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The Italian government announced their bid to host the coordinating headquarters of the Square Kilometre Array last week at the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) SKA workshop in Rome.

Italian Undersecretary of State for Economic Development and Foreign Trade, Adolfo Urso made a statement to representatives from around the world during a conference discussing the benefits of the SKA to the international community.

Urso said that Italy had the right competence and know-how to host the headquarters.  An ideal location was also presented; the Tiburtina Valley in Southern Rome.

ICRAR Director Peter Quinn says “The SKA will need a effective international headquarters during the construction part of the project that will allow good project development and control. Italy certainly has lots of experience in this role for major international enterprises.”

Rome’s Mayor Gianni Alemanno has applauded the Italian government’s actions, believing that Rome has the right qualities and location to coordinate the global project.

Italy and Australia are working closely together towards the Square Kilometre Array, an agreement formalised in April last year with the signing of a Joint Statement of Intent.

At the time of signing, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr said “The SKA provides an important opportunity for us to improve our science and technology relationship with Italy.

We are pleased to count Italy as a partner in this endeavour and look forward to the mutual benefits our agreement will generate.”

“Italy has put itself forward as host for the headquarters at an opportune time” says Peter Quinn. “Australia and Italy have just initiated a close collaboration on technological and scientific developments for the SKA that will bring significant benefits to the international project.  The coordination provided by a new project headquarters is an excellent addition to these benefits.”