EST FUNDING SOURCES
Since 2008, the EST project has gone through different phases and is presently in the Preparatory Phase for its construction. An intensification of efforts (human and economic resources) is currently taking place with the aim of transition to the construction phase. After a construction period of six years, the EST first light is planned for 2028-2029. The operation phase is expected to last for a period of more than 30 years at the El Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, on La Palma (Spain).
The progress made so far by the EST project has been achieved in the first place thanks to approved EU funds obtained through FP7 and H2020 competitive calls. Secondly, EST partners have contributed with own resources to the different EST-related projects. Some of them have also provided annual fees for the Preparatory Phase. Moreover, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is also contributing to the Preparatory Phase of EST together with national funding agencies.
The different projects awarded to EST over the years are the following:
PRE-EST (2017-2022) – The Preparatory Phase for the Construction of EST has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 739500.
ESCAPE (2019-2023) – The European Science Cluster of Astronomy & Particle Physics ESFRI Research Infrastructures have received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 824064.
EST-CZ (2019-2022) – A project funded by the Czech Ministry of Education (MEYS) to deliver the Czech contribution to the EST Preparatory Phase.
The Constructive Preparatory Phase of the European Solar Telescope (EST) - Creation of the Project Office (PREP-EST) (2017-2022) - A project funded by the Canary Islands Government (file SD 17/01) under a direct grant awarded on grounds of public interest to recruit and equip the EST Project Office, and to advance the EST Design Consolidation.
INSIDE (2019-2022) – An Agreement between the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (ICTS-2019-03-IAC-12; co-financed by FEDER funds). This operation is part of the IAC´s commitment to consolidate the Canary Islands Observatories as world reference sites for astronomical observation, and includes two EST-related sub-actions: AO/TOCA and Telescope Building/Enclosure.
SOLARNET (2019-2022) – A project aimed at integrating the major European infrastructures in the field of high-resolution solar physics. It has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 824135.
MICAL-EST (2017-2021) – Strategic Improvements in Scientific-Technological Infrastructures and Logistical Support to the Canary Island Observatories (ICTS-2017-13-IAC-12 and IACA16-BE-3955), for the development of instrumentation prototypes for EST.
GREST (2015-2018) – Getting Ready for EST project was supported by the European Commission's H2020 Programme under Grant Agreement No. 653982.
SOLARNET (2013-2017) – A High-Resolution Solar Physics Network was funded by the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme under contract No. 312495.
The EST Design Study (2008-2011) – A project funded by the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme under contract No. 212482. This project laid the ground for subsequent EST-related projects.
The chart below summarizes the funding contribution to EST by different sources.
Currently, the main funding sources –research institutions and agencies– supporting the Preparatory Phase for the construction of EST are: