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ATTRACT funding is awarded to 170 breakthrough projects

The EU-funded programme announces the successful proposals in its call for projects. CERN scientists are involved in 19 of the projects selected


Work on an integrated circuit in a clean room
Many of the projects selected by the ATTRACT initiative involve the development of new sensors (Image: ATTRACT)

The Europe of innovation gathered last week at CERN. The leaders of the ATTRACT1 initiative announced in CERN’s Main Auditorium the 170 breakthrough projects that will receive funding. The ATTRACT project, which is part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, finances breakthrough ideas in the fields of detection and imaging. The selection committee had to choose from 1200 proposals from scientists and entrepreneurs in Europe and beyond. “The 170 breakthrough ideas were selected based on a combination of scientific merit, innovation readiness and potential societal impact,” explains Sergio Bertolucci, chair of ATTRACT’s Independent R&D&I Committee. The selection committee gave priority to projects pledging to share their results in an open-innovation philosophy in line with the open-science policy promoted by CERN and its partners.

CERN scientists are involved in 19 of these projects. From magnets and cryogenics to electronics and informatics, many CERN teams and technologies were represented. The Laboratory’s scientists were able to showcase their unparalleled expertise in the detection of the infinitesimal and in extreme environment technologies. Several of the selected projects involve the design of sensors or signal-transmission systems that operate at very low temperatures or in the presence of radiation. Many of the 19 projects target applications in the fields of medical imaging and treatment or in the aerospace sector. Others seek industrial applications, such as the high-tech 3D printing of systems equipped with sensors, the inspection of operating cryostats or applications in environmental monitoring.

For the 170 winners, the clock now starts ticking again. They have one year to develop their ideas in the form of products or services, using the initial 100 k€ grant they will each receive, together with the support of innovation and business experts. The results will be presented in Brussels in autumn 2020 and the most promising projects will receive further funding.

More information on the selected projects can be found in the press release from ATTRACT.

1- The ATTRACT initiative involves CERN, EMBL, ESO, ESRF, the European XFEL, ILL, Aalto University, the EIRMA association and ESADE. It is led by CERN and funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement No 777222.