Australia and ESO sign a significant amendment to their Strategic Partnership

A laser guide star is used to observe the centre of the Milky Way at Yepun, one of four Unit Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory. Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky.

The Australian Government and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) recently signed a significant amendment to their existing Strategic Partnership, giving Australian companies and astronomy groups new opportunities to work with ESO to develop future ground-based telescope technologies.

Under its Technology Development Program, ESO releases a number of competitive contracts every year, including those to develop new types of detectors, advanced optical coatings, and new laser sources. The recent amendment, signed by ESO’s Director General Prof. Xavier Barcons and Australia’s Minister for Science and Technology the Hon. Melissa Price, now enables Australian companies, universities and institutes to tender for these astronomy technology contracts.

This amendment opens a new door for Australia’s astronomy community and industries to extend our collaborations with the European astronomy community on some of the world’s biggest and best astronomy projects. The invitation to participate in the ESO Technology Development Programme underscores Australia’s reputation in developing world-leading astronomical instruments.

Professor Naomi McClure-GriffithsChair of the AAL Board

For more on this story, please see the press release issued by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER), or ESO’s official announcement of the signing.

The 10-year Strategic Partnership, made possible by DISER, offers Australian astronomers full access to the facilities of ESO’s La Silla Paranal Observatories. AAL supports DISER by overseeing activities and stakeholder communications to ensure Australian astronomers get the best information and access to ESO – see AAL’s ESO webpage for more. 

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