ASPERA welcomes its successor

On 30 November, after six and a half years spent developing and coordinating Europe’s astroparticle physics community, the AStroParticle European Research Area (ASPERA) network wrapped up its activities at a final session in Brussels. This was also an opportunity for ASPERA's organisers to present their project’s successor: the newly founded ApPEC, the Astroparticle Physics European Consortium.


Since 2006, the ASPERA network has been bringing together the national government agencies responsible for coordinating and funding national research efforts in astroparticle physics. Its main achievement has been the development of a common European strategy for astroparticle physics, which defined the priorities for the large infrastructures needed. ASPERA also developed actions to encourage activities in the field, including common calls for research and development, and established closer links with industry and other research fields.

ApPEC will now take over from the ASPERA network, and aims at developing a European common action plan to fund the upcoming large astroparticle physics infrastructures defined in the ASPERA roadmap. Building on ASPERA’s success at establishing close European collaborations, ApPEC plans to broaden the network to involve new agencies. Ten countries have already joined ApPEC, and nine additional countries are following the accession process. ApPEC’s activities will be organised through three centres located at DESY (Germany), the APC laboratory of CNRS/CEA (France) and INFN in Gran Sasso (Italy).

The November event in Brussels was also the venue for ApPEC's very first General Assembly, during which Stavros Katsanevas from CNRS (France) was elected as its Chairman and Thomas Berghoefer from DESY (Germany) was elected as its General Secretary.

“ASPERA was really a great success, leading to the new ApPEC structure,” says Thomas Berghoefer. “Implementing our large astroparticle physics infrastructures is a big challenge and it is a very good sign that ten countries have already joined to make a bright future possible.”

by ASPERA Network