Top-notch partners launch incubator for high-tech startups

10.07.2018 15:00
Teams Incubator

PARK INNOVAARE, CERN, Paul Scherrer Institute and the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) team up to launch an incubator for start-ups. It offers access to technologies, know-how and CHF 50,000 in start-up capital.

The centre will be promoting companies with a connection to accelerator technology. This includes technology fields as diverse as Big Data/ICT, detectors, high-performance electronics, cooling systems, magnets, sensors, control and monitoring systems, vacuum technology and many more – for applications not only in the field of particle accelerators, but also in medicine and biomedicine, aerospace, environmental technologies, Industry 4.0 and even monument preservation.

InnovAARE AG, the supporting organization and operator company of PARK INNOVAARE, will be setting up and running the incubation centre. At the same time, the centre will be one of the CERN Business Incubation Centres (BIC) of CERN. In total, ten BICs exist in Europe. The centre in Villigen is the first in Switzerland. Joining CERN as partners are the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW).

Access to technologies, know-how and CHF 50,000 in start-up capital
PARK INNOVAARE and its partners are setting up a support program for start-ups and young, small high-tech companies. While CERN and PSI advise the young companies in terms of technology, the University of Applied Sciences will support them with management knowledge. In addition to granting preferential conditions for the use of CERN patents, core elements of the funding also include access to the complementary know-how of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and start-up capital of CHF 50,000 per company. These measures are supplemented by intensive start-up coaching provided as part of the FHNW workshop program. Initially, one company is to be funded in 2018. In the long term, an average of two companies are to be included in the program per year.

Competition starting at the end of August
The companies will be selected by means of a competition. Start-ups and technology companies that have been on the market for less than two years can apply starting at the end of August 2018. It is also possible to apply before a start-up has been incorporated. The competition is open to start-ups from abroad. The so-called “incubatees” will be chosen by an independent jury in a two-stage selection process. The first application round will be based on two-page summaries of the projects.

It is already possible to apply, however the official kick-off will take place on 27 August. In addition to representatives from PARK INNOVAARE, CERN, PSI and FHNW, the jury will include representatives from industry, the financial sector and the media. The first incubatees will be presented this year. Plans are to present the winner at the StartUpForum Aargau, which will take place at the FHNW Campus Brugg-Windisch on November 12, with more than 300 visitors.

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, runs a major research facility for basic physical research in the canton of Geneva. With its Business Incubation Centres (BICs), CERN aims to promote technology transfer in order to make the cutting-edge technologies it has developed available to industry and society in Europe. CERN currently has business incubation centres in ten countries, including Finland, France, Greece, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Spain and now Switzerland.

More information about the new program can be found on the PARK INNOVAARE website.

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