The ET2SMEs project is carried out under the Interreg V-A Euregio Meuse-Rhine Programme, with € 1.15 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). By investing EU funds in Interreg projects, the European Union invests directly in economic development, innovation, territorial development, social inclusion and education in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine.

News / Events


Dutch government embraces plans for Einstein Telescope in border region South-Limburg

The Dutch government intends to conditionally allocate 42 million euros from the Dutch National Growth Fund to the Einstein Telescope, and is also reserving 870 million euros for a future Dutch contribution to the construction. This decision was taken by the Dutch government based on the advice of the Advisory Committee of the National Growth Fund. With this decision, the Cabinet gives an enormous boost to Dutch science and to the broad development of the South Limburg border region.

The intended investment of 42 million euros will go towards preparatory work such as innovation of the necessary technology, location research, building up a high-tech ecosystem and organisation. With the reservation of the 870 million, the Netherlands has an excellent basis to apply in the future, together with Belgium and Germany, for the realisation of the Einstein Telescope in the border region of South Limburg.

The Cabinet however does ask for a further explanation of the valorisation strategy of the scientific project. The initiators are also asked to further elaborate the plan for monitoring and evaluation of the project. The partners involved will of course work to meet these conditions timely.

The proposal for granting money from the National Growth Fund to the Einstein Telescope was submitted on 31 October 2021 by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), with the support of the colleague from Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK).

National Institute for Subatomic Physics Nikhef, the Province of Limburg and regional development agency LIOF jointly drew up the growth fund proposal last year, supported by the Ministries of OCW and EZK. Nikhef director Stan Bentvelsen has been involved with the Einstein Telescope for years. He is delighted, but also sees that there is still a lot of work to be done: “It is fantastic that the cabinet embraces the ambition to make the Netherlands a world leader in research into gravity waves. These Growth Fund resources form the basis for further cooperation with our partners in Germany and Belgium and for research into the geological subsurface in the border region of South Limburg. A major project requires a careful process, and we are putting our heart and soul into it. I am confident that we will meet the additional conditions.”

Stephan Satijn, Provincial Executive member for Limburg, is very enthusiastic about the opportunities that the possible arrival of the Einstein Telescope offers for the Netherlands and Limburg.

“With today’s decision, the Cabinet places our country at the global forefront of high-tech and science. Limburg is the logical place to help shape this leading position. Not only because of the suitability of our soil for the Einstein Telescope, but also because we are accustomed like no other to working together internationally and to connecting science and business. I am pleased and proud that the government recognises the value of Limburg and is helping to increase it further with such a substantial investment. In addition to direct orders for companies, the Einstein Telescope gives Limburg and the Netherlands a unique lead in knowledge, expertise and innovative technologies that can be marketed by existing or new companies. This is essential for the economic development of the Netherlands in the medium and especially the long term.”

About the Einstein Telescope

The Einstein Telescope is a future underground observatory for measuring gravitational waves. Powerful laser beams will soon bounce between deep-cooled, vibration-free mirrors at the ends of kilometre-long vacuum tunnels. The instrument will be much more sensitive than existing detectors. As a result, it can detect many more sources and scan a volume of the universe thousand times larger. Researchers will use this instrument to look for instance for the precise structure of neutron stars, the birth process of black holes and the structure of the universe immediately after the Big Bang.

The border region of South Limburg – the Euregio Meuse-Rhine – is one of the possible locations for this observatory. Housing the Einstein Telescope in this region could have a major positive impact on science, the economy and society in the Netherlands. With the committed investments from the National Growth Fund, the Netherlands has the basis to join forces with Belgium and Germany to establish a strong candidacy in 2024/2025.

This is a joint press release of National Institute for Subatomic Physics Nikhef, Province of Limburg and regional development agency for Limburg LIOF.


The next Call for vouchers started!

Become part of the ET2SMEs project by applying for your own ET-related cross border innovation project.

