HighTechXL is bringing together the world’s most advanced research center and Eindhoven’s Brainport ecosystem. Nikhef and HighTechXL have just announced anew collaboration with Geneva-based CERN to recruit or form startup teams capable of turning CERN technology into companies.
At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. They use the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles.
CERN research has led to innovations as diverse as the World Wide Web and the discovery of the Higgs boson, the “God Particle”physicists long theorized existed, but took 50 to isolate. CERN is represented in the Netherlands through Nikhef, the national institute for subatomic physics.
“The Brainport region and its density of ultra-high-tech companies such as Philips and ASML is the obvious place to bring together innovators and CERN technology. The Eindhoven region is very good at taking advanced technology and turning it into businesses. There is a perfect match between CERN and Eindhoven’s high-tech industry knowledge base and competencies,” said Dr. Jan Visser, liaison officer for CERN and Nikhef executive.
HighTechXL – Eindhoven’s high-tech accelerator – kicked off this new technology-transfer collaboration with a CERN hackathon in Eindhoven.
“The collaboration unlocks the hidden commercial potential of disruptive CERN technologies. It provides a unique opportunity for high-tech industry experts who have ever dreamt of creating their own company – and were waiting for the right opportunity – to become a founding member of a new fast-growing high-techcompany,” said HighTechXL founder Guus Frericks.
The hackathon was a community-driven effort to explore and select the targeted application areas.As part of the process, the hackathon created opportunities for industry experts to apply to form founder teams around breakthrough CERN technologies. After the teams are identified, the formal accelerator program began in September and finished in December before Christmas.
How many times in life do you get to use CERN research as the foundation on which to build your own fast-growing, high-tech company?
CERN has member stateswho make a contribution to the capital and operating costs of its programs and,together with a number of associate members states, they make possible thestudy of the basic constituents of matter. In 2012, CERN adopted CERNEasy Access, a technology transfer initiative to make it easier for businessesand entrepreneurs to access intellectual property generated by its researchers.
CERN funds andadministers a number of research centers and projects, including two linearaccelerators and several colliders including the Large Hadron Collider. Butit’s in the medical technology domain that physics research, including the workdone at CERN, CERN has had a major impact, with magnetic resonanceimaging, positron emission tomography and other technologies. “In themedical world, if it weren’t for the all the physicists, there would be a lotless innovation,” said Dr. Visser.
The National Institutefor Subatomic Physics, or Nikhef, is based in Amsterdam. Nikhef is the Dutchorganization that carries out research into the elementary building blocks ofour universe, their mutual forces and the structure of space and time. Nikhefpartners with CERN on the Nikhef-CERN Business Incubation Center.
HighTechXL is theNetherlands’ premier high-tech accelerator, focusing mostly on hardware sinceits inception in 2014. HighTechXL is an initiative of the Eindhoven StartupAlliance with ASML, Philips, NTS group, High Tech Campus Eindhoven, ABN AMROBank, Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij and EY as its members.
Brainport is the maineconomic-development agency for the Brabant Region that includesEindhoven. Brainport is the fastest growing regional economy in theNetherlands, up 4.9 percent in 2017 compared to 2016.