NWO-I the Netherlands Scientific Research Institutes, has officially become an associate member of the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) consortium, along with founding members of EGO CNRS and INFN. NWO-I manages Nikhef, the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics, which has contributed resources and researchers to the Virgo experiment for many years. The official entry of NWOI required the approval of a new statute for the EGO consortium, which was officially signed by representatives of all institutions involved two days ago.
“This is a strong and emotional moment, NIKHEF, a very dynamic partner of Virgo since many years, becomes officially member of the EGO consortium – stated the EGO director Stavros Katsanevas – The strong collaborative and personal links we have developed through the years acquire now also an institutional status.”
EGO, the European Gravitational Observatory, located in the countryside near Pisa, was created 20 years ago (11 December 2000) by the “Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique” (CNRS), a French public, scientific and technological institution, and the Italian “Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare” (INFN).
The EGO Consortium is the institutional home of the gravitational interferometer Virgo, one of the three larger and most sensitive gravitational wave detector in the world (together with the two US LIGO). EGO has as its main purpose to ensures the functioning of Virgo, its maintenance, its operation and the improvements to be made. It also ensures the maintenance of the related infrastructures, including a computer centre and promotes an open co-operation in R&D and promotes the co-operation in the field of the experimental and theoretical gravitational waves research in Europe, trough contacts among scientists and engineers, dissemination and outreach activities and the provision of advanced training for young researchers.
(In the first picture: Marco Grassi, INFN – Pisa division director, Stan Bentvelsen Nikhef director, Stavros Katsanevas EGO director , Marco Pallavicini EGO Council president and INFN deputy director, Berrie Giebels, Deputy Director of IN2P3 and EGO Council deputy president)