The Hon Karen Andrews, Minister for Science and Technology.
“Australia is delighted to be a founding member of the SKA Observatory. The Observatory will be a world leader in radio astronomy discovery for decades to come, bringing with it new technologies, human capital development and inspiration for future generations. Establishing the SKA Observatory is the culmination of many years of work and Australia greatly values the strong partnerships forged with fellow member countries during this time.”
Prof. Marco Tavani, INAF (National Institute of Astrophysics) President
“The SKA Observatory is finally starting with great prospects. A new phase begins now with the construction of the largest and most advanced radio telescope in the world. We are proud that Italy is among the founding countries of the Observatory: a sign of the great interest of the Italian community for the science and technology related with SKA.”
Dr Michiel van Haarlem, head of the SKA Office for the Netherlands at ASTRON
“Today marks a major milestone for the SKA project and global collaboration in radio astronomy. Development of technology and the design of the telescopes has taken more than 25 years and engineers and scientists from the Netherlands have been closely involved from the very beginning. The establishment of the SKA Observatory paves the way for the start of construction later this year. Our astronomers are eagerly awaiting the first results and the chance to tackle the exciting scientific questions that have motivated the design of this unique instrument. The fact that the Netherlands is one of the founding members of the SKA Observatory is clear evidence of our commitment to the project.”
Prof. Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education.
“Portugal’s participation in the SKA programme and the fact that Portugal is a founding member of the SKA Observatory opens new opportunities for young people, researchers, astronomy professionals and amateurs in Portugal to be involved in one of the most revolutionary scientific cooperation initiatives at a global level, which will make it possible to make high-resolution astronomy using any of our computers or portable cell phones. This programme finally democratises access to astronomy and to the knowledge of the universe, stimulating the curiosity and scientific creativity of young people and adults, as well as opening new paths to investigate to deepen the knowledge about the creation of life and the fundamental principles of the evolution of the Universe.”
Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science & Innovation
“Establishment of the SKA Observatory enables the SKA project to enter an exciting phase – implementation of cutting edge scientific and technical designs that have been conceptualised by multinational teams, including many South African scientists and engineers, over the past few years. We are excited by the fact that the SKA Observatory will be the first, and only, science inter-governmental organisation where Africa will play a strategic leading role. The SKA project will act as a catalyst for science, technology and engineering innovation, providing commercial opportunities to local high-tech industry, and creating the potential to put Africa on the map as a global science and innovation partner.”
Amanda Solloway, Science Minister
“The SKA Observatory is one of the most ambitious scientific international collaborations of our time which could open up unrivalled opportunities for the world’s leading astronomers. Today’s first meeting of the Observatory’s Council, headquartered at the UK’s own Jodrell Bank, is yet another pivotal milestone to provide our scientists with access to some of the world’s most sophisticated telescopes, furthering our knowledge of the universe.”
Nicolas Chaillet, Deputy Director General for Research and Innovation, Head of the Research and Innovation Strategy Directorate – French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation
“With a very active research community in the field of astronomy and astrophysics, France has been highly interested in the development of the Square Kilometre Array since its inception. SKA has been on the French roadmap for research infrastructures since 2018. The “Maison SKA-France”, with the CNRS as lead partner, gathers seven public research institutions and seven industrial companies. The five-year report on the French strategy in astronomy and astrophysics conducted by the CNRS in 2019 confirmed the very high priority given by French astronomers to participate in SKA. Currently an observer on the organisation’s Council, France is now engaged in the process of applying for membership in SKA Observatory, with the aim of submitting its membership application to the Council’s vote in the coming months. We are very enthusiastic to start this process, and congratulate the SKA teams and partners on the impressive work that has been achieved so far for a project that will produce revolutionary work in many fields.”
Prof. Michael Kramer, President, German Astronomical Society
“On behalf of the German astronomical community, we convey our congratulations on the establishment of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Observatory and its beginning of operations marked with this first meeting of its Council. The SKA vision is to construct and operate the world’s largest telescope, in a collaboration of international partners from across the globe. The German community has been involved in SKA science and technology since its conception. We look forward to further engaging in the scientific and technological challenges and opportunities epitomised by the SKA.”
Arun Srivastava, Head, Institutional Collaborations and Programs Division, Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India
“The formation of the IGO and having its first Council meeting today, is indeed a historic moment in the life of the SKA project. This marks the culmination of the our collaborative hard work over the last several years to complete the design and deliver a plan for construction. The new governance structure is now in place. The entire global community is looking forward to the building of this facility which will revolutionise our understanding of the Universe. India, with its strong tradition in radio astronomy and world class pathfinder facilities like the GMRT, has been engaged with the SKA project since the beginning, and remains fully committed to becoming a member of the new SKA Observatory Council in the near future, and contributing actively to the building of the SKA.”
Pedro Duque, Minister of Science and Innovation of Spain.
“Spain welcomes the constitution of the SKA International Observatory, which culminates a period of thorough studies and design, and marks the beginning of a new stage in which one of the most ambitious telescopes in the history of astronomy will be built. We are proud to have contributed to this impressive preparatory phase, and we now look forward to actively participating in the construction of the Observatory. Our contribution to SKA will be based on a strong scientific community, strategically positioned within the project with the intention of playing an important role in the development of the SKA Key Science, and on an industry well prepared to carry out the demanding developments that a project of this magnitude requires. Spain is firmly determined to participate, at the front line, in this magnificent scientific adventure destined to revolutionize astronomy and other scientific and technological fields.”
Lars Börjesson, representative of Sweden as Observer to Council
“The establishment of the SKA Observatory is a major event for the field of radio astronomy, and a decisive organisational step towards the construction of the SKA telescope. We’ve reached this milestone thanks to a huge amount of work in a truly global network, involving the world’s leading radio astronomy institutes and observatories. Together, across international borders, we have combined expertise and enthusiasm to develop the SKA’s science goals, its technical design and organisational structure, and this is something we can be really proud of. For Sweden, funding has now been secured for participation in the construction phase, and the formal process for membership in the SKA Observatory has been initiated.”