What is ASTRONET ?

ASTRONET was created by a group of European funding agencies in order to establish a comprehensive long-term planning for the development of European astronomy. The objective of this effort is to consolidate and reinforce the world-leading position that European astronomy has attained at the beginning of this 21st century.

The success of present-day European astronomy has been built by combining previously scattered resources into multilateral partnerships, the most important of which are ESO for ground-based optical astronomy and ESA for space astronomy. Developing this concept and its impact and expand it to all domains of astronomy and all of Europe requires a shared, comprehensive Science Vision and roadmap for future infrastructures in astronomy. In parallel, the barriers which impede coordinated joint projects among countries must be identified, and ways to overcome these barriers must to be proposed and tested.

To do so, ASTRONET will cover all astrophysical objects from the Sun and Solar system to the global structure of the Universe, as well as every observing approach, in space and from the ground, and from radiation at any wavelength to astroparticles and gravitational waves. It will address the whole “food chain” from infrastructure and technology development to observation, including the Virtual Observatory, modelling, and theory. Equally importantly, ways to better coordinate the planning and execution of research programmes in astronomy among European countries will be explored and demonstrated in practice.

The ASTRONET consortium, which is intended to widen, has ten participants at the moment:

    • CNRS/INSU (coordinator), France,
    • BMBF and PT-DESY, Germany,
    • ESO, International,
    • INAF, Italy,
    • MICINN, Spain,
    • NOTSA,
    • NWO, the Netherlands,
    • STFC, United Kingdom,
    • NCBiR, Poland.

Twenty Associates:

    • ESA, International,
    • MPG and DFG, Germany,
    • LAS, Lithuania,
    • SRC, Sweden,
    • GNCA,Greece,
    • HAS, Hungary,
    • ESF, Estonia,
    • SER, Switzerland,
    • FWF, Austria,
    • AI SAS, Slovak Republic,
    • CAS, Czech Republic,
    • ROSA, Romania,
    • NASU, Ukraine,
    • ARRS, Slovenia,
    • BAS, Bulgaria,
    • MZOS, Croatia,
    • FCT, Portugal,
    • FWO and FRS-FNRS, Belgium.

And four Forum members:

    • ISA, Israel,
    • Institute of Astronomy of the University of Latvia,
    • Academy of Finland,
    • FNU, Denmark.

Starting September 2005, 1st, ASTRONET is financed by the EC up to a level of 2.5 M€, out of a total budget of 3.2 M€. The project duration is 64 months. ASTRONET is an ERA-Net financed by the European Commission FP6 under the initiative «Integrating and Strengthening the European Research Area (ERA)».

  Latest Events

    ASTRONET FP6 contract ended on 31 December 2010. Building on the success of the FP6 programme European Commission has awarded a grant of 1,6 million Euro to ASTRONET for FP7. The objectives of the new ASTRONET are:
    - to establish a permanent mechanism for planning and coordination in European astronomy;
    - to follow-up and implement the Roadmap. The goal here is to build the new facilities that are needed to reach our scientific goals and at the same time optimise existing programmes in scientific as well as financial terms – not only joint facilities such as those of ESO or ESA, but a range of national resources as well;
    - to narrow the scientific and – in particular - technology gaps between the European countries;
    - We finally intend 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 European Telescope Strategy Review Committee Report :

    The ETSRC report has now been finalised and can be found here:

    PDF - 3.3 Mb
    ETSRC final report

    or at the ETSRC website.

  • CONFERENCE: "Putting our Solar System in Context: Origin, Dynamical and Physical Evolution of Multiple Planet System" :

    The conference will be held April 25th to 30th, 2010 in Obergurgl (Austria). Deadline for applications: 31 January 2010. Full conference programme, including list of invited speakers, and application form accessible online from ESF website.


    In order to collect community input to the ongoing review of European 2-4m telescopes, a web based tool has been created. The main consultation period begins now and continues until the end of August 2009. Check the ETSRC website for more information.


    22-09-2008: The ASTRONET Joint Call Board recommends 5 proposals for funding by the national funding agencies. Read more.


    The Astronet symposium presentations are now online.


    The public release of the Infrastructure Roadmap is now available. For more information.


    01-02-2008: The call ("Common Tools for Future Large sub-mm Facilities") is now closed. Read more.

  • Science Vision for European astronomy :

    The final report is now available in PDF format in either low (17 MB) or normal (47 MB) resolution.

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