CERN Accelerating science

By Carsten Welsch (University of Liverpool) and Panos Charitos (CERN)

The International Festival for Business 2016 (IFB2016) has taken place in Liverpool, UK between 13 June and 1 July. With 30,000 delegates from 100 countries the event is a global marketplace for high tech products, technologies and innovations. It brings together thousands of businesses from around the world, and joins entrepreneurs, leading academics, and representatives from research organizations, including CERN, with investors and manufacturers for three weeks of events, business networking and deal-making.

This year’s festival followed the inaugural International Festival for Business, which took place in 2014 and resulted in more than £200 million in new investment deals, £80 million in export sales, and almost 6,000 new jobs in the year following. This year its economic value is expected to be £265 million. The event featured exhibitions, targeted events in dedicated suites named after countries, and keynote talks. There are panel events with speakers drawn from the elite of world business and politics, such as Nobel Peace Prize-winner FW de Klerk, WPP founder Sir Martin Sorrell, secretary of state for business Sajid Javid, and many more. Every industry is covered, addressing issues from shale gas and artificial intelligence to the future of the biotech industry and to how to solve current productivity gaps.

On Wednesday 15th June 2016 Physics Innovate joined academics, large corporations, public organisations and SMEs in the South Africa Suite to show how physics impacts on the energy, security, environment and healthcare sectors. Participants learned about some of the latest developments in detector technology, proton beam therapy and high energy physics, as well as about perspectives in research funding. Industry stands showcased products, technologies and large scale research projects.

Prof. Carsten Welsch, Head of the Accelerator Physics Group at the University of Liverpool, was invited to talk about “Accelerating Innovation”. He presented the key technology challenges in the field of particle accelerators that are currently being addressed by large international collaborations within projects such as OMA, EuPRAXIA and EuroCirCol. He gave the specific example of new imaging and beam delivery techniques to enhance medical accelerators, advanced laser technologies that shall pave the way for a European plasma accelerator with industry beam quality, and high field magnets and beyond state-of-the-art superconducting cables for a next generation particle collider.

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