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Deutsches Zentrum für Astrophysik and Nikhef: Intensive research collaboration

The Deutsches Zentrum für Astrophysik (DZA) and Nikhef will be cooperating in the field of scientific research for the Einstein Telescope. The joining of forces should give both institutes a leading position in the development of scientific instrumentation for the Einstein Telescope.

Specifically, the partners intend to come up with joint proposals for new projects. The partnership should also prevent more or less the same scientific efforts being made in the two places.  

Nikhef is the scientific partner within the project office working on the feasibility of the Einstein Telescope in the border area of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands (Meuse-Rhine Euroregion). DZA will build an institute for astrophysics, technology and digitisation in Saxony, Germany.

The agreement of intent was signed by Günther Hasinger (DZA) and Stan Bentvelsen (Nikhef), in the presence of Stephan Satijn, Katharina Henjes-Kunst and Guido Derks. Photos: Michaela Rehle


How the cooperation will take shape will be discussed in the near future. Building on the success of the DZA and Nikhef projects, other European institutes may also join. This agreement of intent is separate from the feasibility study for the candidacy for the Einstein Telescope in the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion.

The signing of an Intention of Cooperation took place today in Munich during a meeting on the Einstein Telescope at the international fair Expo Real organised by the Province of Limburg (NL). On behalf of DZA, Prof. Günther Hasinger, initiator of the DZA, signed the agreement of intent. Prof. Stan Bentvelsen signed on behalf of Nikhef. Stan Bentvelsen is director of Nikhef and scientific director of the Einstein Telescope EMR  project office.

“Technology development for the Einstein Telescope is one of the key early projects for the new German Center for Astrophysics (DZA). We are therefore very happy to sign this cooperation agreement with Nikhef as one of the leading institutions supporting the ET.”

Prof. dr. Günther Hasinger – Deutsches Zentrum für  Astrophysik (DZA)

“What we are signing today is a logical step in the scientific cooperation we already have with many colleague institutes from Nikhef. The collaboration with our German colleagues means we can share a lot of knowledge and develop it together. This collaboration makes us stronger and is going to help Nikhef realise our ambitions for the Einstein Telescope.”

Prof. dr. Stan Bentvelsen – Nikhef

“Germany’s role is an important one for the Einstein Telescope in the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion. Cooperation at this high scientific level is therefore also of great importance on the road to a strong bid book and ultimately, in a few years, the choice of this Euroregion as the location for the Einstein Telescope.”

Regional Minister Stephan Satijn – Provincie of Limburg (NL)
Deutsches Zentrum für Astrophysik

The DZA is a joint initiative of astronomy and astroparticle physics in Germany, supported by the major German scientific organisations. In September 2022, the DZA was given the green light to build in Saxony a large-scale research centre with a future-oriented scientific programme, a centre for digitisation that will bring together data streams from astronomical observatories around the world. The building up of the DZA started this year and it will reach its full size by 2035. After the start-up phase, annual funding of around €170 million is planned for the final stage with more than 1,000 people employed.


Nikhef is the National Institute for Subatomic Physics in the Netherlands, providing answers to major physics questions of our time. Scientists and technicians work together to find new answers to these questions. Nikhef is based in Amsterdam, but much of Nikhef’s research takes place at CERN’s particle accelerator in Switzerland. Nikhef is a partnership between universities in Amsterdam, Maastricht, Groningen and Utrecht and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM). Research is carried out at Nikhef in the fields of particle physics and astroparticle physics.

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