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Government’s CERN deal to take UK to frontline of high-end technology developments

30 Apr 2012
Cern Control Centre building

CERN is trying to change the world. Its hunt for the Higgs Boson, the so-called God particle, could unlock a whole new era of discovery and insight into the universe and a breakthrough is on the horizon for 2012.

This search, powered by the mind-boggling Large Hadron Collider (LHC), has forced it to design and create entirely new technology and scientific instruments in the areas of magnetism, particle accelerators and detectors and cryogenics.

This means there is a whole wealth of information, expertise and intellectual property at CERN that, as it's a public-funded organisation, could be ripe for businesses to take advantage of, as they look to turn such high-end technologies into commercial ventures.

The deal inked last week by the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), which pays some £100m into CERN on behalf of the UK taxpayer, is a notable push by the UK to take advantage of some of the most advanced technological know-how on the planet.

The proposals will see the STFC create a Business Incubation Centre (BIC) at its UK site where firms can work on ideas relating to some of the most cutting-edge technologies with support, funding and backing from both the STFC and CERN.

This will take the form of funding to the tune of £40,000 from the STFC, access to experts at CERN to discuss their work and a visit the facility in Geneva to see some of the organisation's technology and how it works in person, to help guide their development.

As the STFC's head of new business opportunities, Paul Vernon, explained to V3, the science body already has a history of working alongside leading European bodies, with the a similar partnership already in place with the European Space Agency (ESA).

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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