CERN Accelerating science

Education for innovation in Hilumi and FCC

HiLumi and FCC organised their first innovation course in collaboration with IdeaSquare and CERN Knowledge Transfer (KT) on 31 January and 1 February, 2018. Twenty students and young professionals from HiLumi and FCC interested in innovation and entrepreneurship participated in the two-day course and will continue working on their ideas for a few weeks. The purpose of the induction session was twofold: to let the participants explore potential ways to apply their knowledge and skills outside the CERN context, and to familiarize them with established innovation practices. The aim was to inspire students/young professionals to think “outside the box” and teach them basic skills on how to think like an innovator and an entrepreneur thus offering them new skills and competences, which they may find useful later on in their careers. “It has been a real pleasure to host the course at IdeaSquare”, says Markus Nordberg who is a recognised expert in open innovation and manages other innovation courses such as the Challenge Based Innovation CBI.

During the two days, the participants gained insight into how to deliver innovation, assess knowledge transfer opportunities and identify different applications of CERN technologies from presentations given by the IdeaSquare team and distinguished visiting presenters. Harri Toivonen from Aalto University introduced the participants to the design thinking philosophy, opening minds on how to approach challenges with no clear solution. Giovanni Anelli from KT demonstrated how CERN technologies have turned into applications that benefit society in sectors such as medicine, safety and environment. He also put a focus on the innovation opportunities offered by KT. Philipp Topic from Vienna University of Economics and Business introduced Technological Competence Leveraging, a systematic, proactive and crowdsourcing-based method to identify new application fields for technologies. Marcello Losasso presented the QUACO project as a case study of a Pre-Commercial Procurement initiative, a mechanism that boosts innovation and attracts potential industrial partners. Creating a network of like-minded people is also a key to success in innovation and this is why Laure Esteveny presented the CERN Alumni activities and IdeaSquare and KT student programs were presented to open up ideas on how to reach to peers.

The participants were encouraged to bring their own innovation topics to the course, and if so had the chance to display them in an elevator pitch on both days. Using the knowledge and tools introduced during the course, the participants then worked in four groups, developing and refining their ideas. During the group sessions, some ideas were dropped, and the groups  developed detailed presentations for 10 ideas they most believed in, to defend their views. At the end of the second day, three ideas were subsequently voted as most promising and three groups were put in place to further refine and work on them. At the time of publication of this article each group is developing their ideas with expert support.

The results will be presented in an award ceremony to an invited audience on 21 March. “It has been extremely impressive how the participants have used the information received during the course”, says Isabel Bejar Alonso, organizer of the course. “From the first presentation to the last there has been a complete revolution moving from vague ideas to credible proposals.” This innovation course has demonstrated how important it is for young researchers to see that entrepreneurship can be an option for their careers. Even more so as they realised that there is no real frontier between industrial innovation and the work they do every day.

 

Header image: The participants refined their ideas during group workshops in the HiLumi FCC Innovation course at IdeaSquare (photo by Isabel Bejar Alonso, CERN)  

Athena Papageorgiou Koufidou & Fiona J. Harden (CERN)
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7 Dec 2017

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Outi Heloma (CERN), Isabel Bejar Alonso (CERN)
Education for innovation in Hilumi and FCC
6 Mar 2018

Education for innovation in Hilumi and FCC

What’s in it for innovators in Hilumi and FCC? Twenty young researchers interested in innovation and entrepreneurship participated in this two-day course.

Isabel Bejar Alonso (CERN) , Panagiotis Charitos (CERN)
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7 Dec 2017

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Science transcends boundaries

For a third year, the European Union (EU) Delegation to Japan, together with EU Member State embassies, European and Japanese research laboratories organized a number of events during the Science Agora 2017, Japan’s largest science fair. Every year, Science Agora offers a unique opportunity for scientists to interact with policymakers and the general public to discuss how science and technology transform our daily lives and occupy a central place in economic growth and societal change.

The key theme of the 2017 Science Agora was “Beyond the Boundaries”. In this regard, international collaboration and geographical diversity are just as important as diversity of disciplines. The FCC study, supported through EC’s H2020 EuroCirCol programme, was presented as an example of how international scientific collaboration transcends different boundaries and could help us address a number of inter-connected global challenges. In total five projects were selected to showcase how collaboration between European and Japanese institutes boosts frontiers in particle physics, sustainable energy sources, the internet of things, nuclear fusion, smart cities and climate change.

EU's "participation in Science Agora is thus driven by our twofold desire to show in a tangible manner some of the best science and innovation which are being developed in Europe, and to demonstrate the diverse ways in which European and Japanese researchers and scientists are cooperating", said EU Ambassador Viorel Isticioaia-Budura.

The opening ceremony of EU's participation to Science Agora 2017 in Tokyo. EU Ambassador to Japan Viorel Isticioaia-Budura (right) and Leonidas Karapiperis, Head of S&T Section, Delegation of the EU to Japan (left) (Image Credits: EU delegation to Japan).

Frank Zimmermann (Deputy FCC-study leader) discussed how the FCC study strengthens the role of global collaboration in science, technology and innovation, leveraging the competencies of experts from different fields and countries. “We are facing a changing reality that not only opens up the opportunity for collaboration, but which actually necessitates the latter, as it becomes increasingly difficult for individual scientists or even individual countries to conduct groundbreaking research on their own. We have witnessed how scientific research has evolved over the past decades, requiring R&D efforts beyond institutes and even countries to develop novel enabling technologies.” International cutting-edge research helps us cross the boundary between the present and the future, and allows us to envisage a much more powerful post-LHC collider.

Moreover, Zimmermann presented the joint efforts with KEK and University of Tokyo in developing a new generation of superconductors that will meet the requirements of the high-field magnets needed for a 100 TeV energy frontier collider. It is key to the success of any high-tech project to involve the entire scientific and engineering community from the very early days onwards.

Frank Zimmermann (CERN) presenting the scope of the study for a Future Circular Collider and highlighting aspects of the collaboration with Japanese research institutes and universities.

The European Union’s participation in the Science Agora also included lively demonstrations of superconductors, a video illustration of the FCC collider, poster presentations, and small tokens for the young visitors! This event offered the opportunity for European and Japanese researchers to present their joint projects and, conversely, to listen to the voices of the general public, including Japanese high-school, middle-school and primary-school students fascinated by science. This next generation will eventually provide the researchers to work on the proposed future accelerator complex. At the Agora, the participating scientists also shared their original motivation and the questions they are trying to address through their research, thereby inspiring many young students who were curious about a researcher’s life.

The stand of the EU delegation in the Science Agora 2017 giving information about a number of EC supported projects.

The FCC study along with the other collaborative projects that were presented at the Science Agora 2017 are helping to expand the area of world-leading scientific and technological collaboration between Japan and Europe – an area that will create growth and that will offer to young people, from around the world, the space to dream, to aspire and to develop.

Nicholas Sammut (University of Malta)
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