RadioNet came to an end on 31 December 2020, completing over 20 years of a remarkably successful series of EU-supported projects. During these years, RadioNet evolved into a widely-recognized consortium offering competitive European infrastructures in the range from sub-mm to meter waves. RadioNet also fostered Europe-wide collaboration in innovative technical development and it helped to train numerous researchers in obtaining and interpreting their astronomical data. This has significantly increased and strengthened our community, and also firmly established the broad awareness about our infrastructures.
In the eyes of the EC we have become a successful and “mature flagship community”, one in which they have invested >42 M€, which of course was complemented and more than matched by contributions from the RadioNet partner institutions.
Overall, RadioNet created positions amounting to more than 270 FTE and
- made available telescope time equivalent to more than 5 years of continuous observations;
- supported on average twelve scientific conferences and four training events per year;
- and developed cutting edge hardware and software for sub/mm and cm radio telescopes.
The presentations and recordings from RadioNet’s last Board meeting provide a comprehensive overview of our programme and achievements. It is evident that RadioNet has changed the European astronomical landscape as well as the astronomy community and the European Commission can be proud of all that our collaboration has achieved.
We are looking forward to a continuation of our joint activities as we are now going forward, transforming RadioNet into a MoU based consortium, dedicated to maintaining our widely recognized brand and to exploring and pursuing new cooperative opportunities of common interest. And in addition, RadioNet infrastructures will participate in a forward-aiming effort to harmonize radio astronomical and optical infrastructures under the Opticon-RadioNet Pilot (ORP) project.
Our sincere thanks and appreciation go to everyone involved, be it as a supportive European or national policy maker, funding agency or institution, as part of the management, as a task leader, as an organizer of one of our events, and especially as a researcher using our facilities and services towards advancing our astronomical knowledge and expertise, preparing for the bright future ahead of us.