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.

…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
Since 2014, the Electrical Power Converters group at CERN has been developing compatibility software to allow its power converter digital controls to be integrated into the more commonly used controls frameworks TANGO and EPICS.
The Knowledge Transfer group at CERN initiated a pilot programme in collaboration with the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), with the purpose of exploring how cutting-edge Israeli companies and institutes can embrace specific CERN technologies and know-how to fuel innovation and drive positive impact in society.
LINAC-based technology finds way into cancer therapy.
A commercial agreement was established with ISIS (Innovative Solutions In Space) BV, a Dutch company specialised in nanosat solutions.
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.
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.
Since 2016, CERN is part of a research project to develop a system for optimised irrigation, based on technologies developed for high-energy physics.
One of the Knowledge Transfer (KT) group’s priorities is to foster a culture of entrepreneurship at CERN. This is made possible throughactivities such as the Business Incubation Centre (BIC) network and programmes like the CERN Entrepreneurship Student Programme (CESP) and the NTNU and BIC screening weeks.

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.