Thursday, June 1, 2023

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Gravitational waves, Confindustria saw Sardinia for the Einstein Telescope?

Gravitational waves, Confindustria saw Sardinia for the Einstein Telescope?

Italy is close to formalizing its candidacy to host the Einstein Telescope in Sardinia, the future third-generation European detector for research on gravitational waves. For the number one of Confindustria, the Einstein Telescope "represents the future but it only makes sense if other infrastructures are created". On the other hand, Confindustria Sardegna is concerned about the limitations on the economic activities envisaged in the area around Lula

The government is about to formalize the Italian candidacy of the Sos Enattos site in Sardinia to host the Einstein Telescope.

It is the large research infrastructure of the future gravitational wave detector to be built in Europe, a project with a world-class scientific and technological impact, which Italy is a candidate to host in Sardinia in the area of ​​the abandoned mine of Sos Enattos, among the Municipalities of Bitti, Lula and Onanì.

To host the future third-generation European detector for research on gravitational waves, Italy is a candidate, in competition with the Netherlands, which has proposed a site located in the Limburg area, on the border with Belgium and Germany and not far from Maastricht.

Its realization will take at least 10 years and an investment of about 1.6 billion euros, between European and national funding. The potential site in Sardinia would bring important repercussions for Lula, with around 36,000 jobs.

The decision of Europe to whom to assign the project between Italy and the Netherlands is expected by 2025 with the start of the works starting from 2027.

In the meantime, "in highlighting the opportunities and importance of the Einstein Telescope, Sardinian entrepreneurs have renewed their request for attention to the critical issues to be resolved, which today continue to compromise the competitiveness of Sardinian companies", Confindustria announced this week . However, the association chaired by Carlo Bonomi hopes at the same time the "overcoming of the minimum infrastructural levels, connections and territorial continuity, energy, demographic decline".

While at the beginning of the month Confindustria Central Sardinia expressed real concern about the size of the protection area envisaged by the Pnrr decree around the Sos Enattos mine in Lula, to favor the Einstein Telescope project.

All the details.


The Einstein Telescope (ET) is a major European research project with world-class scientific impact. This is the large underground infrastructure for the future third generation gravitational wave detector. ET will be able to observe a volume of the universe at least a thousand times greater than current second-generation instruments, the LIGO interferometers in the United States and Virgo in Italy, whose scientific collaborations first observed gravitational waves in 2015 , predicted a hundred years earlier by Albert Einstein, a discovery awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2017.

According to the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (Infn), the Einstein Telescope will revolutionize the way we study the cosmos: it will be an innovative and even more powerful tool for observing gravitational waves, which will open the way to new knowledge about our universe.


One of the reasons that make the Sos Enattos area the ideal place for ET activities is undoubtedly the seismic noise, which affects the performance of the detector at low frequencies, which is very low thanks to the geological characteristics of Sardinia. In addition to the low seismic risk, the territory is also not heavily populated.

To support the Italian candidacy, the Region of Sardinia has made a formal commitment with the Government to allocate 350 million euros to add to the state funding, which could be around 1 billion.


In the meantime, on 9 February, the Mur established a high-profile Technical-Scientific Committee in support of the Italian candidacy with a decree from Minister Anna Maria Bernini. The committee is chaired by the Nobel Prize in Physics Giorgio Parisi , and is made up of the ambassador Ettore Sequi and the scientists Marica Branchesi and Fernando Ferroni, from the Gran Sasso Science Institute and the INFN, and the President of the INFN, Antonio Zoccoli.


In support of the Einstein Telescope is the ETIC, Einstein Telescope Infrastructure Consortium, a project financed with 50 million euros by the Pnrr, as part of Mission 4 Education and Research coordinated by the MUR. For the next 30 months, the consortium will take care of the preparation and implementation of the feasibility study and the characterization of the Sos Enattos site identified to host the Einstein Telescope as well as building or enhancing the INFN offices, universities and institutions of research participating in ET, a national network of R&D laboratories for the study of the enabling technologies of the future interferometer.

Then there is the Faber/Meet project, which is part of the wider Meet project, led by the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology INGV and financed with 43 million euros by the Pnrr. The general objectives of Meet are the improvement, technological updating and implementation of large scientific networks dedicated to Earth monitoring and observation.

Finally, with 41 million euros of resources from the Pnnr, TeRABIT will create an integrated infrastructure for computing and a very high-performance network, based on highly reliable, latest-generation dedicated fiber optics, which will make it possible to exchange data at terabit speeds (1000 billion euros bits) per second.


The conference to formalize the Italian candidacy for the Einstein Telescope was supposed to be held on May 25 in Rome at the National Institute of Astrophysics, but the arrival in Italy of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who will visit together with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni the flooded areas of Emilia Romagna, forced the Prime Minister to change plans at the last moment. From the university ministry they let it be known that it will be rescheduled within a few weeks.

“The letter of commitment from the government will thus be able to start, which also puts the investment necessary to host the infrastructure on paper” explains RaiNews .


In the meantime, in view of the formalization of the Italian candidacy, on 23 May the president of Confindustria Carlo Bonomi participated in the forum "Together for development", right on the ET, with the participation via video link of the Ministers of Labour, the Sardinian Marina Elvira Calderone, and Anna Maria Bernini University and Research. The project for Lula has been defined as "an absolutely extraordinary work on a scientific, technological and industrial level – reads a note from Confindustria – which can represent for Italy and Sardinia an unrepeatable opportunity for economic development and social". For the number one of Confindustria, the Einstein Telescope "represents the future but it only makes sense if other infrastructures are created".

The list of critical issues in Sardinia starts from an example: "It cannot take two hours to go from Cagliari to Nuoro". And then the Pnrr for which "everything is still", the infrastructures that are missing, the Zes and air transport. Fundamental critical issues to be resolved if we want to achieve the goal of winning over Holland to host the Einstein Telescope in Lula.


To reaffirm support for the project but also to highlight concerns, Confindustria Sardegna had already thought about it at the beginning of the month.

"We have already expressed our views on the Einstein Telescope project and we confirm our firm support and support that we do not intend to question in any way" declared the President of Confindustria Sardegna Giovanni Bitti, who intervened in a note to ask for clarifications regarding the news regulations regarding the authorizations for a series of production activities in about twenty municipalities between Nuorese and Sassarese.

“However, we do not understand why, in view of the construction of the infrastructure, such a vast protection area was delimited around the Sos Enattos mine, which is already scarcely man-made and infrastructured today, which is considerably larger than what is being doing in the competitor site in the Netherlands in Limburg, which is already highly industrialized”, observes Confindustria Central Sardinia. The reference is to the law n. 41/2023 converting the Pnrr Decree as amended upon approval in the Senate, published last April 21 in the Official Gazette.

"We wonder what will happen in our area for the new electricity production plants which will all have to wait for the ok from the Ministry and the Infn", continues the note from Confindustria Sardinia. "Not to mention the infrastructures with the least infrastructured province of Italy which risks finding further limits to the possibility of strategic interventions, including redevelopment and expansion works concerning roads and railways also in Nuoro capital city". Confindustria Sardegna Centrale hopes for "corrective interventions to the provision in the legislative framework" and calls for "a discussion between representatives of the political and scientific world and the economic and productive forces, in order to avoid that regulations with such an impact on the local productive fabric are discovered by chance without there having been a minimum of sharing and without taking into account the needs of the territory”.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Fri, 26 May 2023 07:51:35 +0000.