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Knowledge Transfer Fund to support six new projects

From photonic crystals to fibre-optic sensors, the KT Fund is supporting new initiatives to disseminate technology to society


Knowledge Transfer Fund to support six new projects

This year, the KT fund is supporting six projects, including one to develop photonic crystals – which glow when high-energy charged particles pass through – for medical imaging (Image: CERN)

For the second year running, CERN's Knowledge Transfer group will re-invest part of the revenues generated by knowledge transfer activities into new projects. Each year the KT Fund selection committee assigns financial support to projects that have a promising impact on society at large. The committee is chaired by the head of the Finance, Procurement and Knowledge Transfer department, and composed of the heads of all CERN departments as well as the KT group and section leaders.

This year the KT Fund will support six new projects:

Paul Lecoq of the Physics department will continue a project started in 2011 for the development of photonic crystals for a range of applications including medical imaging for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Walter Wünsch of the Beams department, in collaboration with the TERA foundation, will adapt high-gradient accelerating radiofrequency technologies developed for the high-energy Compact Linear Collider (CLIC) to low-energy proton accelerators suitable for cancer treatment, with the goal of reducing the size of future particle therapy machines.

Detlef Küchler and Christian Carli, also of the Beams department, will lead a design study related to an ion source to be used in a possible future open access biomedical facility at CERN.

Alessandro Bertarelli and Stefano Sgobba of the Engineering department will work on the development and characterization of new Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs) materials, similar to the ones needed by future Large Hadron Collider (LHC) collimators but adapted for general thermal management applications (including electronics).  

Jose Benito Gonzalez and Thomas Baron of the IT department intend to increase the use and visibility of the Indico open-source software beyond CERN by improving the available package and the distribution website, by introducing tracking tools to monitor new installations and to allow better customization.

Paolo Petagna of the Physics department will develop a new class of fibre-optic sensor for relative humidity that is less subject to aging problems – and more radiation-resistant – than classical polymer-based sensors. The sensor could be used in fields from environmental monitoring to food packaging and sterilization plants for medical applications.

“The progress of the six projects funded in 2011 and the quality of the proposals received in 2012 have confirmed that CERN’s researchers have many innovative ideas that they are willing to develop further for the benefit of society,” says Giovanni Anelli, head of the Knowledge Transfer group. “We look forward to supporting and providing services to new initiatives which can help sharing CERN’s expertise with a broader community.”

The Knowledge Transfer group is currently collecting new applications for the KT Fund 2013.