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 flora 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
MARS Bioimaging released new images generated with the innovative MARS compact scanner, based on the Medipix3 technology developed at CERN.
VZLUSAT-1 is a technological nanosatellite for in-orbit demonstration of new technologies and products.
In 2020, Zenodo, the open-data repository developed by CERN with co-funding from the European Commission, was upgraded with additional storage and a dedicated community for COVID-19 research.
The CernVM File System was developed to assist high-energy physics collaborations to deploy software on the worldwide-distributed computing infrastructure used to run data processing applications.
PlanetWatch, a CERN spin-off, aims to provide a solution to generate, validate, analyse and record air quality data. Their environmental sensor uses the CERN technology C2MON.
The European Synchotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) aquires Power Converters to power their magnets
CERN developed a new multiple memory system (MMS), which solves this problem and increseses the reliability of a programmable system located in harsh environments.
Terabee SAS, a start-up supported by the French BIC Innogex, developed the proximity-sensing device Proximeter, based on CERN’s miniIoT (Internet of Things) technology.
The CERN Robotics Software is used to manage autonomous movement, which allows a modular robotics platform to perform sophisticated tasks.