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 13th, 15th and 18th the teams will present the propositions they have been working on over the summer in search for new team members to strengthen their teams. This is where you come in.

Even if you missed the previous events, you still have the opportunity to be part of this exciting journey, by joining one of the teams as co-founder, team member or mentor.


A general agenda for all three posted dates applies:

  • Kick off and general info about the program (20 minutes)
  • Team pitches (25 minutes)
  • Plenary Q&A (15 minutes)
  • Team-up, networking, beer & pizza (open timing as required)

The starting time for the sessions is as follows:

  • Thursday September 13th start at 17:00
  • Saturday September 15th start at 13:30
  • Tuesday September 18th start at 17:00

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 kicked-off this collaboration on July 2nd with the CERN Technology Hackathon.

The hackathon teams have been working on different propositions based on the CERN technologies and are now ready to enter a fast-paced acceleration program & build ground-breaking businesses. 

September 13th, 15th & 18th will be the days where you get the opportunity to meet the CERN startup teams and join them on these journeys. 

For whom

We strongly believe 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  as an individual?

In short, YES. If you believe you can contribute in this exploration process, you are welcome to apply, and join the team-up session on one of the provided dates. You can join existing teams or form a new one. There will be other roles to play as we move forward, including team mentors, advisors etc. 

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 TEAM-UP sessions and what are next steps?

During the TEAM-UP sessions,  the teams will present their progress and you will have the opportunity to discuss how you could contribute to one of the existing teams or take initiative and form a completely new team. End of September, the qualifying teams will be given to opportunity to join the HighTech XL accelerator to move their business to the next level.

Frequently asked questions

Ready to become part of an innovative startup with game-changing CERN technology?  

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