On the afternoon of 5 November 2013, a seminar on “LOFAR-A driver for smart and sustainable growth in Europe’s regions”, will take place in Brussels, Belgium.
LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) is a next-generation radio telescope that is currently being deployed across Europe, with stations already operating in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, the UK and France. Other stations are planned in Italy, Poland, Latvia and Ireland. The Irish LOFAR project, I-LOFAR, will be showcased during the seminar.
Watch a video on I-LOFAR here
The impact of LOFAR on a wide range of astrophysical topics will be immense. Among other science cases, it will complete the most extensive surveys of galaxies at low frequencies; and provide a new insight into the Sun-Earth connection. LOFAR will also have applications in geophysics, meteorology, and agriculture. The project challenges researchers in ICT and industry to develop new methods for transporting, storing and processing large data volumes, technologies key to the development of the next generation internet. Further, it creates links between universities and industry, inspires school children with the wonder of cutting-edge science, and fascinates the general public.
Since LOFAR stations are best located in isolated places, they offer the opportunity to bring cutting-edge science and related business activities to rural areas. This will trigger smart and sustainable growth and create jobs in the respective regions. For example the town of Birr, where the Irish LOFAR will be situated, is going to be transformed into an "E-Town" and a destination for the ICT industry. During the seminar, it will be explored how the development of research infrastructure projects like LOFAR can be supported by research and regional development policy of the EU and its member states.
The seminar will be followed by a dinner in the European Parliament with high-level key note speakers. Registration will open soon.
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