CATE: Getting ready for new high-tech business opportunities

lans to build two world-class particle accelerators in southern Sweden have created business opportunities for companies in Sweden, Denmark and Norway to provide accelerator technology equipment.

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Getting ready for new high-tech business opportunities Getting ready for new high-tech business opportunities

The establishment of a Cluster for Accelerator Technology (CATE) offers companies in the Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak (ÖKS) Scandinavian cross-border region business development opportunities through the exchange of information on best practice and the sharing of knowledge.

The main aim of the CATE project is for high-tech companies to improve their chances of obtaining contracts for the design, construction and maintenance of the advanced accelerator technology equipment needed for the planned European Spallation Source (ESS) proton accelerator to be built at Lund and for the MAX-IV particle accelerator currently under construction, also at Lund. Development and maintenance work in the combined construction and operational phase of the ESS accelerator is expected to be around 40 years, so regional competence in this field should be in demand for a long time to come.

The ESS and MAX-IV particle accelerators will primarily be used for research in the fields of material science, life sciences and medicine. But no company in the region has the capacity to build the highly-specialised equipment needed on their own, so co-ordination of the efforts of companies with different types of specialised knowledge is necessary and in some areas the region’s competences must be improved.

Improving competences

As a result of the CATE project, which is funded through the INTERREG European Territorial Cooperation programme, regional companies will have the opportunity to develop their competences in these and other highly-specialised fields. Participating organisations will be able to attend free, tailor-made courses and some will have the opportunity to build an accelerator module in collaboration with other companies, universities and experts from research facilities around Europe.

Once the high-tech skills of local companies have been improved, the region’s companies will be better placed to take advantage of ESS and MAX-IV and of other large-scale research facilities around the world.

The CATE project was initiated by researchers from universities in the ÖKS region together with regional councils, business organisations and the ESS. In total 80 companies and research institutes in the region are taking part in the CATE project.

In addition to strengthening the competitiveness of regional companies through skills development, the CATE project has also helped to bolster cross-border research collaboration in basic science in the field of sub-atomic physics between the universities involved. The project has also raised awareness of the increasing importance of accelerator technology for the region and has already helped companies to attract new business. Because researchers and companies in the region have, through CATE, worked together collaboratively, this co-operation will hopefully continue in other high-tech projects in the future.

“The central objective of CATE is to strengthen the competitiveness of companies in the ÖKS region in the field of accelerators by means of technology transfer from the academy in three steps: tailor-made courses, organised study visits to research facilities in Europe, and “learning-by-doing” in a pilot project. CATE is strategically important for the region and has already helped to create corporate partnerships, cross-border collaborations and new business activities that would not have happened without CATE.”

  • Claes Fahlander, CATE Project Manager

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Cluster for Accelerator Technology [CATE]” was EUR 1 806 469, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 773 045 through the “Öresund - Kattegat – Skagerrak” INTERREG IVA Operational Programme 2007-2013.

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