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
BAQ, a start-up using CERN technologies, tackles radon in buildings.
A portable RFQ acclerator expects to open up for new possibilities in art studies.
The start-up Camstech Ltd joined the STFC-CERN Business Incubation Centre in 2016.
CELESTA stands for CERN Latchup Experiments Student sAtellite and will be the first CERN-driven microsatellite.
The collaboration agreement between CERN and ESA, signed in July 2019, addresses the challenge of operating in harsh radiation environments found in both particle-physics facilities and outer space.
FastIC project catching the attention of the Medical Imaging industry.
A team of experts from CERN shared their expertise on machine learning with Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines business unit of Sanofi, a global life sciences company.
In March 2020, a working group was established by CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti as a response to the wealth of ideas and proposals put forward by the CERN community in contribution to the global fight against COVID-19
2019 saw the official launch of the Next Ion Medical Machine Study (NIMMS), an umbrella R&D programme for – both existing and new – CERN accelerator technologies linked to heavy-ion therapy.