Large Hadron Collider steward CERN is joining forces with the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council to help small businesses turn high-energy physics technology into commercial products.
The Large Hadron Collider is one of the high-energy physics facilities run by CERN. Image credit: CERN
The business incubation centre, housed at the STFC's Daresbury campus
in Warrington, will help successful applicants to "nurture" ideas based on technologies developed at CERN, the partners said in announcing the centre on Monday. It will provide funding and support, including access to business and scientific expertise from the two backers.
"Small companies with a real mission to innovate will benefit from this initiative by CERN and STFC, which brings together some of the most advanced technologies in the world with the... business support required to take new ideas to market successfully," John Womersley, chief executive of STFC, said in a statement.
"This has real potential to generate major economic and societal rewards for the UK economy," he added. The STFC already runs a business incubator for space technology-related products at its Harwell campus.
CERN is a multinational high-energy physics research effort, known for experiments at the Large Hadron Collider aimed at determining whether the Higgs boson, a hypothetical elementary particle, exists.
The new centre is looking for UK small businesses with commercial ideas in the areas of accelerators, detectors, cryogenics, magnets, superconductors, materials science and high-performance computing.
"I hope the CERN [business incubation centre] will be the first of many in our member states," Steve Myers, CERN's director of accelerators and technology, said in a statement.
Successful applicants will be taken on two-day technical visits to CERN and get funding of up to £40,000 to develop their ideas. In addition, they will be able to work with the STFC's accelerator technology housed at Daresbury.
The official launch of the business innovation centre is scheduled for later in 2012, when a call for proposals will be sent out, the STFC said.