We talk to Bob Jones, who heads up CERN’s openlab project, a partnership between CERN and ICT companies to drive forward data-intensive solutions for the needs of the scientific community working with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s most powerful particle accelerator.
Last July, physicists working at the 27km tunnel at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, announced they had discovered hints of a new subatomic particle consistent with the Higgs boson.
So what is the public-private partnership openlab between CERN and ICT companies all about?
Speaking today at the Open Innovation 2.0 conference in Dublin, Jones said the openlab project has been set up by CERN in order to work with the ICT industry and to advance, as much as possible, the different technologies and techniques CERN needs to use in its scientific programmes.
ICT industry partners that are involved in openlab include Hewlett-Packard, Siemens, Oracle, Huawei, Yanex and Intel. They commit to a three-year programme. Via the project, CERN provides access to its IT infrastructure and its engineering experience. The goal is to allow ICT industry partners to test their products in CERN’s environment and get feedback. At the same time, CERN can then assess the potential future use of new technologies that are in their early stages of development.
“We’re the home of the Large Hadron Collider, which has enormous ICT and communication needs,” explained Jones. “We’re working very hard with industry to look for the next generation of technologies and services which will help us process and acquire all of the data that we need.”
In the following video, Jones gives some insight into the companies that are involved in openlab and how the project will impact not only the LHC, but also the work of scientific researchers at other labs around the globe.