The Fund for Scientific Research (FWO) in Flanders and the Dutch institute Nikhef have entered into a partnership. This was agreed upon by Hans Willems, Secretary-General of FWO, and Stan Bentvelsen, Director of Nikhef.
With this, both institutions are reaffirming the collaboration around the Einstein Telescope that has been in practice for almost a year. Stan Bentvelsen of Nikhef calls it “a logical next step after an excellent year of cooperation.”
Hans Willems of FWO also praises the smooth cooperation: “In a complex project like the Einstein Telescope, it is crucial for partners to learn to work together in a sufficiently early stage.”
Nikhef is the scientific partner within the project office Einstein Telescope – Euregio Maas-Rhine. The Amsterdam-based institute conducts research on the fundamental building blocks of our universe, their interactions, and the structure of space and time.
“In a complex project like the Einstein Telescope, it is crucial for partners to learn to work together in a sufficiently early stage.”Hans Willems, FWO
The international project office, based in Maastricht, is working on the feasibility study for the construction of the telescope in the border region. The green light for feasibility precedes the formal candidacy that Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany intend to submit jointly in 2026.
From FWO Flanders, a team of eight experts operates in various areas related to the Einstein Telescope, including valorization, economic development, geology, legal affairs, spatial planning and permits, policy advice, as well as environment and stakeholder management. Hans Plets leads this team.
Hans Plets from FWO will strengthen the directorship of the Project office Einstein Telescope – EMR. The directorship also includes Stan Bentvelsen and Arjen van Rijn, both from Nikhef.
This Flemish project team is now largely integrated into the project office based in Maastricht, working jointly on the feasibility study in all its facets for the three countries.