Face to Face Technology Workshops:

6 Technology workshops dedicated to companies are planned in ET2SMEs. In these workshops, the technologies required for the construction and operation of an Einstein telescope will be presented in detail. The aim is to sensitize SMEs, start-ups and large enterprises at an early stage to develop innovations in the addressed technologies in cross-border projects, involve them in the process of establishing the Einstein Telescope, and to network.

On this page, you will find information about all workshops planned as well as the possibility to register.

Please keep in mind, that you have to register separately to each workshop and that we only can give access to a limited number of participants (due to the sanitary situation).

Your registration is subject to sufficient available places.

Thursday, 12 May 2022, Interface Entreprises-ULiège, BE

Thursday, 19 May 2022, Aachen DE

Tuesday, 31 May 2022, Aachen DE

Wednesday, 1 June 2022, Limburg BE

Tuesday, 21 June 2022, Limburg NL


Second innovation voucher for SMEs awarded

After the premiere in March the regional economy developer AGIT handed over the next ET2SMEs innovation voucher on 13th of April. With almost 50.000 € a Belgian German consortium, lead be Forschungs- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft Fügetechnik – FEF from Aachen, Germany with the Partner Werkhuizen Hengelhoef from Genk in Flandern, Belgium. By the subsidy initiative ET2SMEs the Euregioe Maas-Rhine with its partners and the European Union supports the development of innovative Applications for the small and medium sized businesses in technology fields accross the Einstein Telescope, for which the BE-DE-NL region is applying.

Worlds largest ultrahigh vacuum tubesystem planned

FEF and Werkhuizen Hengelhoef are planning the development of a new production concept für ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) tubes, specially designed for the technical and financial needs and possibilities of the planned ET, which is going to be constructed in up to 300 meteres depth.

“The laser beams necessary for the Einstein Telescope meausrements are send through a 120 km long UHV system with a diameter of approx. 1 meter. The largest ever worldwide created UHV system”, explains Dr. Marion Purrio at the official handing over of the innovation voucher. “We as consortium will develop a fully mechanized production concept für UHV tubes, where the final production will take place in the underground ET caverns, the process is a quasi continuum production of tubes with 500 to 1000 meter length, minimised transportation costs and a risk minimization for leakage.”

Besides the two small and medium sized enterprises (SME) additionally the RWTH Aachen University (Physical Instititute B) and the large enterprise Aperam Stainless Europ from Genk will participate in this ambitious project. FEF and Werkhuizen Hengelhoef did not know each other till the cross border matchmaking promoted forom the two business developers Katrine de Peap from POM Limburg and Ralf Meyer from AGIT. “Now we complement each other excellent with each ones individual Know-How and the two additional partners for the development of the new production concept”, says Jef Hoste, Development Manager at Werkhuizen Hengelhoef. “The new German-Flemish four partner consortium is doing great pioneering work for the application oriented development of necessary ET-Technologie”, is the point of view from the responsible department leader Meyer about the project. “New economic perspectives are also opening up to the companies for the coming years, as new cooperation and market potential is generated beyond the border, which is still sadly lacking for many companies in the Euregio.”

Next Call for Projects till 2nd of May

ET2SMEs supports further high-quality R&D projects around ET-relevant technologies with up to 50,000 euros, which are launched cross-border by at least two small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Interested companies also receive direct support in expanding their business network into neighbouring countries, especially in finding a suitable SME partner. In particular, projects in industrial research and experimental development in the ET operating technologies cryogenics, vacuum, precision mechanics/mechatronics, metrology, optics, coating of mirrors, lasers and advanced control algorithms are in demand, as well as relevant geological technologies (e.g. drilling technology, simulation, modelling, hydrology) due to the underground installation of the gravitational wave detector. Information and application documents for the current, third call for projects, which ends on 02 May 2022, at:


