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by Science & Technology Facilities Council

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How can high-energy physics accelerate business opportunities?

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Delyth Edwards, Business Development Manager at the Science & Technology Facilities Council, explains how high-energy physics technologies can help businesses stay competitive and innovate faster, no matter what sector you’re in.

The journey from an initial innovative concept to successfully taking a product or service to market is filled with hurdles many start-ups struggle to overcome; whether this is accessing capital, meeting the right people and joining the right networks, or tapping into additional resources and support to expand your team and know-how.

However, in recent years incubation centres have proven that with the right support, small companies with the right ambition can scale-up and grow.

The Science & Technology Facilities Council manages the STFC CERN Business Incubation Centre, which is dedicated to developing innovative business concepts through the commercialisation of high-energy physics technologies linked to CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research).

CERN is a world-leading centre of physics and engineering excellence that develops and operates some of the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments. It has been at the centre of world-changing scientific discoveries, from the creation of the internet to the discovery of the Higgs Boson, and has engineered incredible large-scale instruments such as the Large Hadron Collider. But what many people don’t realise is that these large-scale facilities, and the wealth of expertise available at CERN, also provide incredible opportunities for innovation at the smallest scale.

Each year high-tech entrepreneurs, research groups or small start-up companies looking to develop innovative products and services in a wide range of sectors join the 1-2 year STFC CERN Business Incubation Centre. Through the programme, they receive a package of funding, business support and technical assistance, as well as access to CERN intellectual property and extensive collaboration and networking opportunities at STFC’s UK-wide locations.

STFC CERN Business Incubation Centre diagram.jpg

Whilst all businesses need to demonstrate a tangible link to CERN’s expertise or technology, the applications of these technical strengths go far beyond just particle acceleration. The STFC CERN BIC has already supported a range of early-stage businesses developing robotics, nanocoatings, biosensors and more for sectors including digital manufacturing, computing and medical technology.

Current incubatee, A2O Innovation Solutions, is developing technology for manufacturing advanced materials for renewable energy systems and the transport industry, whilst the most recent addition to the programme, Artemis Analytical, is using technologies originally developed at CERN to speed up carbon dating for archaeologists.

So, if you are looking for a way to grow your idea from technical concept to market reality, and to develop from a small start-up into a thriving high-tech company, then why not get in touch? The next expression of interest deadline for the programme is 30th November.

To find out more about the STFC CERN BIC, visit, email or call 01925 603 142.

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