Sweden Starts Committing to the E-ELT
17 June 2011
On 16 June 2011 Mariann Samuelson, acting director general of the Swedish Research Council, signed an agreement committing Sweden to provide the second instalment of its share of the additional financial contribution required for construction of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Sweden is now one step closer to its full financial commitment to the E-ELT. The country is the second ESO Member State to start providing financial contribution to the giant telescope, after the Czech Republic committed to provide its full share on 3 June 2011 (ann11030). The additional funding needed from the ESO Member States  consists of €250 Million in total and a 2% year-on-year increase of the annual contributions on top of the normal indexation over a decade.
The agreement was handed over to Dr. David Edvardsson of the Swedish Research Council and Prof. Claes Fransson of Stockholm Observatory — the Swedish members of the ESO Council, which is the observatory’s ruling body — by ESO Director General, Prof. Tim de Zeeuw, at the time of the ESO Council meeting in Garching bei Munchen, Germany on 7 June 2011. Construction of the E-ELT is subject to approval by the ESO Council, which is currently scheduled to meet in December of this year.
“We are very grateful for this contribution for the E-ELT from Sweden, one of ESO’s founding Member States. It is a further step towards building the largest optical/near-infrared telescope in the world, and reinforces ESO’s leading position in ground-based astronomy,” said Prof. de Zeeuw.
The E-ELT is a 40-metre class telescope that will gather 15 times more light than the largest optical telescopes today. The observatory will be constructed on Cerro Armazones, a 3060-metre-high mountain in the Chilean Atacama Desert, located about 20 kilometres from Cerro Paranal, home of ESO’s Very Large Telescope. The E-ELT is currently planned to start operations early in the next decade.
 Brazil is exempt from the additional Member State contribution, as stipulated in the accession agreement.
Lars Lindberg Christensen
Head of ESO education and Public Outreach
ESO, Garching, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6761
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