Europe's Window on the Universe
ESO has built up considerable expertise in planning, constructing and operating large astronomical telescopes at remote sites. ESO's Very Large Telescope is the world's most advanced ground-based optical telescope and has enabled many scientific breakthroughs.
This expertise forms the backbone of efforts to develop an Extremely Large Telescope for Europe's astronomers. The 39-metre ELT is a high technology, highly prestigious, science-driven project that incorporates many innovative developments. It offers numerous possibilities for technology spin-off and transfer, together with lucrative technology contract opportunities. It also provides a dramatic showcase for European industry.
The ELT has already gained wide support in the European scientific community. This venture is the only optical astronomy project selected in the roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. It also features very prominently in the ASTRONET European Infrastructure Roadmap for Astronomy.
The European leadership of this major flagship project will indisputably raise the European scientific, technological and industrial profile.