A meeting between Virgo researchers and companies and start-ups of the Polo Tecnologico di Cascina to identify areas of possible collaboration on the major technological challenges for the detection of gravitational waves. In the presence of the Councillor for Innovation of the City of Cascina, Claudio Lo Console, the director of EGO Stavros Katsanevas, the president of the Polo Andrea Di Benedetto and the spokesperson of the Virgo experiment, Giovanni Losurdo.
An initial meeting was held yesterday at the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) in Cascina between Virgo researchers and companies from the Polo Tecnologico di Cascina to identify areas for possible collaboration on the major technological challenges of Cascina’s large-scale gravitational wave detection experiment, Virgo.
After a tour of the site and a presentation of Virgo’s cutting-edge technology sectors by the experiment’s researchers, representatives from around a dozen selected companies from the Polo illustrated their skills and areas of research and technological innovation. And the idea of bringing Virgo researchers and some of the Polo’s entrepreneurs together in one room seems to have borne fruit, since at the end of the day’s discussions the first ideas and proposals for further study had already emerged.
“I am really pleased and honoured to be here and to see that a proposal for collaboration coming from the institutions – said Claudio Loconsole, councillor for research and innovation of the Municipality of Cascina – is implemented in this meeting. Since the almost simultaneous birth of EGO in Santo Stefano in Macerata and the Polo Tecnologico in Navacchio over twenty years ago, this is the first real opportunity for these two excellences of our territory to meet. Today, thanks to the willingness of the director of EGO and the president of the Polo Tecnologico and all of you present here, we are looking for connections. The title has never been more apt. As Councillor for Innovation of the Municipality of Cascina, I have strongly encouraged a connection between EGO and the Polo Tecnologico and I strongly hope that today’s meeting will be the first step towards collaborations both in terms of research and industrial projects.
A meeting that will be only the first of a series, as Andrea Di Benedetto, President of the Polo Tecnologico, explains. “Ours is a reality that hosts over 60 high-tech companies and 700 talents who feed on innovation every day, and today it was exciting to meet those who are at the frontier of scientific research. Being able to connect our experience and skills with theirs will allow us to create joint projects and to measure ourselves in a context of extreme technology. This is a challenge we are happy to accept, because science often anticipates future applications in everyday life. The next step will be a visit by Virgo researchers to the Polo, and I am sure that this will be the start of a very interesting adventure.
The Virgo experiment is one of the protagonists of a scientific revolution, the one linked to the detection of gravitational waves, comparable to the one inaugurated by Galileo’s observations with his telescope,” said Stavros Katsanevas, director of the European Gravitational Observatory. “These extraordinary scientific results are also based on constant research and development of increasingly advanced technologies, which go beyond the limits of the existing ones to allow the detector to achieve the required performance; e.g. in the field of ultra-high vacuum, laser optics systems, mechatronics, environmental sensors, low-latency computing and alert distribution… On several of these challenges, we have found many unexpected points of contact with the companies and researchers at the Polo Tecnologico, so we expect that this dialogue, which began today, will continue for a long time and bring fruitful results.