CERN’s policy in the field of knowledge and technology transfer goes global

On 2 November, the Knowledge & Technology Transfer (KTT) Group presented to the Directorate three proposals that aim to enhance KTT activities. One important aspect of the proposals is the direct involvement of all members of CERN, who are strongly encouraged to communicate any ideas for additional applications of their work.

KTT is a high-priority activity area because of its potential to demonstrate the role of CERN as a source of innovation, delivering tangible benefits to society. In particular, through its know-how and its leadership, CERN is today generating innovations applicable in domains such as medical sciences, energy and the environment, as well as many others.

“The measures endorsed by the Directorate on 2 November include a comprehensive policy for managing the intellectual property related to CERN technologies”, explains Claudio Parrinello, head of the KTT Group in the DG Department. “This includes a proposal to redistribute part of the income generated by technology transfer projects to the departments and the units hosting the projects, while the remainder will go to a KTT development fund, providing support to new KTT projects”.

Another proposal aims to define a policy for CERN spin-off companies, i.e. companies created to exploit the commercial potential of the CERN technology portfolio. “In recent years, several companies have been directly generated by activities that were born at CERN. We are working on measures aimed at facilitating and supporting spin-off creation”, says Parrinello.

Finally, a proposal for the creation of a CERN Global Network was presented. “Such a network aims to create a global community composed of current and former members of the CERN personnel, research institutions and companies in the Member States, in order to share knowledge on a wide variety of areas and to increase the visibility of CERN partnership opportunities for companies and other organizations (e.g. technology transfer, procurement, recruitment, etc.)”, states Parrinello.

The success of KTT activities relies upon efficient communication and cooperation with all members of the personnel and external partners. You are strongly encouraged to communicate any ideas for additional applications of your work (such as know-how, inventions, hardware, software, etc.) by contacting your Departmental KTT Officer or the KTT Group.

Did you know?

The KTT Group was established in January 2009. Its responsibilities include identifying CERN know-how and technologies with the potential to generate innovation outside high-energy physics, making them visible to potential external partners and then enabling interested parties to access and exploit such opportunities through licensing of patented technologies, contract research, service contracts, etc.

KTT is also responsible for fostering and proposing initiatives aiming to facilitate knowledge exchange between CERN and its partners, and for maintaining and enlarging the European network of experts working on technologies related to life sciences, and, in particular, hadron therapy. The group plays an active role in identifying funding opportunities and in developing and implementing European projects such as ENVISION, PARTNER, ULICE and ENLIGHT.


by CERN Bulletin