First innovation voucher for SMEs awarded

Aachen Region / Euregio. – Great joy for the two high-tech companies fionec GmbH, Aachen, and JPE B.V., Maastricht: both companies today received the first cross-border innovation voucher in the amount of 50,000 euros from AGIT, regional economic development agency! With the new funding initiative ET2SMEs, the participating partners from the Euregio as well as the European Union support the development of innovative applications of small and medium-sized enterprises in technology fields related to the new Einstein telescope, for the construction of which the three-country region is a promising applicant.

fionec and JPE are planning the joint development of a novel measuring device that will enable very flexible measurement of roughness on precision components: “Roughness is one of the most frequently measured parameters in production technology. The need for testing is particularly high for precision and ultra-precision components, such as those that will be used in the Einstein telescope,” explains fionec Managing Director Dr Frank Depiereux, “With regard to the combination of optical roughness measurement and extremely flexible positioning, there is no comparable solution on the market to date. We will now realise this together.”

“fionec and JPE did not know each other until the cross-border merger by business developers Ralf P. Meyer, AGIT, and Rim Stroeks, ZENIT. Now we complement each other perfectly with our individual know-how, not only in the development of a new prototype, but we are already thinking very concretely about further joint business activities,” adds Huub Janssen, Managing Director of JPE. “With their project, the two companies are a prime example of what we want to achieve with our ET2SMEs initiative,” AGIT Managing Director Sven Pennings makes clear, “We are doing pioneering work for the new Einstein telescope that is to be built here in the border region, we are already allowing our technology-oriented SMEs to benefit from this ambitious large-scale research facility, and we are opening up new cooperation and market potential across euregional borders that most companies still lack.”

ET2SMEs supports further high-quality R&D projects around ET-relevant technologies with up to 50,000 euros, which are launched cross-border by at least two small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Interested companies also receive direct support in expanding their business network into neighbouring countries, especially in finding a suitable SME partner. In particular, projects in industrial research and experimental development in the ET operating technologies cryogenics, vacuum, precision mechanics/mechatronics, metrology, optics, coating of mirrors, lasers and advanced control algorithms are in demand, as well as relevant geological technologies (e.g. drilling technology, simulation, modelling, hydrology) due to the underground installation of the gravitational wave detector. Information and application documents for the current, third call for projects, which ends on 04 April 2022, at:


ET Industrial Advisory Board Meeting – organized face-to-face on April 29 2022 at the University of Maastricht

On 29.04.2022, the next joint ET Industrial Board Meeting of the projects E-TEST, ET2SMEs & ETpathfinder is planned as face-to-face meeting at the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Free parking places at the ETpathfinder location at UMaastricht


From 10:00 am: Registration & Welcome coffee

10:30 am – 12:00 am – Plenary session – Common hall at the ETpathfinder entrance (maximum capacity: 85 participants)


  • Why – Who – How – When by Prof. Stefan Hild, UMaastricht NL

ET preparatory project presentations: R&D latest achievements & forecast:

  • Einstein Telescope (ET) project , ESFRI Call time-line , ET Investment by Nikhef NL
  • ETpathfinder, R&D Laboratory –  06.2019 – 12.2022 by Prof. Stefan Hild, UMaastricht NL
  • E-TEST : Einstein Telescope Site and Technology– 02.2020 –12.2023 by Annick Pierrard, Interface Entreprises ULiège BE
    • development of the prototype of suspended mirror in cryogenic conditions (25K) by Prof. Christophe Collette, PML ULiège BE
    • underground study of the EMR by Prof. Frédéric Nguyen, UEE ULiège BE
  • Ongoing and future ETpathfinder and E-TEST Calls for tender
  • ET2SMEs – 03.2021 – 12.2023 “Maximizing the economic and social impact of the possible implementation of the Einstein Telescope in Euregio Meuse-Rhine”  by Ralf Meyer, AGIT DE
  • ET Economic Impact – Return on Investment
  • How to get Business out of Big Science projects like ET, CERN…
  • Q/A session

12:00 pm – 15:30 pm:

In parallel: Walking Lunch – Networking – possibility to visit the ETpathfinder facility

13:00 pm: Separation into 4 sub-working groups per technology theme in different meeting rooms

  1. Cryogenics – Vacuum – Precision mechanics & mechatronics – Sensors – Advanced control algorithms
  2. Optics & optical metrology – Mirrors coating – Lasers
  3. Geology/Civil Engineering: Geophysical imaging & remote sensing – Water technology – Tunneling technology – Simulation & modeling
  4. Sustainability

Possibility for companies to pitch about their expertise and their proposals of cross-border collaborative innovation projects. Possibility for ET researchers to present their ideas and needs.

