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What is ASTRONET ?

ASTRONET was created by a group of European funding agencies in order to establish a strategic planning mechanism for all of European astronomy. It covers the whole astronomical domain, from the Sun and Solar System to the limits of the observable Universe, and from radioastronomy to gamma-rays and particles, on the ground as well as in space; but also theory and computing, outreach, training and recruitment of the vital human resources. And, importantly, ASTRONET aims to engage all astronomical communities and relevant funding agencies on the new map of Europe.

ASTRONET has been supported by the EC since 2005 as an ERA-NET. Despite the formidable challenges of establishing such a comprehensive plan, ASTRONET reached that goal with the publication of its Infrastructure Roadmap in November 2008. Building on this remarkable achievement, the present project will proceed to the implementation stage, a very significant new step towards the coordination and integration of European resources in the field.

The objectives are:

- to establish a permanent mechanism for planning and coordination in European astronomy;
- to follow-up and implement the Roadmap, thus ensuring the construction of the new facilities that are needed to keep Europe at the forefront of scientific knowledge and at the same time optimise existing programmes in scientific as well as financial terms;
- to narrow the scientific and – in particular - technology gaps between the European countries;
- to establish a regularly updated data base with key information on the financial and human resources available to astronomy in all European countries, as well as the structure and governance of astronomical research in each country.

The ASTRONET consortium, has eleven participants, Twenty one Associates and two Forum members at the moment.

Starting January 2011, 1st, ASTRONET is funded as an ERA-Net by the European Commission at a level of 1.6 M under the FP7 initiative «Integrating and Strengthening the European Research Area (ERA)» for a duration of 48 months.

Latest Events

Gamma-ray Astronomy: Site negotiations for Cherenkov Telescope Array started :

CTA – the Cherenkov Telescope Array – is a multinational, world-wide project to construct a unique instrument exploring the cosmos at the highest photon energies. Over 1000 scientists and engineers from 5 continents, 28 countries and over 170 research institutes participate in the CTA project. On the 10th April 2014, the 12 country delegates (Argentina, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Namibia, Poland, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland and the UK) mandated by their governments to decide about the start of site negotiations for CTA met in Munich. The delegates decided to start the negotiations on the two sites in the southern hemisphere, namely Aar in Namibia and ESO in Chile, keeping Leoncito in Argentina as a third option. Read more:

ExeC meeting July 2014 :

The 8th ExeC meeting will be held in Genève in July 2014.

ASTRONET FP7 community forum :

Please find here the link to the ASTRONET FP 7 Community forum open to the entire astronomical community based in Europe. Please register and submit your comments asap: This forum is intended for the discussion of the Science Vision and Infrastructure Roadmap updates. Criticisms, advice and comments are now expected before the reports are published in final form.

ExeC and Board meetings March 2014 :

The 7th ExeC meeting and the 4th Board meeting were held in Den Haag (The Hague) in March 2014.

ASTRONET ”Town Meeting“ in Turku :

Find here the programme of the ASTRONET “Town Meeting” in Turku (13 July 2013).

Update Infrastructure Roadmap :

Click here for the update of summer 2013

Preliminary recommendations ERTRC :

The European Radio Telescope Review Committee (ERTRC) invites the community to provide input and feedback via this discussion forum:

Update Science Vision :

Click here for the update 2012