CERN's expertise builds broadly on three technical fields: accelerators, detectors and computing. Behind these three pillars of technology, lies a great number of areas of expertise: from cryogenics to ultra-high vacuums, from particle tracking and radiation monitoring to superconductivity and many more. These technologies, and the human expertise associated with them, translate into positive impact on society in many different fields.

Application fields of CERN technologies and know-how

  • FLUKA: Simulations for Hadron Therapy
    FLUKA is a particle transport and interaction simulation code, originally developed by CERN and INFN for particle physics, which finds applications in a wide range of other domains including medical.
    medtech
    licensing
  • CELESTA Successful Start of Phase B
    CELESTA stands for CERN Latchup Experiments Student sAtellite and will be the first CERN-driven microsatellite.
    aerospace
  • B-RAD: Ensuring Radiation Safety in Strong Magnetic Fields
    Initially developed for use by CERN's radiation protection group and the fire brigade, CERN's B-RAD portable radiation survey meter uses innovative solutions based on silicon photomultipliers to continue operating in the presence of high magnetic fields.
    safety
  • FLUKA: Particle Simulations at Your Fingertips

    In 2016, there were eleven requests for FLUKA licences. Mainly from companies performing shielding studies, but also from some in the field of safety, inspection and auditing that requested the technology, as well as companies working in radio-protection related to dismantling activated industrial facilities. Out of these, two licence agreements were signed and an extension was made to an agreement with a large industrial company which uses FLUKA for a particle therapy centre.

    safety
  • GEMPix
    In 2016, CERN started investigating the use of GEMPix to measure the 3D energy deposition of a therapeutic ion beam in a water phantom, for medical imaging purposes.
    medtech
  • Power Converters in Extreme Conditions
    Industry has turned to CERN's expertise to assist with industrialisation of power converters.
    industry-4-0
  • TRACI: An Environmentally Friendly Cooler
    Nicknamed TRACI, for "Transportable Refrigeration Apparatus for CO2 Investigation", is a compact CO2 cooling system.
    better-planet
  • Programmable Devices in Extreme Conditions
    CERN developed a new multiple memory system (MMS), which solves this problem and increseses the reliability of a programmable system located in harsh environments.
    industry-4-0
  • Semiconductors for Medical Imaging
    G-RAY is a Swiss private company focused on the development and commercialisation of particle detectors and related services for medical imaging.
    emerging-technologies
    medtech
  • Picosecond Synchronisation
    White Rabbit is a protocol developed at CERN for monitoring and controlling devices based on industrial networking technology, made availalbe as open hardware and open source software.
    industry-4-0
  • The Medipix Chips and Collaborations: from medical imaging to space dosimetry.
    Originally developed for use in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments, the Medipix technologies have made the journey from CERN to applications across a wide range of sectors - an outstanding example of how technology developed at CERN can create societal impact.
    medtech
    aerospace
    industry-4-0
    other
  • Camstech: Electrochemical Sensors for Water Pollution Measurement
    The start-up Camstech Ltd joined the STFC-CERN Business Incubation Centre in 2016.
    better-planet
  • GeneROOT: From High-Energy Physics to Large Genomics Datasets
    GeneROOT uses a data-processing framework developed at CERN for the high-energy physics community, to analyse large genomics datasets.
    medtech
  • Towards Table-Top Synchrotron Light Sources
    Synchrotron radiation is a form of high-intensity X-rays, which enables high precision analysis of materials. A collaboration in the Netherlands, named Smart*Light, has started the development of table-top Inverse Compton Scattering source for high-intensity X-ray beams. It will enable scientific and industrial applications over a wide range of X-ray energies, such as art analysis and biological soft tissue analysis.
    emerging-technologies
  • A Train Inspection Monorail
    TIM, the Train Inspection Monorail, is a mini vehicle autonomously monitoring the 27-km long LHC tunnel.
    industry-4-0
  • Sensor Technology on Drones
    The start-up Terabee uses CERN sensor technology and started off providing aerial inspections and imaging services by deploying drones.
    industry-4-0
  • BioDynaMo: Simulating Biological Tissue Dynamics
    BioDynaMo aims to design and build a cloud-based computing platform for rapid simulation of biological tissue dynamics, such as brain development.
    medtech
  • Crystal Clear Collaboration
    The CERN group of the Crystal Clear Collaboration is developing new fast detector prototypes for use in both high-energy physics experiments and medical imaging.
    medtech
  • Lighting Your Safety Path in Radioactive Environments
    A project to renew the emergency lighting systems within the LHC, and other tunnels of CERN's accelerator complex, has resulted in an innovative design for a radiation resistant power supply.
    safety
  • RaDoM: Radon monitoring for cancer prevention
    Did you know that radon - a rare and naturally occurring radioactive gas - is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers? Building on CERN's long-standing expertise in radiation protection, a very compact radon detector was developed, named RaDoM - for Radon Dose Monitor.
    better-planet
    medtech
  • Industrial Control and Automation
    CERN signed a knowledge transfer agreement with the company ETM, a 100% owned subsidiary of Siemens AG.
    industry-4-0
  • The Quasar Project
    CERN has now entered collaboration agreements with industrial power supply vendors, CAEN and ISEG to ensure delivery of integration components for CERN's multi-million CHF installations of tehir commercial off-the-shelf power supply devices.
    industry-4-0
  • From LHC Magnets to High-Field MRI and Efficient Power Grids

