Here at CERN we have a very apt strapline ‘CERN - Accelerating Science’, however we should maybe consider extending it to ‘Accelerating Science,… and ideas’. This proposal comes from CERN alumnus David Manset, now a successful entrepreneur and more recently, catalyser of ideas from his idea acceleration laboratory, which is based on the CERN model.
“I created my first company whilst in my third year of my PhD at CERN” he explains, ‘We invented a program whereby information would be made anonymous and non-sensitive so that it could be shared in a secure manner within our partners’ networks". The idea was born out of the European Mammogrid project which aimed at sharing sensitive images of breast cancer cases within hospital networks and continued to progress in the biomedical sector and in particular in collaborations with the Bambin Gesu hospital in Rome and with the Human Brain project.
In 2016, David’s company was bought by a Health Insurance company resulting in their protocol anonymization and procedures entering the world of big data. “At the time, during my PhD, we had come to realise that the health sector would become digitialised and as a consequence, the need for data storage would increase rapidly’ stated David. ‘In 2002, CERN developed the Grid and we wanted to demonstrate that this technology could also be used in other areas, and particularly in the Health sector. As far as I am concerned, CERN has always been an ideas-accelerator where we were able to set-up prototypes rapidly and have them tested by experts”.
This concept of an ideas-accelerator has been transferred into the business world and serves as the basis for a completely new company David has launched. “We have created an IT platform which is equipped with the necessary technology to nurture ideas originating in the field to subsequently develop them so they take on a life of their own. All this is carried out in collaboration with Universities, Doctoral students and professors,” he states. “On the Accelerator platform, we gather specific needs in the market we have identified and face them head-on with students who are immersed in knowledge and advanced technologies within a dedicated space designed to facilitate their task.”
We do not use the word "acceleration" flippantly as everything happens so fast; ideas take as little as one month to develop and no more than three months to reach the point of a first prototype. "For every project, whether in the area of digital trust or offshoring and outsourcing business processes, we plan to deliver the minimum viable product to the production line very quickly," says David.
Do you have any projects you’d like to run-by David’s ideas-accelerator? Take a look at his presentation which was recorded at CERN on 3 November 2017 at the following link: https://indico.cern.ch/event/672227/
where you will find some valuable advice should you be considering the creation of your own start-up. David will also be joining us for the First Collisions event in February 2018, why not sign up (http://cern.ch/go/XJ67) and meet him in person to discuss your potential ideas to accelerate!
On 3 November 2017, David Manset gave a seminar at CERN on "Digital acceleration: from CERN to my startup and beyond". The seminar was organised by CERN's Knowledge Transfer Group. The recording is available here.