Open End the ET IAB (around 15:30 pm)

cht. Further information will be given as soon as possible.

Register today!


Grenzlandkonferenz 2022

On 31.03.2022, the 4th German-Dutch Borderlands Conference will take place in the Aachen Coronation Hall. During the conference, new goals of cross-border cooperation will be presented and a balance sheet of the past years will be drawn up. Thematically, the Borderlands Conference will be based on the contents of the North Rhine-Westphalia-Dutch Borderlands Agenda. Due to the geographical location of Aachen and the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, the conference will also include elements of trinational cooperation.

For this reason, a side event on the Einstein telescope will take place in the context of the Borderlands Conference, with the aim of involving representatives of German politics just as closely in the preparatory activities and to consider the establishment of a German task force in the future.

We will announce in due time whether the Borderlands Conference 2022 will take place in presence, hybrid or online.

On the conference, an award for special commitment to cross-border cooperation will be presented again this year. You can find the call here. Call for the Border Region Award 2022


Conférence Wallonne télescope Einstein

18/03/2022 – Liège Science Park, Liège

Le Télescope Einstein est un projet européen de grande infrastructure scientifique, qui a pour objectif de créer le plus grand observatoire mondial en matière de détection d’ondes gravitationnelles (d’infimes soubresauts de l’espace-temps) afin de mieux comprendre la théorie du big bang et les origines de l’Univers.

L’infrastructure consistera en trois paires d’interféromètres géants, longs chacun de 10km, disposés en triangle, et enfouis entre 200 et 300 mètres de profondeur. 
Plusieurs sites d’implantation en Europe sont envisagés, parmi lesquels la région des Trois Frontières, au cœur de l’Euregio Meuse-Rhin, à cheval sur les frontières belge, hollandaise et allemande. La décision sur la localisation serait prise en 2025.

En attendant, l’Euregio Meuse-Rhin se prépare, à travers plusieurs projets financés et en cours (E-TEST, ETpathfinder, ET2SMEs), permettant d’étudier par exemple les sous-sols de manière approfondie, de développer un grand miroir suspendu à température cryogénique (un projet unique au monde qui sera développé au CSL à Liège) et des technologies pour améliorer l’observation des ondes gravitationnelles. 

Prédites par Albert Einstein et observées pour la première fois en 2015, les ondes gravitationnelles marquent les débuts de la révolution de l’astronomie gravitationnelle, et d’une nouvelle physique pour aller plus loin dans la compréhension des origines et de l’évolution de notre Univers. 

Le Télescope Einstein est un énorme projet scientifique qui pourrait prendre place partiellement en Wallonie. Il offre des opportunités importantes et très stimulantes pour les chercheurs mais aussi les entreprises technologiques des régions concernées, tout en constituant un indéniable facteur d’attraction, à l’image du CERN. 

La Conférence wallonne Einstein Telescope, organisée ce 18 mars par l’ULiège et l’Euregio Meuse-Rhin, était l’occasion d’informer tous les acteurs wallons sur les multiples facettes du projet et de faire un état des lieux du dossier.

