April 29, 2013
The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research announced today the publication of its Research Infrastructures Roadmap, based on an evaluation performed by the Wissenschaftsrat, the German Council of Science and Humanities. The list entails 24 projects from a large range of scientific fields that are already under implementation. Three new projects have been included: CTA - Cherenkov-Telescope-Array, EU-OPENSCREEN - the European Infrastructure of Open Screening Platforms for chemical biology, and IAGOS - In Service Aircraft for a Global Observing System, which the German federal government intends to fund in principle.
This is the first time a Research Infrastructure Roadmap is published by the Research Ministry. It now invites all German science organisations to discuss whether and how the present pilot phase for the creation of a roadmap should be extended, and whether a standardised procedure should be established.
April 24, 2013
A European team has used the FP7 OPTICON trans-national access programme to confirm the existence of two large planets orbiting stars beyond our Sun. The possibility of the planets was highlighted by the Kepler space mission, but their existence needed to be confirmed. This is best done by ground based observations using very precise spectrographs which can detect the tiny wobbles caused by the tug of the planets on their host stars. A new spectrograph called HARPS-North, which is ideally suited to such measurements, has recently been installed at the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo in La Palma, Spain. A team led by French astronomer Guillaume Hébrard won time on the Italian telescope via the FP7 OPTICON time allocation process and combined the data with that from the instrument SOPHIE on the French Observatoire de Haute-Provence telescope to confirm the existence of the planets and estimate their size and mass. According to the team 'These results illustrate the benefits that could be obtained from joint studies using two spectrographs such as as SOPHIE and HARPS-N'.
More information :
Press release, Institut d'astrophysique de Paris
Opticon factsheet 5.1 MB
April 11, 2013
The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI), the world's first international user facility for laser research, has been established today as an International Association in Brussels, Belgium. ELI is part of the ESFRI Roadmap for research infrastructures of high priority for Europe. Based on strong international collaborations it is being constructed in three pillars in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania, utilizing EU Structural Funds.
The newly founded ELI Delivery Consortium International Association is a non-profit organisation after Belgian law (AISBL). It will promote the sustainable development of ELI as a pan-European research infrastructure, support the coordinated implementation of the ELI research facilities, and preserve the consistency and complementarity of their scientific missions. It will also organise the establishment of an international consortium that will be in charge of the future operation of ELI, preferably in the form of a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC).
More information: ELI webpage
Contact person: Florian Gliksohn, ELI International affairs
The next WIRE conference (Week of Innovative Regions in Europe) will include a session on research infrastructures.
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