Tomography machine test
(Image: CERN)

Bringing nations together through science

Over the years, CERN has always been open to the scientific communities of all nations, overcoming political barriers. CERN scientists worked with their Soviet and US counterparts throughout the Cold War. It is no accident that many Eastern European countries joined CERN soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall. And today, scientists from all regions of the world rub shoulders at the Laboratory.

CERN was the prototype for scientific collaboration in Europe, and has given rise to organisations with remits ranging from astronomy to biology. The latest organisation to follow in CERN’s footsteps is SESAME, a laboratory for the Middle East in Jordan. That Israel and the Palestinian Authority should be among the founder members of SESAME may seem surprising, but perhaps no more so than the countries of Europe coming together in the wake of the Second World War to found CERN.

Advancing the frontiers of technology

A myriad of engineers, technicians and scientists develop novel technology and expertise that can be applied to fields other than high-energy physics. This is made possible by the CERN community, which develops the expertise and shares it with society. CERN also collaborates with industry – including large companies, SMEs or recent start-ups – and engages with other stakeholders, such as policy makers, especially those acting in CERN’s Member States.

What is our knowledge-transfer mission?

The scientific advancements of CERN push the frontiers of technology, which has a positive impact on society globally. Although the core mission of the Laboratory is fundamental research in particle physics, it also has a remit to train the next generation of scientists and to bring nations together. The transfer of CERN technologies and expertise to society is an integral part of these activities, providing novel solutions in many fields.,Industry and Technology
How CERN’s various areas of expertise translate into impact across industries beyond CERN (Image: CERN)
Places like CERN contribute to the kind of knowledge that not only enriches humanity, but also provides the wellspring of ideas that become the technologies of the future. — Fabiola Gianotti, Director-General of CERN
Pictures from the Clinic of Génolier
(Image: CERN)

The technologies and scientific advances at CERN have contributed to the medical field since the 1970s, when CERN scientists contributed to early studies on PET devices. Today, CERN’s unique expertise and technologies are being used in areas related to medical diagnostics and imaging, therapy as well as computing and simulations for health applications.

CERN is playing a critical and increasingly recognised role, scientifically and technologically, in aerospace. Both space missions and underground accelerator and detector infrastructures have to deal with extreme environments, posing stringent technological requirements that often overlap. By establishing partnerships and exploring synergies with a variety of players in the aerospace sector, CERN’s technologies, facilities and expertise are used in the flight and ground segments of many space missions.

CERN technologies and expertise are applied to a wide range of fields: