Switzerland has become the eighth country to join the intergovernmental nations that will collaborate in building the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO), to be built in Australia and South Africa.
Led by the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa, the SKAO will be the largest radio operational telescope for carrying out observations by the early 2030s.
For years the development of the SKA has being closely followed by many Swiss research institutions. In March 2020, SERI (the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation) mandated the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) to coordinate Switzerland’s participation in the SKA. SERI took part in the meetings of the Task Force, which finalised the setting up of the intergovernmental organisation.
Since the commencement of the SKAO agreement, Switzerland has also enjoyed observer status at the meetings of the SKAO Council and Finance Committee.
However, on the 19th January, 2022 Switzerland became a full member of the SKAO.
Along with the three host countries, Switzerland joins the member-nations: Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, France and China.