The visit of Flemish Minister Jo Brouns and his Dutch counterpart Robbert Dijkgraaf to the ET pathfinder in Maastricht may have been brief, but its significance was substantial. A few days earlier, Minister Brouns had announced that the Flemish government is allocating 21 million euros for the development of technology for the Einstein Telescope.
According to Dutch Minister Dijkgraaf, this news once again underscores how much the Einstein Telescope is receiving attention and support abroad: “It’s fantastic news that our Flemish colleagues are now allocating funds for technology and knowledge development for the Einstein Telescope. I would very much like to bring this telescope to the border area between Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. The value of such a world-class instrument for science and our economies is hardly quantifiable in money. By investing now in the knowledge and technology we need, we strengthen our plan and increase the chance of being able to build the telescope here. It also drives innovations. This is good for the economy, employment, and knowledge position.”
The ministers were briefed by director Stan Bentvelsen of the Einstein Telescope EMR project office, by Prof. Stefan Hild, project leader of the ET pathfinder, and by PhD students Elise Van den Bossche (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Luise Kranzhoff (Maastricht University).
Robbert Dijkgraaf praised the cross-border collaboration: “We work across borders: of our countries and our knowledge. I find this collaboration truly exemplary of how a European project is shaped. With the Einstein Telescope, we are developing groundbreaking technology, far beyond what is currently possible. This is of great value to science and also a huge boost for the competitiveness of our industry. Studies show that we can earn back three to four times every euro invested. It is also expected that the Einstein Telescope will create a few thousand new direct and indirect jobs in the border area. For employees of all education levels. Not just for top scientists, but also for the professionals who take care of the construction and maintenance, or who work in the regional hospitality industry.”