    The ever-increasing magnetic fields required to achieve the desired energies in colliders like the LHC and in the Future Circular Collider, are the main drivers for developing superconducting cable technology. Two technology synergies are emerging: high-field Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and "smart" superconducting grids.

    better-planet
    emerging-technologies
    medtech
  • Kryolize: Novel Cryogenic Safety Software
    Kryolize is a software tool for sizing relief valves that protect against overpressure, and benefits from funding from the CERN Knowledge Transfer Fund.
    safety
  • VESPER Maiden Test for Jupiter Environment

    VESPER stands for Very energetic Electron facility for Space Planetary Exploration missions in harsh Radiative environments. It is a high-energy electron beamline for radiation testing, part of the CTF3 (Compact Linear Collider Test Facility) experimental linear electron accelerator at CERN.

    aerospace
  • A Miniature Linear Accelerator for Cancer Therapy

    During 2016, the construction of the 750 MHz Radio-Frequency Quadrupole (RFQ) was successfully completed. This miniature machine is a linear accelerator - or linac; its small size and low current make the RFQ ideal for use in medical and industrial applications. A licence on the RFQ is held by the CERN spin-off ADAM dedicated to the construction and testing of linacs for medical purposes. The RFQ was tuned in record time, and by the end of July it was ready to be moved to the ADAM premises for high-power conditioning and beam tests.

    medtech
  • CERN-MEDICIS: Novel Isotopes for Medical Research

    The CERN-MEDICIS facility will produce innovative radioactive isotopes for medical research. In 2016, the installation of the facility has progressed significantly, the MEDICIS collaboration has expanded and the research activities within the related Marie Sklodowka-Curie Innovative Training Network MEDICIS-ProMED have been showing their first tangible results. 2016 has seen the development of graphene layers on isotope productive targets and the first preclinical Terbium-based PET imaging with novel antibodies.

    medtech
  • CNAO: Treating Cancer with Ions since 2011

    The National Center for Oncological Hadrontherapy (CNAO) in Pavia, Italy, is a facility offering advanced therapy to fight cancer and one of only five centres in the world treating with both protons and carbon ions. Of the thousand patients treated so far, over 80% exhibit stability. In 2016, CNAO was the first centre in the world to treat eye melanoma patients with the active scanning system where the organ, and – in most cases – visual acuity, were preserved.

     

    medtech
  • The compact universal orbital cutter: a tool for industrial piping needs
    CERN technician Didier Lombard developed a compact new pipe-cutting tool for the Large Hadron Collider, with potential applications in the gas and petrol industry.
    safety
  • Robotics Software

    The CERN Robotics Software is used to manage autonomous movement, which allows a modular robotics platform to perform sophisticated tasks. CERN developed this technology to protect its personnel against hazards in the accelerator facilities. It includes drivers that allow integration of various commercially available sensors and robotic arms into the hardware platform.

    industry-4-0
  • FOSS4 Irrigation: how can high energy physics help with water shortage?

    Since 2016, CERN is part of a research project to develop a system for optimised irrigation, based on technologies developed for high-energy physics. The irrigation system will use fibre-optic sensors designed to measure parameters such as temperature, humidity, concentration of pesticides, fertilisers and enzymes in the soil of cultivated fields. The system will help build more sustainable agriculture, as it will enable water savings, increased crop yields, and reduced use of pesticides and fertilisers.

    better-planet
  • Hyperloop

    The Hyperloop competition, intiated by SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk, sets the challenge of devising a pod-like transportation system travelling at sonic or even ultrasonic speeds in high-vacuum tubes over several hundreds of kilometres - reducing travel times from hours to minutes.

    emerging-technologies
  • CERN Virtual Machine File System for Euclid Science Data Centres
    Sharing software and codes in big data environments is a challenge. To do this efficiently researchers at CERN have developed a system called CernVM-FS, for CERN Virtual Machine File System, which is currently used in high-energy physics experiments to distribute about 350 million files.
    aerospace
  • TIGRE: A new open source software for medical imaging

    In 2016, CERN and the University of Bath released a new shareware toolbox for fast, accurate 3D X-ray image reconstruction with applications in medical imaging for cancer diagnosis and treatment. It offers a simple and accessible way to improve imaging and potentially reduce radiation doses for patients. The software is based on Cone Beam Computed Tomography, a scanning process that takes 2D X-ray pictures and processes them into a 3D image. The toolbox is called the Tomographic Iterative GPU-based Reconstruction (TIGRE) Toolbox, and is available open source on GitHub.

    medtech
  • MedAustron: A new Ion therapy Centre became operational

    MedAustron is a facility located in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, that uses an accelerator to generate ion beams for cancer therapy and research. 2016 has been a busy and exciting year for MedAustron, which has been operating 24/7 since January. In September, the facility qualified to legally operate as an outpatient clinic, and the first medical treatment was performed on 14 December. By 2020, full operation will be reached, with about one thousand patients treated per year.

     

    medtech

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