Participating in projects co-financed by the European Commission (EC) strengthens CERN's existing collaborations and creates new links with European universities, research institutes, laboratories, and industrial partners. These projects often have a knowledge transfer component to them, though collaborative projects, pre-commercial procurement activities, or specific work packages dedicated to innovation and proof-of-concept funding.
Joint Research Centre - JRC
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the scientific and technical arm of the European Commission. Its mission is to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy. The JRC initated the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) Circle, a network brining together leading public research organisations, including CERN. In May 2016, CERN took part in the European TTO Circle's ninth plenary meeting in San Sebastian. Throughout 2016, CERN and the JRC continued to collaborate in fields relating to big data, medical radioisotope production, and neutron data for nuclea energy applications.
Technology and Innovation Monitor - TIM
Launched in 2016, CERN and the JRC have developed the Technology and Innovation Monitor (TIM) platform. TIM is a series of technology watch systems to map areas of science and innovation. Among other applications, the tool can be used by energy technology experts to analyse innovation trends in energy technologies. TIM is based on the original idea and concept behind Collaboration Spotting, a novel visual analytics tool developed by CERN to map academic and industry collaborations around key technologies for particle physics.
AIDA-2020 stands for "Advanced Infrastructures for Detectors at Accelerators". This EC-funded project began in 2015 and aims to push detector technologies beyond the current state-of-the-art and offer detector testing infrastructures to the scientific and industrial communities. It brings together 38 universities and research laboratories and 21 partner organisations and collaborating institutes. In 2016, a new Proof-of-Concept (PoC) fund set aside € 200k for innovative industry-oriented projects. Three projects were selected with applications in radiotherapy, environmental monitoring and semiconductors.
ATTRACT is a new, open, pan-EU initiative to accelerate the development of next generation high-performance detection and imaging technologies for fundamental research. ATTRACT operates through a process of co-innovation among European Research Infrastructures and tehir associated research communities, small and medium enerprises (SMEs), companies and universities.
In 2016, the interest from detection and imaging research communities, industry and business, and innovation experts grew further. Two meetings on Technology Trends, Wishes and Dreams (TWD) were organised at ESADE Business School in Barcelona and Strasbourg. The latter was organised in collaboration with the European Radiation Detection and Imaging Technology Platform (ERDIT) and hosted within the IEEE 2016 NSS/MIC conference. Both events focused on futrue breakthrough technological developments on a ten to twenty year timescale.
EuCARD-2 stand for Enhanced European Coordination for Accelerator Research & Development. This European project, in which CERN takes part, started in 2013 and connects different large accelerator laboratories. Together with STFC INnovations Ltd, the CERN Knowledge Transfer group leads the work package on "Catalysing Innovation". An industry workshop was held in Warsaw in December 2016 on "Low-energy electron beams for industrial and environmental applications". It brought together 70 participants from industry, academia, and research institutes.
ARIES stands for "Accelerator Research and Innovation for European Science and Society" and is the succesor to EuCARD-2. In 2016, ARIES was approved, and will receive € 10M in EU Horizon 2020 funding over a four year period starting in May 2017. ARIES aims to develop novel concepts, to improve exisitng accelerator technologies and to provide accesss to top-class accelerator research and test infrastructures for European researchers and industyr. ARIES will bring together 41 collaborating institutions from 18 different European coutnries, CERN and the European Spallation Source (ESS).
High Luminosity LHC
HL-LHC, the High Lumniosity LHC, in the project to upgrade the Large Hadron Collider. The higher luminosity will increase the particle interaction rate, extending the LHC's discovery potential. Some of the HL-LHC key technical challenges require external collaborations: cutting-edge superconducting magnets, ultraprecise superconducting radio-frequency cavities, and high-power superconducting links.
In 2016, HL-LHC was formally approved by the CERN Council. 2016 was the year of the consolidation of the civil engineering and technical infrastructure design with civil engineering plans presetned. Several technical milesontes were achived, such as the production of full cross-section models of the HL-LHC's future quadrupoel magnets or the components for the crab cavity cryo-assemblies. Both casses are examples of fruitful international collaboration that CERN has established with more than 40 laboratories and universities. In addition to the technical tests, the industrialisation plan for the HL-LHC production was validated by external reviewers.
QUACO (QUAdrupole Corrector) is a project in HL-LHC dedicated to magnets for insertion regions. HL-LHC requirements include for example "long orbit corrector magnets" (that adjust particle orbits) and "two-in-one quadrupole magnets" (that focus particle beams), which are not currently on the market. Because the potential for commercial applicaiton is low at this stage, strategic industry-research collaboration is necessary. QUACO is a pre-commercial procurement (PCP) project where risks and opportuntities are shared through a public-private partnership.
In 2016, QUACO achieved many milestones including the organisation of an open market consultation, the signing of a joint procurement agreement, a call for tender for phase 1, the assessment and evaluation of the first PCP phase results, as well as the award of a framework contract to four European companies.