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ASTRONET

ASTRONET is a consortium of the largest funding agencies for astronomy in Europe consisting of funding agencies or their representatives in Belgium, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, the UK and ESO, plus associates including ESA and the Council of German Observatories, The European Astronomical Society and APPEC. STFC is the UK lead.

The main aim is to engage all astronomical communities and relevant funding agencies to foster coordination and integration of strategic planning for European astronomy.

ASTRONET originated as an EU-funded ERA-NET FP7 initiative, but is now self-funded by its members. The initial phase of the project resulted in the highly successful Science Vision (2007) and Infrastructure Roadmap (2008), updated in 2013 and 2014. These documents describe the key science questions for the European astronomy community and a coherent investment plan for new infrastructures at all wavelengths, on the ground and in space, including the initiatives to maximise their benefit for society in general.

Key facts

ASTRONET’s objectives are to:

  • Maintain and grow the mechanism for planning and coordination of European astronomy
     
  • Follow-up and implement the Roadmap, fostering the realisation of the new facilities that are needed to keep Europe at the forefront of scientific knowledge and at the same time seek ways to optimise existing programmes in scientific and financial terms
     
  • Narrow the scientific and – in particular – technology gaps between the European countries by integrating new EU countries, including those who are not yet fully integrated in mainstream European astronomy.

STFC is the task leader for the proposed next complete update of the Science Vision and Roadmap for Europe, with an expected publication date in 2020.

Additionally, STFC supports several other ASTRONET tasks by cooperating with the participating funding agencies and organisations.

ASTRONET aims to strengthen the present position of leadership of European astronomy, support the development of pan-European cooperation and establish a strategic planning mechanism for all of European astronomy for the next 5-25 years. The work of ASTRONET will not only benefit the scientific community and the funding agencies but also make Europe a stronger and more credible partner in the future global astronomy projects.

Links

PDF versions of the publications of the Science Vision and the Infrastructure Roadmap can be found on the ESO website.

Last updated: 07 December 2018

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