Radio astronomers score high marks in the competition for EU funding

10 million Euro for European consortium including the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics

Lovell Telescope
Fig. 1: Providing access to the Jodrell Bank Telescopes and the UK’s e-MERLIN radio telescope network forms a major aspect of the RadioNet programme. Credit: Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics

RadioNet, a consortium of 28 leading institutions for radio astronomical research from 13 countries, has been awarded 10 million Euro by the European Commission, to be used over the next four years. The University of Manchester is a major partner in the project, in particular through the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics. The coordinator of the RadioNet consortium is Prof. J. Anton Zensus from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn (Germany).

RadioNet will provide support for various aspects of radio astronomical research in Europe; it will enable scientists from all over the world to use the radio telescopes and data archives of the consortium members for their research free of charge. The members will join forces to develop new radio receivers that can be used at many European radio observatories. RadioNet will foster the creation of new software necessary to process the enormous data flow expected from these new receivers and to ensure that they are of high quality and free from interferences.

Training and knowledge transfer of researchers and engineers, as well as the common use of resources, are also important aspects of the RadioNet project in order to ensure the leading role of European research institutions in global observatories such as the “Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array” (ALMA) or the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The SKA Headquarters is hosted at Jodrell Bank Observatory, and is set to expand over the next few years.

Prof. Michael Garrett (Director of JBCA and the Sir Bernard Lovell chair in Astrophysics at the University of Manchester) leads RadioNet’s Strategy and Policy Forum. “RadioNet is a long and highly successful European Collaboration that continues to push the boundaries in terms of science and technology development – it's great for Manchester to continue to play a major role in the project.”

The official start of RadioNet activities for the next four years is celebrated today. January 12th, 2017, in a kick off meeting at the Harnack House of the Max Planck Society in Berlin.

RadioNet is a consortium of 28 partner institutions from the following 13 countries:

Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, South Africa and South Korea.


Further information:
RadioNet: Advanced Radio Astronomy in Europe. 

Prof. Dr. J. Anton Zensus
Direktor and Head of the Research Department„Radio Astronomy / VLBI“
(Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, +49 228 525 378,

Dr. Izabela Rottmann (Project Manager, MPIfR, +49 228 525-281,
Dr. Norbert Junkes, (Public Outreach Officer, MPIfR, +49 228 525-399,

Prof. M.A. Garrett, Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, +44 (0) 161 27 54514

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