Building Business with CERN technologies

July 2nd we did something new, by bringing the brightest minds together during a full day hackathon to find applications for technologies created by CERN. It was an exciting day jam-packed with ideas, innovation and technology.

Throughout the summer we are continuing to form new teams and propositions to launch new businesses.

September 4th we will select the best teams to participate in a unique edition of our accelerator program.

In parallel, during the event individuals will have the opportunity to support the teams, consider joining a team, or learn more about building businesses in general.


July/August. Team formation and weekly meet-ups,
Tuesdays 16:00-18:00. 

• The Deadline for applying to the IMPACT DAYS is August 29th.

• A preparation day for the event will be organized on August 31st.

• The main event will take place September 4th and the selected teams will be briefed September 5th.

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 were honored to kickoff this collaboration on July 2nd with the CERN Technology Hackathon.

During the IMPACT DAYS, we’ll select teams who will found new companies, each focusing on one of the CERN technologies.

The 31st of August will be a day to help you prepare for the main event. That will take place September 4th. The selected teams will be briefed the next day, September 5th.

For whom

We strongly believe that the Eindhoven Brainport Ecosystem is a fundamental base for the success of the new companies. Therefore we require individuals and teams to be either based in or willing to move to our region.

We invite all innovators and thought leaders who have the expertise and drive to contribute, to join this journey.

• 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.

The CERN technologies

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 

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 re-form 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.

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. In 1-metre an HF-RFQ system can reach an energy of 2 MeV and in two metres one can reach higher proton energies up to 5 MeV. 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

Accurate temperature control using CO2

Long Distance Structured Laser Beam

Compact High Frequency Particle Accelerator

1) Can I apply for the sessions in July/August as an individual?

In short, YES. 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. You can join existing teams or form a new one during the months of July and August. There will be other roles to play as we move forward, including team mentors, advisors etc. 

2) Can I apply for the IMPACT DAYS on September 4th as an individual?

In short, YES. As we're still in the early stage of creating new companies, there are several ways to be part of this journey. On the 4th of September you can check for possibilities to join a team. Or you might meet others and form a team to apply as a wild card. Or you could be part of the support and mentor community helping out the established teams. In short, it's a day to explore opportunities, and most certainly a day to enjoy and learn.

3) 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.  

4) What will happen during the IMPACT DAYS and what are next steps?

During the IMPACT DAYS, we'll select the best teams to participate in our accelerator and become co-founders of business based on CERN technology. The 31st of August will be a prep day. The main event will take place on the 4th of September where teams will pitch, engage in round tables with industry experts and find out if they are selected to the program. The selected teams will be briefed on September 5th. During July and August we'll organize weekly meetups on Tuesdays from 16:00-18:00. During these months teams/individuals are welcome to work on their propositions at the HighTechXL office.

Frequently asked questions

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

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