October 19, 2020 to November 20, 2020
Europe/Zurich timezone
Applications for CESP 2020 are now closed. Stay tuned for information about the Demo Day!

Terms & Conditions


The CERN Entrepreneurship Student Programme (CESP) 2020 (the “Programme”) is organized by the European Organization for Nuclear Research ("CERN"), an Intergovernmental Organization having its seat at Geneva, Switzerland.

Information on the application for, and participation in, the Programme are laid out in these terms and conditions. By registering and/or participating in the Programme, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. If you do not agree with these terms and conditions, you may not participate in the Programme.

CERN may change these terms and conditions.


The Programme will take place between 19 October and 20 November 2020 at CERN site, Switzerland. The timetable of the event will be available at http://indico.cern.ch/e/cesp2020.

CERN may change the days, time and location of, or cancel the Programme due to technical or organizational needs. It will announce such changes or cancelation on the Programme's web site (http://indico.cern.ch/e/cesp2020).


Information on eligibility criteria and application are set forth in the application website (https://smrtr.io/3V9zS).

Applications will be open until 30 March 2020 at 12 p.m. CET (the “Application Period”).


After termination of the Application Period, CERN will review all applications and select up to 16 participants, based on the following criteria:

  1. your CV (and those of your team members, if submitted a team member application);
  2. your/your team’s Video Pitch;
  3. your/your team’s Project Description; and
  4. your/your team’s project and its match with CERN’s expertise in machine learning.

Note that, if you submitted a team member application, you cannot be selected as an individual, i.e. you are only selected if your team is selected as a whole.

CERN will notify all applicants about the selection results by 30 April 2020.


During the programme, you/your team will benefit from CERN’s expertise in machine learning and related fields (the “CERN Know-How”) in order to further develop your/your team’s project. The first weeks will encompass input from CERN technical experts, in addition to certain lectures on technology entrepreneurship. During the final week, you/your team will deliver a final presentation to potential incubators, accelerators and/or investors. The ultimate goal is to be ready for start-up incubation after the programme is finished.

The Programme evolves around the concept of teams, where teamwork plays an important role.

Team Member Participants

If CERN selected you based on your team member application, you are expected to participate in the Programme as a team. However, should your team split up, you are entitled to finish the Programme on your own, by joining an existing team or by creating a new team.

Individual Participants

If CERN selected you based on your individual application, you are entitled to participate in the Programme on your own. However, you are entitled to finish the Programme by joining an existing team or by creating a new team.


You shall:

  1. abide by these terms and conditions;
  2. fulfil any visa and/or entry requirements required by Switzerland and France, as applicable;
  3. ensure that you have a full insurance cover for both professional and non-professional illness and accidents, which is adequate for the CERN region (Switzerland/France);
  4. bring your own computer or other electronic device for participation in the Programme;
  5. produce, as deliverables during your participation, (i) a commercialization plan, and (ii) a final presentation of the team’s concept developed during the Programme;
  6. release and hold harmless CERN, its employees and agents from any and all liability or any injury, loss or damage of any kind, arising from or in connection with your participation in the Programme. You are responsible for payment of any taxes and any other liabilities arising from your participation in the Programme.


Participation in the Programme is free of charge.

CERN will:

  1. bear the costs for the venue;
  2. provide you with accommodation in a single room at the CERN Hotel from 18 October to 20 November 2020; and
  3. provide you with a monthly allowance of 1’516 CHF.

Note that CERN will pay the allowance only at the end of the Programme. As living costs in the Geneva area are high, you must have adequate financial resources to support yourself during the Programme.

These Terms and Conditions prevail over any other terms that would apply between you and CERN in matters of financial compensation, including the general terms of the Short-Term Internship Programme at CERN.


You may use CERN Know-How, CERN’s technologies, data, and other materials (“CERN Background”) selected by CERN during your participation in the Programme, and you hereby acknowledge that the intellectual property rights and all other rights related to the CERN Background, are vested in CERN. CERN hereby grants you/your team a non-exclusive, non‑transferable, non-sublicensable, royalty free, licence to use and copy the CERN Background exclusively during your participation in the Programme. You/your team shall not use the CERN Background after the Programme, unless you/your team have concluded a separate agreement with CERN.

All intellectual property and know-how owned by you/your team before the commencement of the Programme, or developed by you independently of the Programme (“Your Background”), will remain your/your team’s property.

By participating in the Programme, you represent and warrant that you will not present or use content that is copyrighted, protected by trade secret or otherwise subject to third party intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights, unless you either are the owner of such rights or have permission from their rightful owner to present or use such content, and to grant CERN the necessary rights thereto as mentioned below.

