BAQ: A Start-up to tackle radon gas

Success Story

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Radon is a natural radioactive gas resulting from the decay of uranium, a naturally occurring element in soil and rocks. It easily escapes from the soil and accumulates in dwellings and buildings. The progeny from radon decay is radioactive and becomes attached to dust and particulate in the air: when inhaled, this radioactive particulate settles in the lung and over time can cause lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

With the support of the AIDA-2020 Proof-of-Concept funding and the CERN Medical Applications Budget, the RaDoM (Radon Dose Monitor) project was started, in collaboration with Politecnico di Milano, to develop a network of smart sensors to monitor radon and better tackle the risks of high radon levels.

At CERN, an innovative radon-monitoring prototype was created, as well as the development of a cloud-based service to collect and analyse the data, to control the measurements and to drive mitigation measures based on real time data.  Parallel to the technological achievements, the original goal of the project was always the creation of a start-up using CERN technology. This objective was achieved with the creation of the spin-off BAQ, incorporated in June 2019. In December 2019, CERN and BAQ proudly signed a license agreement on the RaDoM technology.

The technology was field-tested in several successful pilot projects in the line of Smart Cities and Smart Homes. The future prospective for the spin-off is to focus on the European B2B market and to establish BAQ as an innovative player in the field of radon monitoring and mitigation, bringing positive impact by helping to prevent public health issues.

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