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Source: MUR/INFN, 02/07/24

Italy’s candidacy for the construction of the Einstein Telescope in Sardinia is gaining strength. The Minister of University and Research, Anna Maria Bernini, signed today an agreement in Olbia with the Spanish Deputy Minister of Science, Research, and Innovation, Juan Cruz Cigudosa, which provides for Spain‘s support for the Italian proposal. In return, Italy will support the realization of the IFMIF-DONES project in Spain, a single-site neutron source dedicated to innovative materials for nuclear fusion, included in the European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap since 2018.

“The agreement signed today with Spain strengthens the Italian proposal to build the Einstein Telescope in our country, in Sardinia, at the heart of the Mediterranean. I thank Deputy Minister Cigudosa for coming to Olbia to sign it right in the region where we want to build the infrastructure”, emphasized Minister Anna Maria Bernini. “The Italian government is firmly supporting the project, as demonstrated by the financial commitment of 950 million euros made in recent months. This is a strategic choice for a country we want to be increasingly ambitious and attractive. Italy is a world leader in physics, and this agreement demonstrates the high international scientific credibility of our country. ET will give a decisive boost to the program of strengthening the research ecosystem, which we want to be increasingly attractive”.

“The candidacy of Sardinia to host the Einstein Telescope is becoming increasingly strong,” emphasized the president of INFN, Antonio Zoccoli. “The signing of the scientific cooperation agreement between Italy and Spain represents a very important international recognition of the value of our proposal, which is based on the unique quality of the Sardinian site in the European landscape on one hand, and on the proven competence and experience of the Italian scientific community in experimental gravitational wave research on the other, from Edoardo Amaldi to the successes of the current European interferometer Virgo, which is located in Italy. We thank Minister Bernini and the entire government for their great commitment, and we are confident that our proposal will gain increasingly widespread international support,” concluded Zoccoli.

Italy and Spain have signed a broader Memorandum of Understanding. The two countries are committed to strengthen their collaborative relationship through a series of activities, including: encouraging cooperation between higher education and research institutions; promoting direct collaboration between higher education and research institutions of both countries; networking researchers and experts in science and technology and facilitating the sharing and mutual access to research infrastructures; implementing and conducting joint projects between higher education institutions, research institutes, and businesses in the fields of research, innovation, and technology transfer, taking into account areas of common interest such as fusion energy, gravitational waves, High-Performance Computing (HPC), artificial intelligence, seas and oceans, and research infrastructures; promoting joint collaboration in the most relevant European programs: EuroHPC (fostering cooperation between Leonardo and MareNostrum); PRIMA, Horizon Europe; European Universities Alliances; Erasmus+.