Date:  July 2nd, Time: 12:30-18:00

Location:  High Tech Campus, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Join us July 2nd & play your part in bringing CERN technologies to impactful new ventures.

Rarely do top tech minds get access to the world’s most sophisticated research. Next month, the stars will align in Eindhoven as we assist CERN in turning its research into companies. 
The CERN Technology Hackathon is your chance to fuse your innovative idea with the latest technology coming out of CERN’s labs and colliders in Switzerland.

The CERN Hackathon

Organised by HighTechXL & Nikhef

How it works

As its researchers solve the mysteries of sub-atomic particle physics, CERN is constantly creating advanced research … research with almost unlimited applications in nearly every high-tech industry.

CERN member states, including the Netherlands, have access to this technology through a limited group of third-party CERN representatives.

HighTechXL, together with Nikhef, the Dutch institute coordinating all activities related to CERN, works with CERN on high-tech and hardware applications in the Netherlands. We’re honored to announce this collaboration starts July 2 with the CERN Technology Hackathon.

Entrepreneurs and industry experts will join in our first brainstorming and assessment session at the hackathon. Then we’ll gather feedback, inquiries and ideas during the summer.

In September, we’ll form teams who will found new companies, each focusing on one of the CERN technologies.

Who should apply

No area of the Netherlands is better positioned than the Brainport ecosystem to seize this opportunity to collaborate with CERN.

We invite all innovators and thought leaders who have the expertise and drive to contribute to the hackathon, then go on to join the new founding teams.

• Entrepreneurs

• Business development professionals in technology

• Marketing experts who understand market forces and global technology trends

• Ambitious young professionals who’ve dreamed of being part of a startup from Day One

• Anyone who can motivate other innovators … and who can make a big difference just through their presence.

Compact High Frequency Particle Accelerator

Accurate temperature control using CO2

Evaporative cooling using carbon dioxide (CO2) is an appealing technology for systems with high power density, as it provides highly stable and efficient cooling using small pipes that can extend over long distances. In addition, CO2 is substantially cheaper than fluorocarbon refrigerants and has a much lower negative impact on the environment. The 2-Phase Accumulator Controlled Loop (2PACL) and Integrated 2PACL (I-2PACL) systems developed by CERN and the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics (Nikhef) make use of evaporative cooling based on CO2, for high thermal control of electronic equipment over long distances.

Cooling instrumentation & electronics 

The CERN technologies

A simple, low-cost system and method for generating a structured laser beam (SLB) that can propagate over large distances while maintaining a low divergence and small central spot size. Jointly developed by CERN and the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The parameters of the system can be easily adjusted to modify the focus and divergence of the beam. Furthermore, the SLB can reform around an object placed in its path, potentially making it usable for multipoint alignment systems. The system can be used for a wide range of wavelengths and, depending on the setup, is very robust to jitter, vibrations, and variations in the angle of the input beam; it also appears to be robust to fluctuations in air temperature. These properties make the SLB potentially suitable for use in a large number of application domains.

Metrology, Large-scale and Geodetic Metrology, Alignment, Satellite communication, Gas detection, Microscopy, Medicine, Optical tweezers, Laser shows etc.

Long Distance Structured Laser Beam

As part of the Medical Applications Programme at CERN, a novel very compact high frequency radio-frequency quadrupole (HF-RFQ) linear particle accelerator has been developed. A single 1-metre HF-RFQ module can reach an energy of 2 MeV, or two modules can provide higher proton energies (5 MeV in ~2 metres). The HF-RFQ can be used as a stand-alone accelerator or as an injector/booster in larger accelerator installations. The main advantages are the compact size, low beam loss, modular design, distributed RF feeding and relatively low construction cost compared to other RFQ technologies. Although the first HF-RFQ was developed for use in proton therapy, the design can be easily repurposed for a wider range of applications.


Radiation therapy, Medical isotope production, Ion Beam analysis

1) Can I apply if I don’t want to be a co-founder of a new venture
based on CERN tech?

In short, YES. The hackathon is the first step in exploring possible business applications of the technology. If you believe you can contribute in this exploration process, you are welcome to apply, and your application will be considered in the selection process. There will be other roles to play as we move forward, including team mentors, advisors etc. 

2) I am not high-tech savvy, do I still qualify?

In short, YES. We are looking to set up diverse teams also in terms of experience. To find the best applications of technology we need team members who have experience in marketing, sales, R&D, finance, IP etc. We will do our best to build very diverse teams, so we are also seeking a broad range of skills in the team setups. So, savvy marketers, we need you. Visionaries, we need you. UX talent and developers, we need you. And team leaders and process specialists, we need you also. 

3) What will happen on July 2nd and what are next steps? 

July 2nd is all about exploring the best applications of these technologies and the impact they can bring to a specific industry and/or customer segment. Based on the propositions created by hackathon teams, you will be invited to build your proposition further during the month of July and August and submit your applications to the HighTechXL, CERN technology business accelerator with your team, which will start on September 24th, 2018. We will share more information about the complete process following the July 2nd event during the hackathon. 

4) When will I know if my application has been selected? 

We’re already reviewing the applications and on the way to notifying the first teams and individuals. Applications are open until June 25th. However, we will prioritize applications on a first come, first served basis, so if you haven’t applied yet and wish to participate, don’t wait until the last minute.

Frequently asked questions


• Registration is open now, closing June 25. We’ll send invitations to participate in the program to selected teams.

• Hackathon set for July 2 from 12:30-18:00 @ High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. 

• Application selection & initial business setup in July & August.

• The business acceleration and venture launch effort for selected teams begins September 24 and runs through December 14.

Ready to boost your innovative idea with game-changing CERN technology?  

Event partners