CERN Accelerating science

European Organization for Nuclear Research

Starting a company based on CERN technology

The Medipix chip, a CERN technology commercialised for different applications by 7 start-up companies.

CERN encourages the creation of spin-off companies and gives support to CERN personnel and external entrepreneurs wanting to establish a spin-off company in one of CERN’s member states. A CERN spin-off is a company whose activity is based, partially or wholly, on CERN’s knowledge and/or technology.

All potential entrepreneurs are encouraged to contact the Knowledge Transfer Group as early in the process as possible to discuss their ideas. This permits the KT Group to investigate the best strategy for protection of intellectual property, evaluate the business idea and subsequently assist with setting-up a plan for starting a spin-off company. 

Support from CERN’s Knowledge Transfer Group

1. Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property is an important aspect of starting and running a company. In line with its mission of maximising technological return to society, CERN’s Knowledge Transfer Group supports CERN spin-off companies through licensing of CERN technologies, or other knowledge transfer mechanisms.

2. Spin-off advice

The KT Group actively supports the creation of new companies and can advise spin-off initiatives on:

  • business plan development
  • access to internal and external training programmes
  • networking with innovation partners in the member states.

For CERN personnel, the group can also provide information and advice on how to comply with CERN rules and regulations during spin-off company formation and operation.

Joining a Business Incubation Centre (BIC) for CERN technologies

CERN collaborates with a range of partners in the member states to provide business incubation for entrepreneurs working on an idea related to CERN’s areas of expertise. Learn more about CERN’s network of incubators here.