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Organisation and timeline

With the Einstein Telescope, European scientists and businesses are building the most accurate gravitational-wave observatory ever. This represents a unique opportunity for researchers, businesses and the regional economy. What will it require to build the telescope, and what steps are the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany taking?

Preliminary work in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany

A joint candidacy by three different countries, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, requires thorough preparation. For this reason, a large number of partners are already working together on the project. Some are investigating the suitability of the ground and bedrock in the region, whilst others are building a network of interested companies and scientific institutions or exploring the Einstein Telescope’s likely economic returns. In the end, the three countries will decide at national government level whether to put forward their border region as a possible location. The following institutions and organizations are already involved:

The Netherlands:

Nikhef (Nationaal Instituut voor Subatomaire Fysica); Open Universiteit (CAROU); Radboud Universiteit; Rijksuniversiteit Groningen; TU Eindhoven; Universiteit van Amsterdam; Universiteit Maastricht; Universiteit Twente; Universiteit Utrecht; Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; NWO-I; KNMI (Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut); TNO (Nederlandse organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek); Brainport Eindhoven; Discovery Museum Limburg; LIOF; Provincie Limburg; Ministerie van Onderwijs Cultuur en Wetenschap; Ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat


KU Leuven; UC Louvain; Université de Liège; Université de Mons; Université de Namur; Université Libre de Bruxelles; Universiteit Antwerpen; Universiteit Gent; Universiteit Hasselt; Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Agoria – Belgian federation of companies in the manufacturing industry, the digital and telecom sectors; Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid / Politique scientifique fédérale – BELSPO; Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique – FNRS; Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Vlaanderen – FWO; Pôle Greenwin; Pôle MecaTech; POM Limburg; Skywin; Vlaams Agentschap Innoveren en Ondernemen – VLAIO; Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek – VITO; WFG Ostbelgien; Vlaams Ministerie van Economie, Innovatie, Werk, Sociale economie en Landbouw; Vlaams Departement Economie, Wetenschap, en Innovatie – EWI; Provincie Antwerpen; Provincie Vlaams Brabant; Provincie Limburg; Walloon Region


Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen; Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron, Hamburg / Zeuthen; Ruhr University, Bochum; Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Optik und Feinmechanik, Jena; Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik, Aachen; Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnologie, Aachen; Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg; Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena; Goethe-Universität Frankfurt; Karlsruher Institut für Technologie; Laser Zentrum Hannover; Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung; Leibniz Universität Hannover; Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik (Albert-Einstein-Institut), Hannover; Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik (Albert-Einstein-Institut), Golm; Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt; Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhems-Universität Bonn; RWTH Aachen University; Technische Universität Braunschweig; Technische Universität Darmstadt; Universität Bremen; Universität Hamburg; Universität Heidelberg; Universität Rostock; Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster; AGIT; NMWP; Zenit; Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

European co-operation

Scientists in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany are part of a larger European ‘ET cooperation’. This collaboration consists of many research institutes all over Europe, all of which want to build an Einstein Telescope in Europe. They are working together on the design of the Einstein Telescope, and wrote a proposal for the European roadmap for large research infrastructures (ESFRI roadmap). At the moment, they are developing and improving technologies, among other things. They will continue to be involved with the Einstein Telescope in the future, regardless of whether or not it comes to the Euregio Meuse-Rhine.

ESFRI roadmap

Before any major piece of research infrastructure is built in Europe, scientists and governments have to determine that the facility really is important for top-level research. This is done through the so-called ESFRI Roadmap, compiled by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. The European gravitational-wave researchers worked together on the proposal for this roadmap. They included the border region of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany as a possible location. In July 2021, the ESFRI forum announced that the Einstein Telescope will receive ESFRI status. This was an important milestone for everyone involved, as it confirms the importance of the Einstein Telescope for Europe.

Candidacies and choice of location

Interested countries in Europe can submit their formal candidacy for the Einstein Telescope. Currently, in addition to our Euregio Meuse-Rhine, Sardinia is also in the race as a possible location. There is a possibility that the German state of Saxony will also join. It is expected that in 2025/2026 it will be announced which location is most suitable and where this state-of-the-art facility will be built.