Les Ministres-Présidents Pierre-Yves Jeholet et Oliver Paasch, le Secrétaire d’État Thomas Dermine ainsi que les Ministres, Vice-présidents du Gouvernement wallon Willy Borsus et Philippe Henry, le Gouverneur de la Province de Liège, Hervé Jamar, le Président de l’Euregio-Meuse-Rhin, Luc Gillard, et son Directeur, Michael Dejozé, et les représentants des communes d’Aubel, Plombières et Dalhem concernées par le projet ont pris part à la Conférence Wallonne du Télescope Einstein. Les Cabinets des Minsitres Di-Rupo, Glatigny et Morreale étaient représentés par leurs conseillers.


(Eu)Regional SMEs benefit from Einstein Telescope: Implement your own ideas with up to 50,000 euro vouchers!

Euregio Meuse-Rhine, December 2021 – Our cross-border region is applying for the Einstein Telescope (ET), a third generation gravitational wave detector and cutting-edge research infrastructure of global importance. As of now, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups and engineering companies with special expertise in the operational and geological technologies of the planned large-scale research facility can receive funding of up to 50,000 euros to realize their project idea. This involves application and experimental development projects that are innovative and carried out with a company on the other side of the border in the extended Euregio Meuse-Rhine.

Applications for innovation vouchers can be submitted until January 24th, 2022 as part of the first call for projects. For more information on the conditions of the competition, please visit: Far more than 100 businesses, especially SMEs, joined the virtual information event on December 9th and informed them-selves about their inspiring opportunities.

The new offer is provided by the euregional initiative ET2MEs under the leadership of AGIT, regional development agency of Aachen region and supported by the INTER-REG programme of the European Union and the Euregio Meuse-Rhine.

“We not only provide innovation vouchers worth 25,000 to 50,000 euros, but also directly connect the companies with complementary partners on the other side of the national borders,” explains Ralf P. Meyer, leadpartner of the ET2SMEs project at AGIT. “In all phases, from planning and construction to regular operation of the facility, companies from the border region will be able to apply directly for tenders and thus for numerous con¬tracts involving the Einstein Telescope,” Meyer emphasizes.

Companies will also soon have the opportunity to present themselves and their know-how in a virtual 3D model of the ET. Furthermore, there will be the opportunity to participate in an ET Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) of business and research for the large-scale facility as a dialogue partner and advisor in the coming years.

The aim of ET2SMEs is to bring the Einstein Telescope, for which the extended Euregio Meuse-Rhine is competing with excellent chances, closer to SMEs in the region and to let them participate directly in terms of technology development and economic exploitation. Technologies include optics, mirror coating, laser cryogenics, vacuum, precision mechanics / mechatronics, sensors / controls, but also drilling technology, modelling, simulation, artificial intelligence or hydrology. The most important concern is to stimulate the cross-border innovation-oriented cooperation of technology-oriented companies and to produce targeted innovations that are significant not only for the ET, but also for other demanding applications and future markets.

The Einstein Telescope is a unique research project with global impact that will put Europe at the forefront of a new research discipline worldwide: The gravitational wave observatory of the latest, third generation will produce fundamentally new insights into the formation of the universe and the evolution of galaxies, stars and black holes. The investment for this large-scale research facility alone amounts to 1.9 billion euros, 500 direct and 1,150 indirect jobs will be created and another two billion euros are estimated for its operation until 2080.

Along with Sardinia (IT), the Three-Country Corner is the last suitable region in Eu-rope to apply for the location of this facility. A final decision on the location is expected in early 2025. Commissioning of the facility is planned from 2032.

Join our technology workshops!

  • Precision Mechanics, Sensors, Advanced control algorithms (Limburg (BE))
  • Optics, Mirror coatings, Lasers (Aachen (DE))
  • Geophysical imaging, Simulation & Modelling (Aachen (DE))
  • Vacuum, Cryogenics (Thursday May 12 2022, Interface Entreprises – ULiège (BE))
  • Tunneling, Water technology (Limburg (BE))
  • General workshop: other technologies (Limburg (NL))

Friday, October 8th, 2021

ET Industrial Advisory Board face-to-face Meeting – Friday October 8 from 9:30 am till 2:00 pm

The Einstein telescope and preparation projects as E-TEST, ETpathfinder and ET2SMEs are pushing the technology beyond the current state of the art in many areas, both for the prototype of interferometer and for geological investigation of the subsurface. 

