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Daresbury start-up accelerates business with CERN technology

2 people stood in front of the D-Beam apparatus

D-Beam founders Prof Carsten Welsch and Dr Alexandra Alexandrova
(Credit: D-Beam)

A step change in precision for particle accelerators and light sources worldwide is one step nearer, thanks to pioneering start up, D-Beam – the newest member of the STFC CERN Business Incubation Centre (STFC CERN BIC).

A spin out of the Cockcroft Institute for accelerator technology at Sci-Tech Daresbury in Cheshire, D-Beam’s first commercial device is a sensor that is capable of detecting the tiniest particle in a kilometre long particle accelerator.

The device, which has been extensively tested at the Australian Synchrotron, is based on a new type of sensor that can monitor the ‘halo’ of particles lost by a beam of particles as it moves through an accelerator. This loss of particles can introduce unwanted noise into experiments and, in extreme circumstances, can even damage accelerators. This is why it needs to be monitored carefully by a robust and reliable sensor with good time and spatial resolution.

Managed by STFC, the STFC CERN BIC supports small UK businesses who are using accelerator technology to develop and commercialise new and innovative products and services. Its incubatees benefit from unprecedented access to the expertise and capabilities of both STFC and CERN, alongside up to £40k funding, business support and technical assistance.

Professor Carsten Welsch, co-founder of D-Beam and Head of Physics at the University of Liverpool, which is a partner of the Cockcroft Institute, said: “Having unique access to specific parts of CERN intellectual property will help us translate our cutting edge research into commercially available tools. This will improve our understanding and control of particle beams, which are so important in proton beam cancer therapy as well as for large international research facilities, such as the LHC and the European Spallation Source.”

Delyth Lloyd, STFC CERN BIC Manager says “We are thrilled to welcome D-Beam as our newest member of the STFC CERN BIC. The UK is leading the way in taking ideas developed through accelerator technology and translating them into viable and successful businesses, and D-Beam is a perfect example of this. STFC has a strong track record in small business incubation and we look forward to supporting D-Beam in its business growth.”

Medicine, telecommunications, IT, and security are just some of the other sectors where inventive new businesses can make an impact using technologies from STFC and CERN. The STFC CERN BIC is based at Sci-Tech Daresbury and Harwell in Oxfordshire. Small businesses wishing to find out more about the STFC CERN BIC and its support package can do so by submitting an Expression of Interest.

Find out more about the Cockcroft Institute.

Find out more about D-Beam.

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000