Technologies for Safety, Environment, Industry 4.0, Cultural Heritage and Emerging Technologies

Technologies for safety

The safety of people working on the CERN site is of highest priority to the Organization, and CERN’s unique environment combining various types of radiation, extremely low temperatures, ultra-high magnetic fields and very high voltages, requires innovative solutions for detecting threats and preventing risks from materialising. These technologies are being embraced by some of the leading companies in the field. CERN is proud that its commitment to creating a safe and healthy work environment leads to concrete applications in safety.

Contributing to a better planet

CERN taps into its technologies and creativity to address another enormous challenge: a healthier and more sustainable planet. CERN’s contribution in this area ranges from more energy efficient cooling systems to novel biochemical sensors for water safety through novel irrigation techniques for the most challenging agricultural environments.

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is a massive trend of increasing automation and efficiency in manufacturing processes with connected sensors and machines, autonomous robots and big data technology. CERN’s accelerators, detectors and computing facilities call for the use of the latest industry 4.0 technology, while the technological solutions to CERN’s own challenges can be used in the automation industry.

Cultural heritage

Cultural heritage takes many forms: from the tangible legacy of monuments, artwork and books, to digital resources, either newly created or used to ensure cultural preservation. The concept also includes intangible (such as language and oral traditions) and natural elements (such as fora and fauna). This heritage may seem remotely connected to CERN’s technological advances, yet the opposite is true: several projects related to art restoration and digital preservation are using CERN technology. 

Emerging technologies

Scientists and engineers at CERN are also working on technologies that are still in the “emerging” phase, and are expected to have significant impact in the future. One the one hand, strong interactions between the high-energy physics community and other scientific communities foster the interdisciplinary research necessary for such technologies. On the other hand, CERN’s need to plan its research programme in the very long term inspires visionary thinking and advances technology beyond what is considered possible today.

Quantum technologies

Quantum technologies have the potential to revolutionise science and society – by providing solutions to some problems that are beyond the limits achievable with classical systems. Although still an emerging field, recent years have seen significant investment in the development of these technologies, and there is growing interest in the possibilities that they could offer for the future, both within the scientific community and in industry. Many of the engineering challenges involved in the design and development of quantum technologies are similar to those faced in high-energy physics, such as precision synchronisation and control, improvement of magnetic field stability, stable operation of systems at cryogenic temperatures and ultra-high vacuum, etc. See further information here.

…and many others

The application areas, and potential application areas of CERN technologies and know-how, are obviously not limited to the ones mentioned above. Have a look at our technology portfolio - maybe any of our technologies could apply to your industry? Or maybe your company could learn from any of CERN’s areas of expertise? 

Find out more about how CERN technologies and know-how have impact across industries:

Success stories

Browse by Application Domain
During 2016, the construction of the 750 MHz Radio-Frequency Quadrupole (RFQ) was successfully completed.
CERN patented Gas Electron Multiplier updated for use in hadron therapy and radiotherapy.
Developing standards for activated material characterisation would not only improve the safe handling of these materials, but also help unclutter storage facilities by removing materials that can be recycled.
A new Monolithic Active Pixel Sensor, originally developed to upgrade the ALICE inner tracking system during the second long shutdown of LHC, is on its way to Bergen University for a very different application – Proton Computed Tomography (Proton CT).
Horizon 2020 project ARIES aims to improve the performance, availability and sustainability of particle accelerators, transferring its benefits and applications to science and society.
In September 2019, CERN, the foundation Commodity Risk Management Expertise Centre (CORMEC) and the Wageningen University signed an agreement to develop new methods for identifying anomalies that can harm the integrity of commodity and financial markets.
CERN's TimePix3 chip will be used on third license by ASI for devices in X-ray imaging, electron microscopy to particle track reconstruction.
TIM, the Train Inspection Monorail, is a mini vehicle autonomously monitoring the 27-km long LHC tunnel.
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.