CERN Accelerating science

Highlights 2023

Explore how CERN accelerates innovation


The cooperation with our industrial, innovation and research partners is pivotal in generating a positive societal impact.

  • Raphaël Bello, CERN Director for Finance and Human Resources
  • Christopher Hartley, Head of Industry, Procurement and Technology Department


Knowledge Transfer
contracts signed

Contracts by Type
  • 23Licences
  • 21Collaborative R&D
  • 4Service & Consultancy
  • 1Contract Research
  • 1Co-ownership
  • 1Other
Contracts by Partner
  • 39Industry
  • 5Institutes & Laboratories
  • 4Universities
  • 3Hospitals or Biomedical Research Institutions
  • 2Others

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Renewable energy, clean transportation, pollution control, climate monitoring, nature protection… These are some of the goals to ensure a healthier and more sustainable planet, able to support the needs of future generations. CERN offers its technologies and creativity and joins forces with industry to rise to the global environmental challenges we are facing.

In 2023, the CERN Innovation Programme on Environmental Applications (CIPEA) entered a new phase. Its aim is to translate ideas for environmental applications based on CERN technologies, suggested by the CERN community, into impactful projects. Since its launch last year, eight new projects have been initiated, out of which five have resulted in contracts with external partners – start-ups and established companies – and began to produce early results.

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Digital technologies drive almost all aspects of modern life and CERN technologies contribute a wealth of innovative digital solutions in surprisingly wide-ranging fields. For instance, CERN expertise and technological know-how are used to empower over 300,000 researchers to share and preserve their research,  to prevent fraud in financial markets and also to provide software tools for sharing financial data for trading. Sometimes working with industry to find solutions to challenges in particle physics research, can lead to new applications of digital technologies in the world outside the laboratory. This was the case when CERN joined forces with Ceva to work on an edge AI solution for processing LHC data which also enhanced Ceva’s capabilities in this field.

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Quantum technologies are set to revolutionise our world by applying the seemingly mysterious laws of physics at the smallest scale to real-world applications such as computing, communications, sensing and imaging. Recently, big-science facilities, like CERN are forging stronger links with universities, government labs and companies involved in quantum R&D and innovation and those ‘upstream’ in the quantum supply chain. Quantum technologies from industry can benefit the laboratory’s research in fundamental physics while CERN scientists can establish new competencies that can then be transferred to industry. This enhanced collaboration between the high-energy physics (HEP) and the quantum technology communities with a view to finding mutual benefits is the goal of CERN’s Quantum Technology Initiative (QTI).

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Technologies developed at CERN have been adapted to healthcare applications since the 70s. Particle accelerators and detectors have a long track record in applications such as cancer therapy, radiopharmaceuticals and medical imaging. In recent years, we have seen the rise of digital health applications: from stroke management to air quality and multi-science simulations, the success stories of 2023 reflect this marked interest of the medical community.

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From harsh radiation environments to extreme temperatures and high vacuum conditions, exploring the universe and probing the secrets of matter face similar challenges leading to common solutions. CERN initiates, facilitates and coordinates high-impact projects and collaborations with the aerospace sector, by making its technologies, facilities and know-how available to drive innovation and research in the field. Aerospace applications carry strong opportunities in areas such as human and robotic exploration, long-distance transportation, climate change and environment monitoring, disaster prevention, advanced telecommunication and geolocalisation.

CERN launched the CERN Venture Connect (CVC) programme to help visionary startup founders to address an unmet need in the market or solve an innovation challenge.

The CERN Venture Connect programme

Are you a deep-tech startup?

Connect with investors and the venture startup economy

Access breakthrough CERN technologies

Get 0% equity and express agreements

2% royalties, only once revenue higher than 1MCHF

Learn more about the programme

CVC will provide a platform to connect CERN with deep-tech founders, investors, incubators and other key players in CERN’s Member States and Associate Member States.



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Editorial and Production:

CERN Knowledge Transfer group


With thanks to:

  • The CERN community for their daily support of the Organization’s knowledge transfer mission.
  • All partners who have collaborated with CERN on knowledge transfer activities.
  • Everyone who has contributed to the content and production of this report.

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