Via the Austrian Business Incubator of CERN Technologies, the province of Lower Austria benefits from a cooperation with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Students from three Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) are provided with the opportunity to use their special know-how to found companies.
“With its accent Inkubator having been included in the particular group of 9 European Business Incubation Centres, Lower Austria can offer selected startups access to CERN technologies,” explains Technology Councilor Petra Bohuslav.
Having the NTNU Screening Week as a pioneer in the field, the first Austrian CERN-BIC Screening Week is being prepared. Selected students with various disciplinary backgrounds, who have already seriously considered the idea of founding companies, met a representative of CERN KT (CERN Knowledge Transfer Group) at the “Palais Lower Austria” today. In a workshop, the students developed possible new application fields for selected CERN technologies. Afterwards, CERN KT experts supported the students in developing a deeper understanding of the technologies. The participants have 12 weeks to further expand their ideas before in February 2020 they will work intensely on business models in the international research centre in Geneva.
For the participating universities this new offer means a valuable component in training. “Cooperation with research institutions and corporates is an essential and stable part of our research and training at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences. This is how we ensure the high quality of science and teaching. As CERN is one of the world’s best known research centres, the new collaboration is a unique opportunity for us and an additional motivation for our students and our entire team. Above all, we can contribute our expertise in cyber security, data analytics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence well and enlarge it in joint projects,” says Hannes Raffaseder, Chief Research and Innovation Officer of the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences.
The travel and housing costs are covered by accent and the UAS. The output can be used as a starting point for the master’s thesis and to launch an own startup. accent Managing Director Michael Moll also emphasizes that due to these opportunities, the Screening Week is part of the spin-off strategy: “The aim is to involve the potential company founders into the support programmes provided by accent.”
The Norwegian experience shows that efforts to initiate technology start-ups with the support of CERN know-how have been successful. “I am delighted that we can now open up these opportunities to young people with forward-looking ideas in Lower Austria, too,” Province Councilor Petra Bohuslav says.