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On Friday, February 23rd, at the end of three intense days full of discussions, frontal presentations, and roundtables, the meeting of the Italian scientific community of the Einstein Telescope has ended in Assisi. The meeting attracted approximately 150 scientists from several Italian universities and research institutes involved in the ET scientific collaboration and in the projects supporting the Italian candidacy.

The discussions proved useful to strengthen the Italian scientific strategy for the future gravitational waves observatory. Among the most important topics addressed were the technological and engineering needs of ET and the characterization of the candidate site at Sos Enattos, in Sardinia, as well as the scientific challenges (astrophysical, geological, and fundamental physics) associated with the project. Special attention was also given to the computational and IT challenges.

“The conference was an important moment to mark the transition between two distinct phases: the just-concluded phase, which was mainly focused on investments in the preparation of research infrastructures and the call for the characterization of the Sos Enattos site, and the upcoming phase, which will involve the setup of infrastructures and laboratories to support the development of technologies for ET over the next two years, as well as the realization of the pre-feasibility study of the site,” says Michele Punturo, scientific coordinator of the ETIC project, the operational tool of the Italian candidacy to host ET.

“From the perspective of the ETIC project, the main financial instrument of the Italian candidacy, we are extremely satisfied at this stage. This conference marked the beginning, together with the scientific community, of the operational phase of ETIC, which materializes in the opening of construction sites or renovation of ETIC facilities scattered throughout the Italian territory, in the modernization of the equipment in the many laboratories involved, and in the start of the large feasibility study,” adds Monique Bossi, infrastructure manager of ETIC. “The meeting also represented an important opportunity to involve young scientists from the Italian (and, prospectively, international) gravitational waves community.”