Positive vibes for the Einstein Telescope project at the Three Borders !

EUPEN, 30/05/2024 - Funding for the preparatory phase of the Einstein Telescope bid is about to be secured. On 30 May 2024, the ministers responsible for research and science policy in the EMR countries and regions, along with all the stakeholders in the project, met to review the project's strengths and progress.

In addition to the Dutch contribution already committed, contributions have now also been confirmed for Flanders, the Walloon Region and the Federal Government. The contribution from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) will be confirmed shortly.

The key moment of the day was the signing by the ministers of an addendum to the Declaration of Intent initially signed on 26 September 2023. This addendum aims to strengthen the governance of the project by clarifying the division of responsibilities and establishing transparent, multilateral decision-making mechanisms.

The ministers and stakeholders then travelled to Aubel, where exploratory drilling is underway to demonstrate the site's suitability for the project.

Since the last meeting in September 2023, the bid has been in full swing. A full progress report was presented, highlighting the progress made on the feasibility studies and the preparation of the bid book.

Key points of the Einstein Telescope:

  • Strong political support: the bid enjoys strong political support in the Netherlands, Belgium and North Rhine-Westphalia, and is led by a first-class scientific team.
  • Diversity of funding: the transnational nature of the application ensures a diversity of funding sources, reinforcing the robustness of the project.
  • Organisation: the institutional complexity of the MRE landscape means that partners need to be very well organised and speak with one voice.
  • Ideal site: the site offers guarantees for the quality of scientific measurements, easy access, attractive economic vitality and quality of life.
  • A dense scientific and industrial ecosystem: the EMR region is home to cutting-edge research institutes and technology companies that are open to international collaboration.

Only Italy has submitted an application for a competing project in Sardinia. The project will be selected in 2025/2026.

Press contacts:

[EN] [FR]  Maxime Dechamps : +32 474 75 31 83 maxime.dechamps@belspo.be
[EN] [NL]  Wim De Vos : +32 2 238 34 93 wim.devos@belspo.be

Find out more about the project, the stakeholders and the consultancy firm at


Thomas Dermine, Secretary of State for Science Policy, Federal Belgium: "This 30 May marks a crucial step for the Einstein Telescope project at the Three Borders. This symbolic site, rich in history and a major centre of scientific and technological research, is the ideal setting for such a transnational collaboration. The political support and financial contributions we have gathered show just how much we believe in the impact and potential of this project. The Einstein Telescope will be a flagship facility that will not only advance our understanding of the universe, but will also strengthen the links between our regions and countries and place Belgium at the centre of global scientific excellence."

Willy Borsus, Vice-President of Wallonia and Minister for Research and Innovation, Wallonia: "Le Télescope Einstein est un projet d’envergure dans un secteur qui occupe une place de choix dans l’économie wallonne. Il s’agit d’un levier majeur pour toute la communauté scientifique mais aussi également un projet créateur d’emplois. Selon une étude d’EKLO, la part d’emplois générés en Wallonie par la conception, la construction et l’exploitation du Télescope Einstein peut être estimée à :

  • emplois directs : 6,24 ETP par million € investi en Wallonie
  • emplois totaux : 10,73 ETP par million € investi en Wallonie."

Jo Brouns, Minister for the Economy, Innovation and Employment, Flanders: "Grensoverschrijdende samenwerking voor een gedeelde toekomst: Vandaag versterken we onze gedeelde ambitie om de Einsteintelescoop naar onze regio te brengen. Eén wetenschappelijke infrastructuur, en enorm belangrijk voor innovatie en economische groei. Door samen te werken en onze financiën te beheren, kunnen we ervoor zorgen dat we een succesvolle kandidaat zijn voor de Einsteintelescoop."

Robbert Dijkgraaf, Minister for Education, Culture and Science, Netherlands: "Ik vind het heel bijzonder om met mijn Belgische en Duitse collega’s te werken aan het plan om samen de Einsteintelescoop te gaan bouwen. De waarde van zo’n telescoop voor de wetenschap en onze economieën is nauwelijks in geld uit te drukken. De locatie in de Euregio ligt in het hart van enkele van de meeste innovatieve regio’s van Europa. De Einsteintelescoop kan echt een boost geven aan de high tech industrie.  We werken nu over onze grenzen heen; ik vind deze samenwerking echt een voorbeeld van hoe je een Europees project vormgeeft."

Nathanael Liminski, Minister for European Affairs of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany: "Nordrhein-Westfalen ist bereit, seinen Beitrag zu einer erfolgreichen Bewerbung für das Einstein-Telskop in der Euregio Maas-Rhein zu leisten. Das Einstein-Teleskop wäre für unsere gemeinsame Region von großem Wert und ein starkes europapolitisches Signal. Unstreitig ist, dass die Euregio Maas-Rhein mit den vielen Hochschulen und Forschungseinrichtungen, den vielen Hightech-Unternehmen, der guten Anbindung und nicht zuletzt der Internationalität unserer Region dem Einstein-Teleskop hervorragende Rahmenbedingungen böte. Von der Bewerbung für dieses herausragende Projekt geht das wichtige Signal aus, dass wir uns in Europa noch große Forschungsprojekte zutrauen."

Stephan Satijn, Deputy minister for economy Dutch Limburg: "These ministerial meetings are very important to monitor the progress of this important project. Also today, we noted that steps have once again been taken towards the ultimate goal of bringing the Einstein Telescope to the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion."

Frans Weekers, Secretary General of the Benelux Union: "I am very pleased to be associated with this ministerial meeting devoted to the establishment of the Einstein telescope in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine. This project represents great scientific and socio-economic potential for the region and for Europe. The General Secretariat of the Benelux Union supports the region's bid to host the project and will play its part in facilitating it."