A HighTechXL hackathon on 2 July is organized to find or create startups that can turn Geneva-based CERN technology into new companies. Brainport Eindhoven’s innovative ecosystem is chosen to help one of the world’s most advanced research centers.

Nikhef – the Amsterdam based scientific organization that is connected to CERN – and HighTechXL want to not only recruit the startup teams but also mentor them in a four-month program in Eindhoven.

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. They use the large and complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles. CERN research has led to innovations as diverse as the World Wide Web and the discovery of the Higgs boson. CERN is represented in the Netherlands through Nikhef, the national institute for subatomic physics.

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Dr. Jan Visser, liaison officer for CERN and Nikhef executive, calls the Brainport region “the obvious place” to bring together innovators and CERN technology. “The Eindhoven region is very good at taking advanced technology and turning it into businesses. There is a perfect match between CERN and Eindhoven’s high-tech industry knowledge base and competencies.’

HighTechXL founder Guus Frericks hopes the collaboration will unlock the hidden commercial potential of disruptive CERN technologies. “It provides a unique opportunity for high-tech industry experts who have ever dreamed of creating their own company – and were waiting for the right opportunity – to become a founding member of a new high-tech company.”

The hackathon will be a community-driven effort to explore and select the targeted application areas. As part of the process, the hackathon will create opportunities for industry experts to apply to form founder teams around breakthrough CERN technologies. After the teams are identified, the formal accelerator program begins in September and finishes in December before Christmas.

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Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.