A Successful First CERN Entrepreneurship Demo Day

07.09.2018 11:52

The very first CERN Entrepreneurship Student Program (CESP) Demo Day took place this week in Geneva. After 5 weeks of hard work, three promising projects were presented on this occasion, lighting the sparkle of entrepreneurship at the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

Three promising projects were presented this week by a batch of ten applicants at the CESP Demo Day, an event held in CERN’s Council Chamber. As Ranveig Strom, CERN’s Entrepreneurship Development Officer reminded the audience, the program that started 5 weeks ago is a first for the world’s largest scientific research laboratory in particle physics.

Recognizing and valuing entrepreneurial development as a key factor for economic growth, CERN is contributing to build a culture of entrepreneurship. In order to the necessary interdisciplinary bridges, CERN is ramping up its attention to entrepreneurship education and high-quality, hands-on training, which can complement and reinforce the theoretical education offered at Universities.

This is where the CERN Entrepreneurship Student Programme, or CESP in short, enters the picture. The CESP is the latest addition to the CERN & Society Programme focusing on youth and education, with the ambition to nurture a younger generation of high-tech entrepreneurs. Through a 5-week, intensive training onsite at CERN, master-level students from anywhere in the world have the opportunity to put in practice and test their knowledge and business ideas, using CERN technologies as case studies. Explore – Evaluate - Exploit is the motto that guides students during their residency under the supervision and coaching of CERN experts.

A promising first edition

Three projects were presented by the students at the first ever CESP Demo Day. Impressive considering its two week old age, Colight aims to “connect the unconnected” and tackle the world digital divide thanks to the structured laser beam. The technology developed at CERN has the ability to broadcast large quantities of data over a 100 kilometers range in a secure and cost effective way. A successful demo was organized shortly after the pitch. 

The second project had a clear edtech and social impact orientation. The Mobile Physics Lab “Sci-Wheels” aims to help children in developing countries discover physics in everyday life, society and the future. Last but not least, the third project showed also a lot of potential. By adapting CERN’s structured laser beam technology to LIDAR applications for autonomous cars, the team wants to make self-driving cars smarter and safer.

All in all, the first CESP Demo Day showed a lot of promise with ambitious projects at different development stages. Colight could become a start-up soon, the others in the coming months. This event was also the opportunity to discover ten highly motivated participants and we look forward to see next edition batch pitch in Geneva.


Picture: CERN, Photographer: Jean-Claude Rifflard 

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