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.
AMICI is supported by ten institutes who are contributing to the operation and construction of Accelerator Research Infrastructures in Europe. The aim of the project is to build the conditions for consolidating and exploiting this infrastructure across the accelerator community – in order to strengthen the capabilities of European companies to compete on the global market.
Investigations have been taking place to identify the technical competencies and facilities that may be made available to industry – including for beam instrumentation, cryogenics, magnets, radio frequency, material analysis, vacuum technology, chemistry and surface characterisation, as well as the associated human expertise. This information will form the basis of a public report to be issued during the course of the project.
The FuSuMaTech Initiative aims at establishing a strong and sustainable R&D&I European network for structuring and strengthening the field of superconductivity and associated industrial applications. It will enlarge the innovative potential, especially in High Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Magnetic Resonance Imaging, opening future breakthroughs in neuro-imaging.
The project kick-off was held in October 2017, gathering six European research institutes and six European companies active in the field of superconductive magnets. All work packages and concrete deliverables were presented and aligned amongst the participants.
AIDA-2020 aims to support the development of detector systems for high-energy physics projects, whilst promoting the transfer of these developments to other fields and industry, where they may lead to societal applications. In 2017, the AIDA-2020 project hosted an interdisciplinary Academia Meets Industry (AMI) event to encourage the exchange of knowledge and identify areas of common interest between medical applications (medical imaging and image processing) and high-energy physics.
In parallel, three Proof-of-Concept (PoC) projects have been selected and launched following an open call: Silicon‐based Microdosimetry System for Advanced Radiation Therapies, Advanced Through Silicon Vias for Pixel Detectors, and RaDoM-Radon Monitoring. These PoCs received some seed funding from AIDA-2020 and aim at advancing and demonstrating technologies for market applications.
A second AMI event will be organised in 2018 on detectors and sources for non-destructive testing.
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 their 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 future 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 is designed to improve the performance, availability, and sustainability of particle accelerators, transferring the benefits and applications of accelerator technology to both science and society, and enlarging and integrating the European accelerator community.
Already at its kick-off in 2017, the ARIES consortium leveraged its consistent industrial participation (seven out of 41 partners) to harness the market potential of accelerator related technologies. A call for proposals was launched late 2017 to fund application-focused Proof-of-Concepts to enhance the impact of accelerator technology in society.
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 is a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) project for the design, R&D and industrial prototyping of high-tech quadrupole magnets that will be used for focusing the beams for the high luminosity upgrade of the LHC. QUACO is coordinated by CERN and brings together three other research institutes (CEA, CIEMAT and NCBJ) that will contribute to the magnet development and public procurement.
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.
Three companies were selected in 2017, in phase 2 of PCP, to provide innovations in accelerator technologies. The project has advanced towards becoming an EU showcase for financing R&D projects in a specific technical sector.