18 June 2020
Italy and South Africa have got a long history of scientific collaboration dating back to 1994. RADIOSKY2020, the 2018-2020 bilateral project for SKA-oriented scientific and technological cooperation between Italy and South Africa, is now in its third year, and it is thus time to review the progress which has been made since its inception and to start planning for the future.
A lot has happened since RADIOSKY2020 began, most noticeably the start of the full operations for MeerKAT, and more recently the world-wide health emergency caused by the spread of COVID-19, which has involved the astronomical community in both countries in the common effort to face the challenges put forth by the emergency.
This has motivated the organization of this half-day workshop on 18 June 2020, which has been carried out remotely due to the COVID-19 emergency, which is still ongoing in both countries. An average of 60 participants followed the 4-hour workshop on zoom. Given the virtual format of the workshop, we have limited the number of presentations, under the agreement that each speaker will provide a short review of the assigned science topic covering both sides of the collaboration. A round table then commented on the collaborative work done so far, and a final special session where astronomers from both countries were invited to outline their involvement in the fight against COVID-19 wrapped up the workshop, hoping to be able to get together in person next year.
The RADIOSKY2020 project is funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). The meeting was organized by Pierguido Sarti from the Italian Embassy in Pretoria, Tiziana Venturi from the Institute of Radio Astronomy (IRA) of the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) and by Mattia Vaccari from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA).