General director of the province Guido Derks will be the quartermaster and project director of the Einstein Telescope on 1 June. This means that he will resign from his current position after more than five years.
The possible arrival of the Einstein Telescope to South Limburg recently received a major boost because the government has reserved almost one billion euros for the project.
This involves a ten kilometer long underground instrument and network of tubes with which gravity waves from the universe are measured. It should come in a triangle in the Heuvelland and the Belgian and German border region. Belgium and Germany therefore support the project.
Specially appointed officer
Now that the government has stepped in, the project is entering a new, decisive phase. In addition, the proposal for Limburg as a business location must be finalized and brought to the fore. And that includes a specially appointed officer.
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According to governor Emile Roemer, Derks is the ideal man because he has played a leading role in recent years in the application for the substantial contribution from the government via the National Growth Fund. “We now use that knowledge to make a flying start with the crucial next phase”, says Roemer “Although it is bittersweet because this means he can no longer lead the broad provincial organization. Because he has done an excellent job.”
Also read: Guido Derks new director of the Province of Limburg
Director Stan Bentvelsen of research institute Nikhef – the scientific partner in the consortium surrounding the Einstein Telescope – believes that the appointment of Derks shows that the region is really committed to the project. “With his experience and specific knowledge of the project, he can give a huge positive impulse.
Undisputed preferred place
Guido Derks himself says that he is looking forward “to helping to combine the unique characteristics and strengths of our region and to set up the organization necessary to make Limburg the undisputed preferred location for the Einstein Telescope”. Limburg has to compete with the Italian island of Sardinia. In 2025, Europe will make a decision on the location.
From 1 June, the position of general manager will be filled by board member Tom Schulpen. The provincial government will make a decision on the definitive filling of the post at a later date. This is done in coordination with the management team and the works council.