CERN purchases technology and services with over 500 million euros a year. Finnish companies are well placed to do business with CERN.
CERN is well known about world-class science. Cutting-edge science needs cutting edge infrastructure. CERN subcontracts the bulk of the work to build its high-tech facilities – in fact the whole modus operandi of CERN is to work in close collaboration with the European technology industry. Moreover, the procurement budget is significant, being over half a billion euros yearly. There lies a fantastic opportunity for Finnish companies.
Wide Spectrum of Needs
The variety of the infrastructure needs is well demonstrated through some of the Finnish business success stories with CERN. For instance, one of the main materials for the gigantic 27-kilometre circumsphere Large Hadron Collider’s supra conducting magnets is very fine copper supplied by Luvata. On the other end of technological needs, Mirion Technologies (Rados) supplies personnel dosimeters to monitor the radiation levels of employees working in potentially radiation hard conditions. Furthermore, start-up company Advacam is a key player in very challenging pixel sensor developments and deliveries for the LHC. Moreover, again on a completely different end of CERN business collaboration activities, Lightneer is fruitfully co-developing modern physics learning games for kids.
CERN namely needs machine construction, accelerator and detector technologies as well as ICT solutions for data analysis. These are technology fields on areas in which Finnish companies have extremely strong competencies. International infrastructures where Finland takes part are essential part of the national innovation system. These facilities offer unique opportunities in science, technology, education and innovation.
Opportunities for All Size Companies
As the previous Finnish business successes with CERN well demonstrate, CERN offers opportunities for very different types of companies – including lean high technology start-ups. The very fact that CERN also took part in Slush 2016 demonstrates this.
1. CERN deals with both big and small firms, even with start-ups. Smaller organisations are often agile and innovative, and they might be better geared up in dealing with challenges related to pushing back the boundaries of science and technology, states Anders Unnervik, the Head of CERN Procurement Service.
His colleague Dr.Giovanni Anelli, leading CERN Knowledge Transfer Group continues, that an important part of CERN mission is to disseminate CERN knowledge and technology to the benefit of society at large.
2. One great way to achieve this goal is to enhance entrepreneurship. CERN offers numerous opportunities for agile teams to commercialise our technologies and know how, says Mr Anelli.
Collaborative projects with CERN also increase the technological competencies and reputation of even the most established companies. The references and technological learning gained when working in this cutting-edge environment is really valuable for gaining ground on international markets, states Professor Ari-Pekka Hameri from Lausanne School of Business and Economics – one of the authors of an extensive study on business impacts of CERN procurement