As part of E-TEST, we have established an ET Industrial Advisory Board ( ET IAB) to facilitate close collaboration with various industrial partners, both SMEs and large companies active in the fields of activities required by the ET, from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

The second joint ET Industrial Advisory Board will take place on October 8 2021 from 9:30 am till 2:00 pm, lunch included. We have the pleasure to announce that it will be organized face-to-face, at the Interface Entreprises ULiège, Avenue Pré Aily, 4, 4031 Angleur (Liège), Belgium.

The general/common part of the meeting will be recorded and published on the website. The specific Working Groups are only organized face-to-face and won’t be recorded.


Registration, check of Sanitary Pass & Welcome coffee from 8:45 am

9:30 am – 11:00 am – Welcome and general session

Welcome – by Annick Pierrard, ULiège Interface Entreprises

  • WHY: Purpose of the joint ET Industrial Advisory Board?
  • WHO: To who is it dedicated?
  • HOW:  What are the conditions to participate?
  • WHEN: Frequency of the meeting

Short project presentations & latest achievements:

  • Einstein Telescope (ET) project, investment & ESFRI Call time-line
  • Einstein Telescope social/economic impact, return on investment – by Provincie Limburg NL / Lysias
  • E-TEST : Einstein Telescope Site and Technology – 01.02.2020 – 31.07.2023
  • ETpathfinder, R&D Laboratory – 03.06.2019 – 02.06.2022
  • ET2SMEs – 01.03.2021 – 31.08.2023 “Maximising the economic and social impact of the possible implementation of the Einstein Telescope in Euregio Meuse-Rhine”
  • Q/A session

11:00 am – 11:15 am – Coffee break

11:15 am – 11:30 am – Separation into 6 sub-working groups in different meeting rooms

11:30 am – 13:00 pmInteractive industrial/scientist Prototype and Geology Working Groups led by the ET Technology Sheets Responsibles, with the participation of one ET2SMEs business developer per WG, based on the technologies requested by the Einstein Telescope

  1. Cryogenics – Vacuum
  2. Precision mechanics and mechatronics – Sensors – Advanced control algorithms
  3. Mirrors coating – Lasers – Optics & optical metrology
  4. Geophysical imaging and remote sensing
  5. Water technology – Tunneling technology
  6. Simulation and modeling

Please find the mutual NDA to be completed and signed in duplicate (one for the company, the other for the University of Liege) by each company participating in the ET Technology Working Groups.
Please send it scanned to, and bring the original copy for the University of Liege signed on the day of the ET IAB.

13:00 pm – 14:00 pm – Lunch in the different meeting rooms

14:00 pm – End of the ET IAB

The registration to the ET IAB is free of charge but mandatory via this link. We are really looking forward to meeting all of you on October 8!

On 23/09/21 we have reached the maximal number of participants that we can welcome face-to-face at the Interface Entreprises ULiège.

From now on, only virtual participation to the general part of the ET IAB will be possible (from 9:30 am till 11:00 am).

Please note that the 6 technology Working Groups are only organised face-to-face and won’t be recorded.

Deadline for registration to participate virtually to the general part on the ET IAB (from 9:30 am till 11:00 am) is Thursday October 7 at 10:00 am. The ZOOM link will be sent to all registered persons.

Feel Safe.

Gates wide open – with proof. Welcome to the Interface Entreprises – ULiège with full vaccination protection, recovery or negative test result from an official testing centre. Your proof is complete in combination with your identity card or passport.

The right timing. A negative PCR or antigen test must be no more than 48 hours old, the second vaccination at least 14 days ago, the positive PCR test result at recovery between 28 days and 6 months old. Done? Let´s go.

It all depends on the right apps. For fast, smooth entry, it‘s up to you too. Enter your proof of full vaccination, recovery or negative test in the apps Corona-Warn or CovPass.

