The main objective of the EST Preparatory Phase (PRE-EST) is to provide both the EST international consortium and the funding agencies with a detailed plan regarding the implementation of EST. This will provide the information necessary for them to make decisions, addressing both organisational and technical issues as well as costs and risks. Moreover, work plan proposed at PRE-EST will lead the detailed design of EST key elements to the required level of definition and validation for their final implementation.
The key goals of PRE-EST are:
- to explore possible legal frameworks and related governance schemes that can be used by agencies to jointly establish, construct and operate EST as a new research infrastructure, with the implementation of an intermediate temporary organisational structure, as a previous step for future phases of the project;
- to explore funding schemes and funding sources for EST, including a proposal of financial models to make possible the combination of direct financial and in-kind contributions towards the construction and operation of EST;
- to compare the two possible sites for EST in the Canary Islands Astronomical Observatories and prepare final site agreements;
- to engage funding agencies and policy makers for a long-term commitment which guarantees the construction and operation phases of the Telescope;
- to involve industry in the design of EST key elements to the required level of definition and validation for their final production;
- to enhance and intensify outreach activities and strategic links with national agencies and the user communities of EST.