescope. That amount will become available if the location Sardinia is chosen to house the pioneering observatory for gravitational waves.
The underground Einstein Telescope is Europe’s next step in work on gravitational waves, a new way to investigate dark parts of the universe invisible to ordinary telescopes. Besides the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion, the Sos Enattos area on the Italian island of Sardinia is one of candidate sites.
To support Sardinia’s candidacy, the Italian government is reserving funds for the construction phase of the Einstein Telescope. These will become available if European governments decide to locate the observatory in the Sos Enattos area around 2026. This is stated in a letter from the Italian Minister for University and Research to the Italian research institute INFN. The total construction cost is estimated at around €2 billion.
Besides Sardinia, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany are also preparing for a joint bid for the Einstein Telescope in their border region, the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion. The three countries already made funds available for the feasibility study currently underway.
In addition, the Netherlands already set aside €840 million from the National Growth Fund in 2022 for the construction phase of the observatory, if it will be located in the EMR. The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has also made such a commitment, subject to support from the federal German government.
Both the EMR and in Sardinia are now conducting feasibility studies for their Einstein Telescope candidature. Among other things, they are mapping the suitability of the subsurface, incorporation into the environment, available infrastructure and the network of leading research institutes and high-tech companies. Around 2026, European governments will decide where to build the Einstein Telescope based on the overall offer for each location.