CERN and Swiss Space Centre Sign Knowledge Transfer Agreement

CERN signed an agreement with the Swiss Space Center (SSC) on 3rd June 2016, during the CERN/SSC Technology Transfer event, entitled “From High Energy Physics to Aerospace – Collaboration Opportunities”. The Swiss Space Centre, based on the campus of the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), provides a service supporting institutions, academia and industry to access space missions and related applications. The agreement ensures that CERN can benefit from the SSC’s expertise on space activities, and falls within the context of other bilateral agreements that CERN is establishing with national space agencies worldwide.


This event, organized by CERN Knowledge Transfer Group together with the SSC, aimed at presenting a selection of relevant technologies and facilities from CERN to the Swiss aerospace industry and research groups. The agreement will strengthen links between CERN and the SSC and aims to facilitate the establishment of further bilateral or multilateral projects with SSC partners interested in R&D or potential commercial exploitation of CERN technologies. Switzerland has a strong tradition of R&D in the aerospace sector, as well as substantial links between research institutes and industry related to space, making it a strategic partner for CERN.


Martin Steinacher, the Director for Finances and Human Resources at CERN, emphasized that the agreement coincides with CERN’s dedication to increase the transfer of CERN’s technologies and knowledge to the aerospace sector. The Director of the Swiss Space Center, Prof. Volker Gass, expressed his appreciation of CERN’s technical capability to contribute significantly to aerospace applications, and valued the newly established links between the two entities.


“Both space and the Large Hadron Collider are extremely harsh environments, posing stringent technological requirements that often overlap,” said Enrico Chesta, the CERN KT Aerospace Applications Coordinator.

During the one-day meeting, SSC Deputy Director Grégoire Bourban and Enrico Chesta showcased technologies of potential mutual interest. They presented a pilot implementation project related to micro-technology for thermal management of detectors and space systems. Other possible collaborations include the use of CERN’s irradiation facilities for space qualification activities. Visits in the afternoon included the Computing Center, CHARM irradiation facility and AMS-02 POCC.


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