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The main call for tenders for the NRRP ETIC project has been published. It is a European tender worth 14 million euros for the technical and economic feasibility study for the large Einstein Telescope infrastructure in Sardinia. Einstein Telescope ET will be Europe’s future third-generation detector for research on gravitational waves, and Italy is a candidate, competing with another site in the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion, to host it in north-east Sardinia, in the area of the disused Sos Enattos mine, between the municipalities of Bitti, Lula and Onanì. The call was issued by the Executive Board of the INFN National Institute for Nuclear Physics, which is coordinating the ETIC project, financed with 50 million euros from NRRP funds under Mission 4 Education and Research, coordinated by the MUR Ministry of Universities and Research.

“The study will provide all the territorial and structural elements needed to support Sardinia’s candidacy to host the Einstein Telescope,” explains Maria Marsella, head of WP6 ‘Sustainable Design’ of the ETIC project. “A multidisciplinary working group will work on the developments of the engineering solutions to ensure compliance with the requirements defined by the scientific community and to encourage the application of sustainable strategies for the environment and the region. The results will make it possible to optimise the surface and underground location of ET infrastructures in the Sos Enattos area,” Marsella concludes.

“The study, that is the subject of the tender, has a high level of complexity and uniqueness and requires the work of a company with high expertise,” highlights Gaetano Schillaci, the manager of the tender process. “It includes surveys and investigations to study the Sardinian site, a preliminary environmental impact study for both surface and underground works, in the different geometric configurations currently being investigated by the international scientific collaboration of Einstein Telescope. These studies will form the backbone, on the technical side, of the Italian candidature,” Schillaci concludes.

The call for tenders for the ‘Preparatory study for the development of the technical and economic feasibility project for the Einstein Telescope gravitational wave observatory in the Region of Sardinia, in various configurations, including the execution of surveys and investigations and the preliminary environmental impact assessment, for infrastructural engineering and constructions works, underground and above ground,’ is available on the European calls for tender page at this link, and can be found on the INFN web portal at this link. The deadline for submitting offers is 29 June 2023 at 12 noon.