The SKA has taken one step closer to becoming a reality with the formation of the SKA Organisation at the November 23 meeting of the SKA Founding Board. Australia and New Zealand, along with China, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and South Africa established the SKA Organisation, a not-for-profit company that will govern the SKA and make the host site selection – due in early 2012.
Minister for Innovation Senator Kim Carr said membership of the SKA Organisation means Australia will share in the many opportunities arising from this cutting-edge scientific infrastructure.
“The SKA represents the future of radio-astronomy research. It needs strong governance to see it move from design phase, through construction, and ultimately to ongoing operation,” he said. “This is a true mega-science project. It will have global reach, scale and scientific and technical ambition. It will drive development in receiver technology, fibre networks, signal processing, software and computing power.”
A–NZ SKA Project Director Dr Brian Boyle agreed, saying “the establishment of the SKA Organisation is a key step in the global partnership to build the world's biggest telescope and we are very proud to be a part of it.”
Full press release
Photo caption: Professor John Womersley - Chief Executive Officer, Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK;
Dr Bernie Fanaroff - National Research Foundation, South Africa;
Mrs Belinda Brown - New Zealand Deputy High Commissioner to the UK;
Professor Dr Jos Engelen – Chairman, Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, the Netherlands;
Dr Corrado Perna - signed on behalf of the President of Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy, Professor Giovanni F. Bignami;
Ms Patricia Kelly - Deputy Secretary, Australian Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research;
(Not present: Professor Jun Yan – Director, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China).