Bringing the controls back to you

Jul 06, 2018

CERN Alumnus: Georg Hulla
At CERN from 2006 to 2013 working in the vacuum technology team of the Accelerator and Technology sector for CERN and MedAustron.
Today: Working at ESS and spending part of his leisure time with a Swedish start-up.


Leisure time doesn’t necessarily mean having nothing to do. It’s actually quite the opposite for Georg Hulla, a CERN alumnus currently employed at the European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund, Sweden. Indeed, in his leisure time, Georg carries out MBA studies and also holds a board position in a high-tech start-up.

The start-up is led by an international team of scientists and engineers (both male and female) based in Lund and fascinated by the proliferation of cheap and easy-to-use open-source technology, and the potential that it offers. Their core strength is in the development of instrumentation and control applications for businesses, R&D facilities, and academia.

“It’s a great pleasure to spend part of my time with high-skilled people in such an innovative start-up environment”, says Georg. “Sweden is a very fertile ground for innovation and all the infrastructure around start-ups is just amazing.”

Having experienced conventional control platforms and their limitations, the start-up decided to develop an easily customizable controls platform – specifically targeted at the rapidly changing needs of high-tech start-ups – based on existing Internet of Things technology. “Today, digital control systems have attained levels of complexity that require more and more specialized expertise,” says Georg. “Our product takes digital controls out of the hands of the experts and gives it back to you.”

Unlike the most common control platforms that are proprietary, the innovative platform is 100% open source. That means that the code is owned by the client and can be modified and optimized to the specific user’s needs at any time. “Our business model is based on the fact that we develop personalized solutions for our clients, and we do not ask them to pay until they see the complete system, ie. we build a first prototype free of charge” explains Georg.

What is the next thing Georg and his colleagues will tackle with the aim of making it simpler and more sustainable? “Energy,” he replies and he goes on to explain: “We want to rationalize the way energy is dealt with in the world. Currently, the production and distribution processes for electrical energy have a poor efficiency and we simply waste a lot of energy. We are thinking of solutions to use the energy directly there were it is produced, allowing us to keep the same level of comfort in our homes but relying on more efficient ways of energy supply.”

Georg doesn’t lack ideas or motivation to look for them and, as many other people, he is excited by the prospect of exploring the unchartered but, for the time being, he is keeping his feet firmly on the ground and, together with his colleagues, he is working towards making the business successful. “We are a very good and motivated team and we have the skills and the motivation to accept challenges and work on them”, he concludes.

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