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Opticon FP6 status FP7 status. Gerry Gilmore coordinator. Coordinator?. The coordinator doesn’t actually do much: just the EC-level contract, reporting and finance stuff. The real point of, and activity in, OPTICON are the JRAs, the Access program, and the Networks. EC interface.

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Opticon fp6 status fp7 status

Opticon FP6 statusFP7 status

Gerry Gilmore



  • The coordinator doesn’t actually do much: just the EC-level contract, reporting and finance stuff.

  • The real point of, and activity in, OPTICON are the JRAs, the Access program, and the Networks.

Ec interface
EC interface

  • Our two day-to-day contacts are Maria (contract, and reports) and Sara (finances).

  • Both leave very soon. New people for us to get to know.

  • Thanks, Maria and Sara

  • And best wishes for your futures

Opticon fp6 i3 rii3 ct 2004 001566

OPTICON FP6 I3RII3-CT-2004-001566

Gerry Gilmore; Coordinator

85 organisations 47 partners 17 countries 3 inos 19 2m ec funds 27m total program


85 organisations, 47 partners,17 countries, 3 INOs€19.2M EC funds €27M total program

JRAs: 6 projects, totalling ~€10.5M

Access: 17 observatories, 22 night-time and solar telescopes, total ~€5M

Networks: various activities, totalling ~€3M

Management: total ~€1M

Gerry Gilmore; Coordinator

Opticon fp6 contract process
OPTICON FP6 Contract Process

  • Original proposal submitted April 11 2003

  • Approval of 50% support: July 31 2003

  • (Zeroth executive: 24-09-03, Crete)

  • Contract `negotiation’: August 03-Mar 04

  • Consortium Agreement completed: Jan 2004

  • Contract start date: January 1 2004

  • First Board meeting: April 1-2 2004 (Gent)

  • First Executive meeting: April 2 2004

  • Contract formalities complete: July 2004

  • Funding received and distributed: Sept 2004

  • Key point today: the very long times......

Top level goal develop the technologies and strengthen europe for the future

top-level Goal: develop the technologies and strengthen Europe for the future

JRA technology developments focussed on early proof of key future technologies:

Adaptive Optics, fast detectors, new spectrographs, VLTI… to improve 4-8m’s now,

and prepare for the next generation;

NETWORKS to develop and expand user community, develop ELT science case;

ACCESS to get best value from extent 4m telescopes, and lead the users beyond

the historical small observatories to use the best available.

Gerry Gilmore; Coordinator

Fp6 jra activities
FP6 JRA Activities Europe for the future

  • JRA1: MCAO Adaptive Optics

  • JRA2: Fast wavefront sensors for MCAO

  • JRA3: Fast sensors for astronomy

  • JRA4: Optical/IR Interferometry

  • JRA5: Smart Focal Plane Technologies

  • JRA6: VPH gratings for spectroscopy

Fp6 access programme
FP6 Access programme Europe for the future

  • 17 observatories: ALL European-owned 3-4m telescopes worldwide;

  • All Solar Telescopes at Teide/La Palma;

  • Major coordination effort for instrument enhancements cost-effective operations, release funding for other new developments;

  • Major goal: to introduce central Europe to the best facilities, ready for the future;

  • Related (MC) enhancement/schools programme

Fp6 networks
FP6 Networks Europe for the future

  • N1 management

  • N2 ENO activities (various)

  • N3 Structuring: ELT Science, UV, HTRA, S/W environments, Technology Roadmap

  • N4 FP7- research support, innovative fellowship schemes, ESA link…

  • N5 Interferometry

  • N6 Telescope Director’s Forum

Opticon i3 2004 2008
OPTICON I3 2004-2008 Europe for the future

  • Includes all the European major agencies and countries

  • Supports open (European) access to all Europe’s 2-4m’s

  • Supports networking to develop future projects

  • Supports AVO, access etc to integrate Europe

  • Mostly: supports technology developments (mostly) for ELT-related developments

  • Budget is (only) €20+25M over 5 years

  • Sponsors ELT science case development

  • NOTE: ELT is a separate programme, with its own budget:

  • ELT Design Study =€22/42M

  • Reports at this meeting to show what has been achieved.

