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Coordination European Astronomy

WP2: Self-sustainable coordination of European Astronomy

Work package leader: STFC

Description of Work:

The overall objective of this work package is to consider options for enabling a self-sustainable coordination of European Astronomy. The ASTRONET process, which has resulted in a Science Vision for European Astronomy and associated Infrastructure Roadmap, is seen to be a significant leap forward in coordinating the science and facility plans for astronomers across Europe. The reports have been widely used within the planning processes of various partner countries and considered to be influential in setting national priorities for science and facilities within a wide European context. To remain valid, the Vision and Roadmap need to be updated. Resources to achieve this are requested elsewhere in this project (WP4) but we believe that a more sustainable and longer term solution must be considered.

The key outcome will be a report which recommends a longer-term, sustainable approach to the coordination of the strategy for European astronomy, which will enhance cooperation, strengthen the overall ability of European astronomy to compete on the world stage and help to ensure efficient and cost effective planning of resources.

Task 2.1 Survey models for self-sustainable coordination of science areas, from within the European and global community (Task leader: STFC)

To provide the widest possible view of the options, the status of coordination within other area of European science with similar requirements for large infrastructures as astronomy will be investigated. This will include consideration of whether broader policy and technical cooperation merits further attention.

Contact: Colin Vincent

Task 2.2 Discuss options for sustainable coordination models for Astronomy (Task leader: INAF)

A workshop will be held to explore possible models for sustainable coordination. Those showing sufficient merits to be considered further, will form the basis of Task 2.3.

Contact: Giampaolo Vettolani

Task 2.3 Refine leading models for sustainable coordination to ensure funding agencies have sufficiently robust business plan to consider for adoption (Task leader: STFC)

On the basis of the surveys and the workshops take the preferred model or models for sustainable cooperation and develop these into robust business cases to enable funding agencies to decide whether to adopt any. The outcome will be a proposal to the funding agencies associated with a final report.

Contact: Colin Vincent

Task 2.4 Attempt to implement the proposed model (Task leader: CNRS)

Once a preferred option has been defined and proposed to agencies for adoption, a follow-up of its implementation is needed. This will proceed via direct interactions between the task leader, the ASTRONET Board members representing their agencies, and, if needed, the agencies themselves.

Contact: Denis Mourard

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Latest Events

New ASTRONET Board :

On 9 Dec 2016, the new ASTRONET Board has hold its first meeting at ESO headquarters, celebrating the signature of the new Memorandum of Understanding and the continuation of a success story for the coordination of national funding agencies and international organizations for Astronomy in Europe. ASTRONET is now ready for a self-sustainable organization, the first step being to complete within a few weeks the representation of many additional national agencies in Europe that have indicated their intention to join.

Picture l.t.r.:

Conny Aerts (Belgium, FWO), Denis Mourard (France, CNRS), Ronald Stark (The Netherlands, NWO), Colin Vincent (United Kingdom, STFC), Rob Ivison (ESO), Saskia Matheussen (The Netherlands, NWO), Luca Valenziano (Italy, INAF, participation by visioconf)


Astronet publishes reports :

ASTRONET publishes several reports as the ERTRC "Report on the implementation of the radio telescope review committee recommendations". Please see Menu/Resources/Document Archives/Publications/ASTRONET FP7 or click here:

Letter of Intent :

Please find the «Letter of Intent» in the Private Area (Templates)

The Next Decade :

A special session «ASTRONET 2015-2025 - The Next Decade» at EWASS 2015 was held in La Laguna on 24 June 2015.


ASTRONET was started in 2005 and supported by the EU under FP6 and FP7 to establish a permanent mechanism for the coordination of the investments in European astronomy. This initial period produced a Science Vision and a Roadmap that covers scientific topics from the solar neighborhood to the limits of the observable Universe and also engaged virtually all astronomical communities and funding agencies in Europe in this coordination.

Having completed these major steps, ASTRONET is now prepared to launch its permanent successor in order to continue the science-based strategic planning for the development of all European Astronomy. The ASTRONET LAUNCH EVENT was held at the OBSERVATOIRE DE PARIS on 17 June 2015.

Board meeting June 2015 :

The Board Meeting No. 5 was held on 17 June in Paris.

Update Science Vision :

Please find here the final, published update to the ASTRONET Science Vision:

Update Infrastructure Roadmap :

Please find here the final, published update to the ASTRONET Infrastructure Roadmap:

Overview of proposal deadlines :

ASTRONET offers here an overview of proposal deadlines concerning current and forthcoming calls for proposals issued by ASTRONET partner agencies including timescales and thematic constraints. Also listed are permanently open funding programmes of ASTRONET agencies. This overview (ASTRONET’s Task 5.4) is meant to provide information for interested transnational research groups on European wide funding opportunities in order to foster coordinated funding of transnational research projects: