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CERN aims to enhance technology transfer to industry

The Finance Committee of CERN, the European Laboratory of Fundamental Particle Physics, has adopted a policy of enhancing technology transfer between CERN and industry.

The three main actions taken, to be coordinated by a new Director for technology transfer, will be:

- Prom...
The Finance Committee of CERN, the European Laboratory of Fundamental Particle Physics, has adopted a policy of enhancing technology transfer between CERN and industry.

The three main actions taken, to be coordinated by a new Director for technology transfer, will be:

- Promoting adequate intellectual property protection rights for new technologies developed at CERN and in collaborating institutes;
- Encouraging the training of young scientists in intellectual property rights and entrepreneurship;
- Strengthening the role of CERN's Industry and Technology Liaison Office (ITLO).

Since its inception in 1954, CERN has been active in expertise and technology transfer mainly through purchasing contracts or collaboration agreements. The World-Wide Web, medical imaging and advanced techniques for using electronic chips are among the many recent spin-offs from the fundamental research done at CERN.

The strengthening of this technology transfer policy will allow the Laboratory to better exploit its intellectual property rights while clarifying the relations it maintains with research and industry in its Member States. Patent applications will still be limited to cases with significant market potential, where European industrialists have to defend their interests in the face of globalization of the economy.

A database of available technologies is accessible to the public and industrialists can submit requests to ITLO. ITLO will establish links with technology parks and incubators in Member States, so that those setting up firms may receive all possible help.

However, the new policy will not be allowed to harm CERN's basic fundamental research mission. The Laboratory's task is pure science, but the tools it uses, the particle accelerators and detectors, push different kinds of technology to their limits, or beyond. The spin-off is practical progress, of benefit both to industry and society, says CERN.
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