Opticon payments from the ec
OPTICON Payments from the EC Europe for the future

General activities
General activities Europe for the future

  • Four annual reports completed

    Each year careful financial review

  • Funds received and distributed annually

  • Successful mid-term review

  • Development of FP7 proposal

  • Now finalising FP7 contract

Specific admin status and activities
Specific admin status and activities Europe for the future

  • Careful financial review implies planned 0.5% reserve

  • We will work with partners to use this effectively

  • Final FP6 report due early 2009. Work to start now.

  • FP7 proposal written (huge effort), and supported at a depressingly small level.

  • Horrible cutbacks required

  • We hope many will be ``just`` delay, not termination

  • Future FP7 CfP schedule and policy still unclear

  • Active contract negotiations underway

  • Money will no doubt be very late. Again.

I3 coordinator s forum
I3 Coordinator’s Forum Europe for the future

  • The (20+) I3s have similar challenges and difficulties, and so can benefit from a concerted view;

  • The I3’s ``represent’’ most users of most European major Infrastructure at least as well as any other extant organisation does, so the EC needs our involvement;

  • Our combined opinion was input to FP7 planning: didn’t seem to help much....

The good news opticon is a big success
The good news: Opticon is a big success Europe for the future



Marseilles 2003

The astronomers like what we have done,

and want more: let’s be optimistic!

Florence 2004

Admin status summary
Admin Status summary Europe for the future

  • From my perspective, all the activities are productive and worthwhile

  • We do try to minimise the admin load on you...

  • We are working to get the FP7 contract and funding available soon, but things in the EC are very slow, in spite of a lot of goodwill.

  • This implies some uncertainty for 2009 activities

  • Next board at JENAM 2009, Hatfield UK, April 20-24

  • What are the strategic issues?

Opticon fp7 top level requirements
OPTICON FP7: top level requirements Europe for the future

  • To build the European astronomical community (access, networks)

    • Many science- or methodology- based communities have thought clearly about their ambitions and needs, will benefit from and contribute to the whole community by being embedded in a larger structure, and so require an umbrella: Interferometry, Solar, UV, ELT science,(FASE?)

    • Some communities remain isolated, and need us to act proactively for the greater European good – eg central Europe: should we?

    • Are we doing all that is reasonable here????

  • To strengthen the community consistently with agreed strategic goals

    • E-ELT must be the priority, with significant enhancements of extant 4-8m’s from their use as test-beds providing both shorter term and strategic value

    • The adaptive optics, detector development, instrument development, and focal planes work matches this: is the balance close to reasonable?

  • To support promising longer-term technological developments which are potentially of very high European value

    • KTN planning work has identified several promising, relatively low-cost, post-FP7-maturity investments which need investment, subject to progress evaluation – eg photonics, new materials

What is next
What is next? Europe for the future

  • Our initial challenge was focussed on helping build a single E-ELT project, with strong and wide community involvement, and helping strengthen European astronomy more generally.

  • When the ELT becomes a fully-funded project – soon! – Opticon’s role will evolve.

  • Strong EII/VLTI, innovative technologies and Solar/EAST activities have developed, in spite of limited funding

  • Short term – using our wide bottom-up community links to implement the AstroNet strategy plan – medium telescopes review panel, and spectroscopic review.

  • Longer term – you need to decide what you want, subject to available funding

What is opticon really for
What is OPTICON REALLY for? Europe for the future

This was an FP6 prediction slide....

  • To help integrate and so strengthen European astronomy

  • To help focus EC funds where astronomy needs them

  • To `jump through the hoops’ to get new EC funds. for technology, for development, for ELT studies

  • To set up a structure which will improve the chances of MAJOR EC funding in a few years (FP7/8/9)

  • FP5=1Meuro

  • FP6=20M+20M (opticon), plus 12M+ for radio and ALMA and7M ILIAS astroparticles) plus design studies TBD

  • FP7 = ????? linear or logarithmic??

