[ASA] Fw: Strategic Partnership with ESO - Implementation update [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Virginia Kilborn vkilborn at swin.edu.au
Mon Jun 19 23:42:17 AEST 2017

Dear ASA members -

Please find an update on the Australian strategic ESO partnership below.



Prof. Virginia Kilborn
Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology
Swinburne University of Technology
Ph (w) +61 (0)3 9214 4380
WWW: http://bit.ly/24vsqSR

From: Optical Astronomy <OpticalAstronomy at industry.gov.au>
Sent: Friday, 16 June 2017 12:43 PM
To: Optical Astronomy; 'vkilborn at astro.swin.edu.au'; Luchetti, David; 'mark.mcauley at astronomyaustralia.org.au'; 'Andrew.Hopkins at aao.gov.au'; Katrina Sealey; Neville Legg; 'r.webster at unimelb.edu.au'; Couch, Warrick; 'matthew.colless at anu.edu.au'; 'ems at physics.usyd.edu.au'; 'lisa.kewley at anu.edu.au'; Matthew Bailes; 'peter.quinn at uwa.edu.au'; 'Douglas.Bock at csiro.au'; Karl Glazebrook; Aleksandar Subic; 'dvc.research at anu.edu.au'; 'n.fisk at unsw.edu.au'; 'duncan.ivison at sydney.edu.au'; 'fred.watson at aao.gov.au'; Alan Duffy; 'lisa.harvey-smith at csiro.au'; 'b.boyle at unsw.edu.au'; 'brad at mso.anu.edu.au'
Cc: Weston, Sue; Urquhart, Jane; Mikedakis, Emmi; Stevenson, Andrew; Doyle, Damian; Schwager, Michael; MediaTeam; Langford, Simon; Dove, Virginia; Cook, Virginia; Chapple, Kate; Bateman, Genevieve
Subject: Strategic Partnership with ESO - Implementation update [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Dear Astronomy Stakeholders

This is the second in a series of regular communications to keep you informed of what progress has been made by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in implementing the Australian Government’s decision to enter into a 10-year Strategic Partnership with the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

Immediate Priority: ESO arrangement

As you are aware, the department has been negotiating the terms of the Strategic Partnership with ESO within a very tight timeline.

Our objective was to have all principle matters of a draft (sub-treaty level) memorandum and annexed binding contract approved by the ESO Council at its meeting of 31 May‑1 June. This was the last opportunity to obtain ESO Council approval prior to the September deadline for astronomers based in Australia to apply competitively for observing time on ESO optical/infrared telescopes at La Silla Paranal Observatories (LPO) in the ESO Period 101 – the observing semester running from April- September 2018.

I am very pleased to report that on 31 May the ESO Council unanimously authorised the Director General to conclude and sign the arrangements for the strategic partnership with Australia under the boundary conditions agreed with Australia.

This approval clears the way for us to negotiate final details and navigate our internal government approvals.  At this stage, we hope to have the Strategic Partnership documents ready for signing in July 2017, when the ESO Director General plans to visit Australia for the official launch of CAASTRO-3D.

We will provide more information on the specific arrangements as soon as we can.  The essence of the arrangement is for Australia-based astronomers to have access to LPO facilities, Australian companies to have access to LPO contracts and Australian institutes to be involved in LPO instrumentation – all on the same footing as ESO member states.

For astronomers interested in applying for time on the ESO telescopes at La Silla Paranal Observatory, the next ESO announcement of observing time will be available from around the end of August 2017. Please monitor http://www.eso.org/sci/observing/phase1.html for further details.

Australia’s domestic capability

With significant progress on the ESO arrangements, the next priority for the department will be to progress arrangements for the Sydney-based instrumentation capability.  To ensure expert input in this planning, the department will establish a high-level reference group and conduct further consultation, including with the AAO Advisory Committee, over coming weeks.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reply to this email address opticalastronomy at industry.gov.au<mailto:opticalastronomy at industry.gov.au>, which will be exclusive to the implementation of the Government’s optical astronomy decision and related changes.

The department appreciates the community’s engagement and involvement in the process to date, and looks forward to working with you on the next steps in the implementation of the 2017-18 Budget measure “Maintaining Australia’s Optical Astronomy Capability”.

Clare McLaughlin

General Manager

Science Agencies Governance Branch

Science and Commercialisation Policy Division

+61 2 6213 6171 | +61 (0) 439 281 393

Clare.McLaughlin at industry.gov.au<mailto:Clare.McLaughlin at industry.gov.au>

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science | www.industry.gov.au<http://www.industry.gov.au/> | www.science.gov.au<http://www.science.gov.au/>

[cid:image003.png at 01D2E69D.95E0FE50]<http://www.science.gov.au/>

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