By far the best idea. Though we ask you to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from other ET Industrial Advisory Board participants, you will still see the latest innovation up close and personal.

For everyone‘s protection. Please wear a medical mask or FFP2 mask (no visors or fabric masks). And although you might not be able to see it, we are smiling at you behind our masks.

Networking without physical contact. Even though you might be delighted at seeing other people again or closing a successful Science-to-Business or Business-to-Business collaboration – please forego shaking hands and physical contact.

“Bless you.”  For the sake of yourself and others, please sneeze or cough into the crook of your arm. Even better, do so while maintaining a great distance of least one metre or turning away from others.

Effective infection protection. Sanitiser dispensers located in our entrance and meeting rooms are ready for frequent use. And highly exposed surfaces are regularly cleaned and disinfected for you.

Let it taste good. With our catering partners in the different meeting rooms: with tailor-made concepts for compliance with all safety and hygiene regulations. Enjoy your meal!

Thursday, July 1st, 2021

Einstein Telescope approved for ESFRI Roadmap 2021

On June 30th, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) decided to include the Einstein Telescope in the 2021 upgrade of its roadmap. This confirms the relevance of this major international project for a next generation gravitational waves observatory for the future of research infrastructures in Europe and gravitational wave research at global level.

The Research Infrastructure Consortium Coordinators, Antonio Zoccoli of INFN and Stan Bentvelsen of Nikhef, are extremely excited about this result. “We are very pleased about this important result: the ESFRI approval acknowledges the value of our project and strengthens the Einstein Telescope at the European level”, says Zoccoli. “We will work synergistically for its development, confident that it is strategic to foster our knowledge of the universe, technological innovation and social growth.”

“The ESFRI-status is a major step towards the realisation of this European project, – says Bentvelsen – “scientifically the Einstein Telescope is undisputed, and with the ESFRI-status there is indispensable recognized support for its quality and impact. We are looking ahead to further develop the plans together with all countries involved.”

The Italian government submitted the proposal for the ESFRI-roadmap on September 9th, 2020 supported by the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland and Spain. “The preparation of the proposal has been a two years large effort involving several research institutions and universities, now composing the Einstein Telescope consortium, belonging to ten European countries and having real interdisciplinary competences”, says Michele Punturo, Coordinator of the ET-ESFRI proposal preparation.

Since September 9th, several of the people involved were invited to present the plans, to deepen specific aspects of the project and answer questions of the ESFRI evaluation committee. Among them was Marica Branchesi, member of the ET-ESFRI proposal preparation team: “We have worked hard to develop the science case of the Einstein Telescope. Each simulation showed us the enormous capabilities of the Einstein Telescope observing the Universe. The Einstein Telescope will revolutionize our knowledge in fundamental physics, astrophysics, and cosmology”, says Branchesi.

The Einstein Telescope was identified after a long and accurate process of evaluation and selection. During the ESFRI Assembly meeting, delegates officially decided to include the Einstein Telescope in the roadmap. This official European approval now brings the project into a new phase. The scientific Institutions involved from ten countries (Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, The Netherland, United Kingdom) will now have to intensify their research and development work on the Einstein Telescope and gravitational waves. It will also speed up the ongoing subsurface studies for the characterization and evaluation of the candidate sites that could host the underground infrastructure.

A new window on the universe

The Einstein Telescope is a future underground observatory for gravitational waves. The instrument will be much more sensitive than existing gravitational wave detectors. Therefore, the observatory will enable scientists to peek into the ‘dark ages’ of the universe for the first time. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time in 2015 and offer a new way of studying the universe. Until their first detection, scientists could only study the universe by looking at light or radiation, but with gravitational waves they can observe vibrations of spacetime itself.