Fp7 opticon top level implementation
FP7 OPTICON: top level implementation Europe for the future

  • There is not all that much money available:

    • `real terms’ FP7 budget substantially cut from FP6 level

    • Notional 60% decrease per year, and ~10 years of inflation

    • Change in accounting model is NOT neutral: 75% EC support saves the agencies funds. It will produce more work only if the `saved’ resources are retained, but not matched by EC. Old 1:1 match requires a 3:1 match to retain agencies support – we do not have 300% more EC cash.

      Opticon future ambitions will have to be debated by the Board when we know more about likely future funding levels and timescales – next meeting? Jenam 2009

      Some issues we can consider today

Opticon future issues for the board
Opticon future – issues for the Board Europe for the future

  • There are many organisations – some FP6 partners – who can contribute to, and benefit from, Opticon participation. They can’t all be partners (admin load):

  • Should we, and if so, How, do we involve them?

    • Superboard? Invite to annual Board? Associates?

    • Invitation? CfP? Nomination? By whom- a WG?

    • Open session at Jenams didn’t work

    • Or is most interest at JRA level?  more network funds for open specialist meetings?

    • This we can do now – low cost

    • (maybe also improve gender representation?)

Opticon future issues for the next board
Opticon future – issues for the next Board Europe for the future

  • All strategic options depend on EC funding levels and stability. When we know that, it is time to reconsider the structure*.

  • More or less of JRA/Access/Network?

  • More or less risky innovation in JRA (depends on matched funding), to deliver uniqueness?

  • Are we affected by ERC?

  • How should Opticon be coordinated

  • By whom?

  • WG/Board chair to develop an options paper?

  • * change we can believe in...

The astronet medium telescopes review etsrc
The AstroNet Medium Telescopes Review-ETSRC Europe for the future

  • AstroNet Board established, implementation utilises the Opticon community connection.

  • Chair: Janet Drew; Co-Chair: Jacqueline Bergeron

  • Members:

    Jerome Bouvier (Grenoble)

    Margarida Cunha (Porto)

    Angeles Diaz (Madrid)

    Geza Kovacs (Konkoly)

    Andreas Quirrenbach (Heidelberg)

    Clive Tadhunter (Sheffield)

    Massimo Turatto (Padova)

    Jose (Pepe) Vilchez (Granada)

ETSRC Europe for the future

  • Remit:

  • adopt the strategic science plan for the future from the AstroNet community-based review relevant to 2-4m telescopes;

  • Identify a realistic balance of facilities, (new?) instruments and capabilities which will deliver that science roadmap;

  • Consider how to move from where we are today to a future where European-wide coordination, specialisation, and complementary planning, will lead to the most appropriate and cost-effective set of telescopes for future science delivery.

  • Consider the global situation where appropriate

  • Goal: report by September 2009.

ETSRC Europe for the future

  • First meeting with agencies Dec 2 2008

  • Will get facility information through Opticon Telescope Directors’ Forum.

  • Will get community views through an AstroNet-like web system

  • Will hold open community meeting at Jenam 2009

  • Opticon will inform all astronomers through the access programme and observatory web sites of the opportunity to contribute

  • EAS will also spread the word

  • Other suggestions?

Other astronet strategy implementation
Other AstroNet strategy implementation Europe for the future

  • Wide-field multiplexed spectroscopy WG

  • AstroNet roadmap identifies a gap in future planning, for massive spectroscopic surveys (cosmology and Gaia-like science)

  • Set up a WG to look at science cases (available), technical options (needs thought), and possible implementations (needs more thought...).

  • Need to include all European (part-)owned large telescopes: ESO/VLT; LBT; Gemini; GranteCan;

  • And wide-field telescopes: AAT, CAHA, CFHT,...

  • Plan to start this soon.