Basic scientific research offers opportunities for society and business, argues Han Dols, head of business Development & Entrepreneurship CERN and member of the Dutch valorisation advisory board for the Einstein Telescope. In a video interview, he talks about the parallels between CERN and the Einstein Telescope as drivers of innovation.
We’re happy to admit it: we take it as a compliment when people say that the Einstein Telescope (ET) might in the long run become an installation of the same calibre and impact as CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN – the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire – was founded in 1954 as a scientific peace organisation and it’s a global leader in particle physics research. Its particle accelerator is the biggest scientific instrument in the world. In addition, innovations such as today’s internet, colour X-rays, and CERN technology for proton therapy in healthcare were developed there, sometimes more or less by accident. And also something as practical and mundane as the touchscreen on mobile phones, is a technology that CERN was already experimenting with in the 1970s.
International and in the region
In the video, Han Dols explains that international cooperation has always been and remains very important for CERN, but so does cooperation in the region and with innovative businesses. Dols was born in Sittard (NL) and has worked for CERN since 2017, where his responsibilities as Head of Business Development include strategic cooperation and alliances in the field of innovation within CERN’s 23 member countries.
He recently joined the advisory board for the Dutch valorisation programme for the ET. In this interview, he talks about the parallels between CERN and the ET, the opportunities that fundamental science research offers the business community, and what lessons from CERN can help advance development of the ET.