Outgoing Minister Robert Dijkgraaf (Education and Science) was pleased with the €21 million made available by his Flemish counterpart to develop the new technology needed for the Einstein Telescope. “Building it is now one step closer,” says Dijkgraaf.
It was announced today that the Flemish Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, Jo Bruns, will officially announce the financial injection in Maastricht on Monday. He did so during a visit to the ETpathfinder in Maastricht, a test setup for the Einstein Telescope. It is about a “super telescope” that will measure gravitational waves. Scientists can detect gravitational waves from space by making very precise measurements. In this way they learn more about, for example, the birth process of black holes.
The highest instrument in the world
Dijkgraaf is “very keen” to bring the telescope to the border area between Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. “The value of such a world-class tool for science and our economies cannot be expressed in money.” By investing now in the required knowledge and technology, “our plan becomes stronger and we increase the chance of building a telescope here,” says Dijkgraaf. According to him, encouraging innovations also benefits the economy, employment and cognitive standing.
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In October, the Netherlands opened a €12 million support scheme for companies that can develop and test mirror technology, cooling machines and vibration-free chargers, among other things. This money comes from the National Growth Fund. The government has also reserved 870 million euros from the same fund with which part of the construction work can be paid.
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It will be decided in 2026 whether it is possible to implement the European project in the border area of the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Italy is also working on a proposal to build a telescope. Construction should start in 2030.