Students screen CERN technologies

NTNU students Aleksander Torstensen and Eirik Sola Fischer (seated) with NTNU Pro-Rector for Innovation and External Relations, Johan E. Hustad (centre), and Rector Torbjørn Digernes during their visit to CERN (Image: CERN)

Thirty-one students of entrepreneurship from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim today presented their assessments of the market potential of three CERN technologies. Their findings are the result of a week of hands-on training in technology transfer and intellectual-property management with the knowledge-transfer team at CERN. The training, now in its 5th edition, is the result of a successful collaboration between CERN’s experts in knowledge transfer and NTNU.

"The advantage of being here at CERN is that we get a concrete idea of the R&D done at CERN, we can put questions to the inventors and experience the work of a technology transfer office," says Kristin Haernes Ihlen, 23. Kristin is one of the 10 students who chose the challenge to turn CERN’s compact cryogenic-cooling pumps, developed in the Technology department, into market reality. Two other groups chose to work on Invenio, the integrated digital library and repository system from the IT department, and ROOT, a data-analysis-software framework, developed in the Physics department.

The training week is a knowledge-exchange opportunity: students learn about technology-transfer and about physics and engineering at CERN, while inventors and technology-transfer officers look at tech-transfer opportunities from new angles. As Friedrich Haug, the CERN engineer who invented the compact cryogenic-cooling pumps, says: "The students, with their fresh approach and business background, force us to think about new applications and about further R&D developments which could make our technologies more interesting for industry."

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