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
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.
CERN-MEDICIS (Medical Isotopes Collected from ISOLDE) is a unique facility designed to produce unconventional radioisotopes with the right properties to enhance the precision of both patient imaging and treatment.
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.
CERN software used for applied research in pharmaceuticals, IT networks analytics, neurology and mapping the educational space.
How can you tell the difference between a masterpiece and a masterful forgery? A project between CERN and INFN is expected to open up new possibilities to answer this question.
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.
The CYCLADS project aims to design an innovative High Power Cyclotron as part of Accelerator Driven Systems (ADS), for novel nuclear waste management applications.
The CERN openlab project BioDynaMo aims to establish a high-performance, general-purpose platform, through which life scientists can easily create, run, and visualise three-dimensional biological simulations.
MAGICS Instruments receives license for CERN developed DC/DC converter chip.