New AIDA-2020 call for breakthrough detector technologies

Up to four projects can be funded for disruptive applications outside the field of high-energy physics, from medtech to aerospace and beyond


Physicists, engineers, and industry will be interested in a new Proof-of-Concept fund for breakthrough projects from the general field of detector development and testing. The fund will provide up to 200k€ of seed funding to support innovative and societal applications with a focus on industry-oriented applications.  The deadline for applying is October 20th 2016.

EU Project AIDA-2020, which stands for Advanced European Infrastructure for Detectors and Accelerators and in which CERN is a partner, has launched the call. Up to four projects will be funded based on a competitive selection process taking into account quality, impact and implementation. The projects will be selected for applications beyond high-energy physics, from medtech to aerospace, and extending to any other field in which innovative detector technology can be transferred.  

The Proof-of-Concept fund will help bridge the gap between the pure R&D phase and market applications by reducing the technological and commercial risks for industrial partners, including companies and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).

All AIDA-2020 beneficiaries can apply for the funding, and applications can involve partners, such as the AIDA-2020 collaborating institutes. Applications with industrial partners, and who can contribute to product commercialisation and spin-offs are encouraged, in particular where the industrial partner is prepared to invest with matching funds.

“This is a unique opportunity to showcase how technologies originating from detector development and testing can have a positive impact on society outside the field of high-energy physics,” says Dr. Felix Sefkow, the Scientific Coordinator for AIDA-2020 and member of DESY, the German Electron Synchrotron.

The fund’s overall goal is to positively impact European industry, by delivering innovation to the market faster. “We are aware that from the EC perspective the Innovation and Outreach work package is regarded as highly important,” adds Dr. Felix Sefkow.

CERN is coordinating AIDA-2020 and involved in the fund through a work package dedicated to Innovation and Outreach, coordinated by CERN’s Knowledge Transfer Group.

The work package was set up to identify key technology areas, and to link these with relevant industrial partners. This means contributing essential business intelligence for the assessment of needed industrial capabilities and managing industrial relations through its extensive network of technology transfer offices. In addition, the work package advises on technology landscaping, identifying industry partners, administering the Proof-of-Concept process, as well as with intellectual property matters.

The new Proof-of-Concept fund is loosely based on CERN’s successful experience with its Knowledge Transfer Fund, known as the “KT Fund”, dedicated to bridging the gap between CERN and society. The KT Fund has already funded 38 projects since its creation in 2011.

The AIDA-2020 fund will adopt a similar lean submission process as CERN’s KT fund, to ensure applications can focus on quality content rather than form.

Interested participants can contact the AIDA-2020 Proof-of-Concept fund team with any questions at

For more information, coordinator contact: David Mazur
AIDA-2020 Proof-of-Concept Fund and application portal
CERN’s Knowledge Transfer website
CERN’s Knowledge Transfer fund