Although the existence of gravitational waves was already predicted by Albert Einstein a hundred years ago, he did not expect it was possible to ever detect them. Yet with the mind blowing technological developments of the last century, scientists and engineers have managed to reach the sensitivity and precision that is needed to observe them. This opened a new era in the study of the universe, the era of gravitational wave and multimessenger astronomy, and led to a Nobel prize in 2017. The Einstein Telescope will lead to many more unimaginable discoveries in the future in this new field of research.

Thursday, May 27th, 13.00 – 14.30 pm

ET2SMEs – Kick-Off Event

The Einstein Telescope (ET) will open a new window to the universe through the observation of gravitational waves, positioning Europe at the forefront of this outstanding „cutting edge“ technology. The extended Euregio Meuse-Rhine obtains not only the best chances for being the location of this new research facility. Additionally, it offers great opportunities for innovative SMEs to further develop their advanced products and services, not only for the telescope, but also to other applications and other highly demanding markets!

ET2SMEs supports the development of new innovative products and services by promoting transnational R&D projects carried out by SMEs working together across borders in the extended Euregio Meuse-Rhine. If you want to learn more, how also your company can benefit, please join the Kick-Off Event on May 27th, 13.00 – 14.30 pm.

Welcome speeches
(10 minutes / 5min. each)
Dr. Tim Grüttemeier, StädteRegion Aachen
Mark Vos, Coordinator Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine
Key note
(15 minutes)
“The Einstein Telescope and the research activities for a soft landing in the Dutch-Belgian-German cross-border region”
Prof. Dr. Stefan Hild, University of Maastricht
(15 minutes)
“ET2SMEs – The Einstein-Telescope and SMEs”
In a nutshell: Targets, offers & added values for SMEs
Ralf P. Meyer, Leadpartner AGIT

First results: ET Technologies Online Catalogue & 3D model of ET competencies in extended EMR area
Annick Pierrard, ITF ULiège & Geoffrey Parks, Sowalfin
(5 minutes)Break / Selection of session I or II
Parallel sessions 30 minutes
(Input: 15 minutes / Q&A: 15 minutes)
“The challenges of ET relevant technologies”
Session I: Instrument technologies, Input from: Prof. Dr. Achim Stahl, RWTH Aachen
Session II: Geology technologies, Input from: Prof. Dr. Frédéric Nguyen, ULiège
In each session: Q&A from businesses, research and stakeholders

Publications / Press Releases

28 April 2022

Scientific paper published

A joint team of gravitational wave detector scientists from all over europe has published a scientific article on the design of the upcoming detector generation. For the official publication click below:

Galaxies | Free Full-Text | Research Facilities for Europe’s Next Generation Gravitational-Wave Detector Einstein Telescope (

26 May 2021, De Limburger

Nieuw project Einstein Telescope

March 01 2021

SMEs benefit from Einstein Telescope

April 30, 2021

Télescope Einstein : une réelle opportunité pour nos entreprises wallonnes

Movies / Animations

22.02.2022, virtual meeting (zoom)

ET2SMEs Geology Technologies

March 22, 2022

March 22, 2022

22.02.2022, virtual meeting (zoom)

ET2SMEs Business opportunities through Big Science

In this webinar recording, the economic potential of large-scale research institutions is highlighted: from business contracts via joint R&D activities to spin-offs from the institutions, Han Dols, head of the Business Development Section at CERN, and Jan Visser, responsible for contacts with industrial partners in the widest sense; from collaboration in research projects and joint grant proposals to providing services to companies at NIKHEF, give numerous examples of why large-scale research institutions are important for innovation processes and technology leaps in the economy.

09.12.2021, virtual (zoom)

ET2SMEs Innovation voucher Kick-off

The call for innovation projects in the ET2SMEs project started on December 1st, 2021.

To give companies from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany the best possible start for their innovation projects, a virtual meeting took place on 09 December 2021. Here, the Call for Vouchers and first exemplary innovation projects were presented and questions answered.

May 27 2021

ET2SMEs – Kick-Off Event

April 26, 2021

The Einstein Telescope

The Einstein Telescope presentation by Albert.