ATTRACT is a new, pan-EU initiative to accelerate the development of these specialist detector and imaging technologies for market – through a process of co-innovation with other labs, SMEs, industry and universities.

The aim: to work with scientists, students, entrepreneurs and investors to invent new services and products, and attract new investment to the sector. A pilot effort is already underway at CERN’s Geneva campus, with the aid of Aalto, the leading Finnish university with a world-class reputation for design innovation and management. And at international business school ESADE in Barcelona, Professor Henry Chesbrough – the man who first coined the term ‘open innovation’- is developing a new framework for scaling up this kind of collaboration at scientific establishments.

Seed money would come from the European Union to get the labs, companies and entrepreneurs working together – through an independently managed programme office. After a pilot phase, ATTRACT will grow, working to enlist private and other funders with the capital and expertise necessary to bring these new technologies to market more quickly.The founding organisations include CERN, ESO, EMBL, ESRF, ILL and the European X-ray Free-Electron Laser facility near Hamburg, Germany – as well as Aalto and ESADE. ATTRACT is gathering industrial supporters now. To get it started, the ATTRACT partners are seeking pilot phase funding in 2016/17 from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme.

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