It is recommended to only use third party works that are available under open source licensing principles (for example, open source software), open hardware (and creative commons).

All work products you create during the Programme that 

  1. integrate CERN Background are vested in CERN (“CERN Results”);
  2. do not integrate CERN Background are vested in you (“Your Results”).

CERN Results and Your Results are jointly referred to as “Results”.

You shall ensure that the Results do not infringe in any manner or induce infringement of any third party intellectual property rights. You shall indemnify CERN against all claims asserted by third-parties against CERN for actual or alleged infringement of rights resulting from the use of the Results, as well as against all litigation costs (including reasonable legal fees) incurred to defend CERN against such claims, unless CERN itself is responsible for the infringement of rights by its gross negligence or wilful misconduct.

CERN hereby grants you a non-exclusive, non‑transferable, non-sublicensable, royalty free, licence to use CERN Results for research and development (R&D) purposes within the field of application described in your team’s commercialization plan, for six months from termination of the Programme. Subject to pre-existing obligations, CERN hereby grants you/your team a non-exclusive, non‑transferable, non-sublicensable, royalty free licence to use the CERN Background to the extent needed to make use of such CERN Results. During such six‑month period, CERN agrees to not publish or otherwise disclose such CERN Results outside the Programme. After termination of the R&D licence, should you/your team wish to discuss a commercial licence on such CERN Results, please contact the CERN Knowledge Transfer Group (kt@cern.ch).


You acknowledge and understand that your personal data will be processed by CERN in accordance with the terms of the KT Partner Privacy Notice and the CERN Site Security Privacy Notice.


You acknowledge and understand that, by attending the Programme or any other related event in person, you may be photographed, videotaped, and/or otherwise recorded by CERN (collectively “Footage”). You acknowledge that all Footage, including all copyrights and other rights therein, are owned by CERN. You authorize CERN to use, edit, publish, and exploit such Footage and all elements embodied therein (including, your name, team name and information, likeness, submission materials, and recordings of your activities related to the Programme), in any media throughout the world, for advertising, promotional activities, and other purposes, without further notification, permission, or compensation. CERN has no obligation to make use of any of the Footage.

You further acknowledge that CERN bears no responsibility for photographs, videotapes, and/or recordings taken by other participants or visitors of the Programme.


By registering for the Programme, you agree to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including these terms and conditions, the CERN Code of Conduct and the CERN Computing Rules, as well as other rules, restrictions, or instructions provided by CERN personnel. You acknowledge that violations and/or failure to comply with the above may result in your immediate disqualification from the Programme and removal from the venue. Any decision by CERN, its representatives, or individuals selected by CERN with respect to violations are final and binding.

The above also applies in case of behaviour deemed inappropriate by CERN; such inappropriate behaviour includes, the taking of drugs or other illegal substances during the Programme, harmful and discriminating statements, hacking or manipulating or attempting to hack or manipulate the IT system or the data of CERN or other teams.

You shall comply with any policy your employer, and/or home institution or university may have regarding participation in events of this type. If CERN believes that you violated any such policy, CERN may disqualify you. CERN is not responsible for any disputes arising between you and your employer, and/or home institution or university.


The license to the CERN Know-How in Section 6, as well as the consultancy or mentoring by the CERN technical experts is provided to you on an “as-is” basis, without any warranty, express or implied, of any kind including as to timely performance, results, suitability towards solving the challenges presented, fitness for purpose, and the non‑infringement of third party rights. CERN accepts no liability, including product liability, related to the use of the CERN Know-How during the Programme.

CERN does not accept any liability whatsoever for direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, exemplary, punitive or other damages of any character including, damages for loss of data, or interruption of activities, arising out of or related to (i) your participation in the Programme, or (ii) your compliance or non‑compliance with laws and regulations. You shall indemnify CERN against all claims and liability with regard to the subject matter of this section.


These terms and conditions shall be interpreted in accordance with their true meaning and effect. Without prejudice to CERN’s status as an Intergovernmental Organization, reference shall be made to Swiss substantive law where: (a) a matter is not specifically covered by these terms and conditions; or (b) a provision of these terms and conditions is ambiguous or unclear. Such reference shall be made exclusively for the matter or provision(s) concerned, and shall in no event apply to the other provisions of these terms and conditions.

Any dispute under these terms and conditions that fails to be settled amicably shall be referred to arbitration, in accordance with the procedure drawn up by CERN in accordance with its status as an Intergovernmental Organization, set out at: http://legal.web.cern.ch/procedures/arbitration.