CERN’s mission is the pursuit of knowledge through curiosity-driven research. The Laboratory was created to explore the fundamental particles and their interactions, with the goal of helping us to understand how the universe works. Since its beginnings, CERN has also acted as a trailblazer in the technologies related to accelerators, detectors and computing. As a laboratory with a long-term research plan, it is continuously innovating. For more than 60 years, the work of thousands of scientists from all over the world has pushed back the limits of knowledge in fundamental physics, as well as in many fields of technology. It is part of CERN’s mission to ensure that our innovations bring practical benefits to society as a whole.
We use a variety of avenues to bring CERN innovation to society, ranging from education, communication and outreach to formal Knowledge Transfer (KT) activities whose aim is to maximise the positive impact of CERN technologies outside the HEP field. CERN’s KT activities have led to hundreds of collaboration agreements from the field of medtech and aerospace, and from industry 4.0 to cultural heritage. We have a CERN KT fund to stimulate innovation. It has funded 41 projects since 2011, while our Medical Applications budget has funded 25 projects since 2014. We promote entrepreneurship and we grant licences for companies to develop our technologies. 23 start-ups are now using CERN technology, some hosted in the nine Member State Business Incubation Centres (BICs). All this is done to ensure a strong return on investment for policy makers, industry, and the general public.