After almost 6 years in JIVE (5 as director), the time has come for me to step down and move to new projects.
Coming to JIVE has been one of the best decisions of my life, it has allowed me to work with very talented people, in an intense international context. I learnt a lot. We engaged in many different activities which delivered together successfully, to highlight a few, the review in 2018, the EVN Science Vision 2020-2030, new correlator modes (multi-phase centers, pulsars, etc), enhanced user support (update of EVN users guide, EVN support+, ERIS and CASA-VLBI workshops, etc), many science and R&D projects, VLBI advocacy, etc.
In these 5 years, we have also experienced serious challenges. The COVID-19 outbreak had a strong impact worldwide, and also in JIVE and the EVN. By working together, it was possible to maintain most of the operations and other activities, a true demonstration of the resilience of the network. Many new challenges are hitting us now and in the near future (the war in Ukraine, high inflation, increased cost of energy etc). Cooperation in all fronts will be the only way to face them.
In this respect, I am happy to have collaborated in several initiatives which must help us achieving our common goals, like the Global VLBI Alliance, and the ERIC Forum to increase the visibility of the ERICs and their participation in building the European Research Area, etc. Thanks to a lively international collaboration, it has been possible to develop projects such as JUMPING JIVE, RadioNet, ESCAPE, ORP or the recent RADIOBLOCKS.
I must thank very much all the staff at JIVE, it has been an honour to work with you! Thanks to ASTRON for hosting us, thanks to the many colleagues and friends in the EVN and the other VLBI networks. All what I lived will be in my heart for the years to come.
Now I start a new adventure in Madrid, at the Ministry of Science and Innovation. This is exciting, and I look forward to the challenge. Despite leaving astronomy (at least temporarily), I am sure that there will be many opportunities to keep in touch. Till then, my best wishes and, again, THANK YOU ALL for this fabulous experience.