ESO and SKAO sign cooperation agreement

24 July 2023

ESO and the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) have signed a cooperation agreement, covering areas such as strategy and governance, communications, international relations, scientific coordination and sustainability, diversity and inclusion. It was signed today at ESO’s Headquarters in Garching, Germany, by SKAO Director General Phil Diamond and ESO Director General Xavier Barcons.

SKAO is an intergovernmental organisation that aims to build and operate cutting-edge radio telescopes to transform our understanding of the Universe. There is, therefore, considerable overlap between the interests of SKAO and ESO, whose mission is to design, build and operate advanced ground-based observatories and to foster international collaboration for astronomy. In fact, ESO and SKAO have had close-cooperation links since the establishment of SKAO, with scientists, engineers and administrators of both organisations collaborating on a regular basis. For example, ESO and SKAO have worked together to raise awareness about the need to protect the dark and quiet skies and have also organised joint workshops, including one about surveying the southern skies with ESO and SKAO facilities earlier this year.

The new agreement strengthens this collaboration by promoting the strategic coordination of ESO’s and SKAO’s long-term plans. It establishes a framework for mutual cooperation and exchange of information between ESO and SKAO, with regard to scientific investigation, research and development, and businessn enabling activities. More specifically, the agreement promotes the exchange of information in areas concerning technical developments and the broad scientific community, as well as cooperation on technology, software, business and governance.



Bárbara Ferreira
ESO Media Manager
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6670

About the Announcement



The image shows the two directors, smartly dressed, sitting down at a dark brown conference table in an office setting. Both are sitting, looking at the camera, with documents in black dossiers on the table, pens in hand, ready to sign the cooperation agreement. On two TV monitors behind the gentlemen, the logos of the respective organisations are displayed — SKAO on the left and ESO on the right. There are also two plants on either side of the office.
SKAO and ESO Directors General sign cooperation agreement
A jubilant mood fills this image — the moment after the signing of an agreement between SKAO and ESO. The two directors, smartly dressed, are standing in an office, with their pens laid down and documents on the dark brown conference table. They are leaning across and shaking hands with one another, with both smiling as they do so. On a TV monitor behind the two men, the SKAO and ESO logos are displayed. There is another screen with the blue ESO logo too, but the man on the right hand side is standing in front of it. There are also two plants on either side of the office.
SKAO and ESO Directors General after signing a cooperation agreement
This image shows ESO and SKAO representatives at the signing ceremony standing and looking at the camera while smiling. They are smartly dressed, most wearing suit jackets and ties. The image was taken in an office setting. Behind the line of gentlemen, two TV monitors are displaying the SKAO (left) and ESO (right) logos. There are also two plants on either side of the office, behind the men.
ESO and SKAO representatives at the signing ceremony