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Galactic Science with SKA Workshop in Leiden to host Astronomers from around the World

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Brussels/Leiden, May 21, 2014: The Lorentz Center, an international center for workshops in the Sciences, will host a workshop, “Galactic Science with the SKA & Its Pathfinders” to be held in Leiden, the Netherlands from 19 - 23 May 2014.

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a multi-national project to build the world’s largest radio interferometer with 10,000 times the survey speed of the best current-day telescopes. 

The SKA and its pathfinder facilities have a fantastic potential and are expected to revolutionize many areas of astrophysics from Cosmology to Strong field tests of Gravity and Particle Physics. 

One of the smallest communities currently engaged with the SKA project is the Galactic astronomy community, which aims to bring together members of the SKA and pathfinder facilities with the Galactic astronomy community in order to:

  • Increase awareness within the Galactic astronomy community on the capability of the SKA pathfinders and the SKA; 
  • Build up the Galactic SKA community by providing a forum to pursue common interests and focused collaboration;
  • Develop a well-defined Galactic science case for the SKA and the pathfinder telescopes; and
  • Plan a sustainable path forward to implement this science case in the run up to the SKA.

The week-long workshop on “Galactic Science with the SKA & Its Pathfinders” will welcome delegates from Europe, the Unites States of America, Canada, South Africa, Japan, Mexico, and Australia to discuss themes such as:

  • ‘Galactic and Magellanic Evolution with the SKA’;
  • ‘The Radio X-ray Connection in Young Stellar Objects’; 
  • ‘ALMA-SKA synergies’; and 
  • ‘Radio emission from stars’.

Mr Declan Kirrane, Co-initiator of the African-European Radio Astronomy Platform (AERAP) and Managing Director of ISC Intelligence in Science, will give a presentation during the workshop which will sensitize the participants to the activities and objectives of AERAP and inform them about the current and future funding opportunities for research and innovation. Focus will be particularly on funding provided by the European Union for cooperation with South Africa in areas of science, technology and innovation.

AERAP is a stakeholder platform of industry, academia, the public sector and civil society established to define and implement radio astronomy cooperation initiatives between Africa and Europe. It provides early information on the latest policy and funding developments relevant to radio astronomy cooperation, facilitates access to African and European policymakers and serves as a networking forum by bringing together key players from private, public and research sectors.

The key objectives of AERAP:

  • Harness research and technological advances through radio astronomy cooperation to drive socio-economic development on both continents in line with the objectives of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy;
  • Facilitate high-level interaction with policy and decision-makers of the European Union and African Union and their Member States regarding radio astronomy cooperation;
  • Promote science capacity building as a tool for competitiveness;
  • Improve knowledge transfer between industry/SMEs and academia; and
  • Use EU-Africa collaboration in radio astronomy as a platform for broader global partnerships (e.g. with Australia, Asia, USA, etc.).

In his presentation, Mr Kirrane will first provide information on AERAP’s policy context and will then present an overview of Horizon 2020, the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available for the period 2014 - 2020. With a three-pronged strategy targeting excellence in science, industrial leadership and societal challenges, Horizon 2020 presents enormous opportunities for researchers and industry in Europe and around the world.

Other sources of EU development funding will also be introduced, namely the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), which aims to eradicate poverty in partner countries and regions in the context of sustainable development; and the extra-budgetary European Development Fund (EDF), which provides community development aid in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the overseas countries and territories (OCTs).

For further information about AERAP, please visit: www.aerap.org 

 

Date: 19 - 23 May 2014

Venue: Lorentz Center, Niels Bohrweg 2, Leiden, the Netherlands

To register: http://www.lorentzcenter.nl/lc/web/2014/631/registration.php3?wsid=631&venue=Oort

Further information: http://www.lorentzcenter.nl/lc/web/2014/631/info.php3?wsid=631&venue=Oort 

Programme: http://www.lorentzcenter.nl/lc/web/2014/631/program.php3?wsid=631&venue=Oort 

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES 

 

Simona Ondrejkova

ISC Intelligence in Science 

e-mail: simona.ondrejkova@iscintelligence.com  

Tel: +32 (0) 2 88 88 107

www.iscintelligence.com 

 

Or

 

Jessica Hadjis

ISC Intelligence in Science

e-mail: jessica.hadjis@iscintelligence.com 

Tel: +32 2 88 88 100

Mob: +32 487 163 107

www.iscintelligence.com 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA)

SKA is a global science and engineering project led by the SKA Organisation, a not-for-profit company with its headquarters at Jodrell Bank Observatory, near Manchester, UK. The SKA will address fundamental unanswered questions about our Universe including how the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang, how galaxies have evolved since then, the role of magnetism in the cosmos, the nature of gravity, and the search for life beyond Earth. 

Thousands of linked radio wave receptors will be located in Southern Africa and Australia. Combining the signals from the antennas in each region will create a telescope with a collecting area equivalent to a dish with an area of about one square kilometer.

Members of the SKA Organisation are Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, Sweden and United Kingdom. India is an associate member.

For further information: please contact William Garnier, Chief Communications Officer of the SKA Organisation (w.garnier@skatelescope.org) or visit the website of the SKA Organisation: www.skatelescope.org   

 

The African-European Radio Astronomy Platform (AERAP)

AERAP is a stakeholder forum of industry, academia and the public sector established to define and implement priorities for radio astronomy cooperation between Africa and Europe. AERAP is a response to the calls of the European Parliament, through the adoption of the Written Declaration 45/2011 on “Science Capacity Building in Africa: promoting European-African radio astronomy partnerships” and of the Heads of State of the African Union, through their decision “Assembly/AU/Dec.407 CXVIII”, for radio astronomy to be a priority focus area for Africa-EU cooperation. 

The overall goals of the platform are to leverage radio astronomy, advance scientific discovery, improve knowledge transfer and stimulate competitiveness across both continents. The platform also aims at enabling effective dialogue to build a shared vision for international cooperation in radio astronomy.

Further information on AERAP: www.aerap.org

 

Agenda