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At CERN's IdeaSquare, Engineering Heaven is Just 10 Steps Away!

Active Participant RER
Active Participant



IdeaSquare (Ideas) is a dedicated test facility at CERN, which hosts detector R&D projects and MSc student programs. Located next to the Globe of Science and Innovation, IdeaSquare offers ad-hoc meeting spaces and rapid prototyping facilities for innovation-related projects. This unique space unites CERN personnel, visiting students, and external project collaborators from the domains of research, technology development and education. 


The purpose of IdeaSquare is to bring people together to work on conceptual prototypes in an open environment, whilst contributing to Knowledge Transfer activities by providing new socially and globally relevant product ideas and innovation.





The Spirit of IdeaSquare

CERN summarises the spirit of this collective space in 10 simple steps

  1. Be curious, be ambitious. Dream
  2. Collaborate
  3. Talk to the ones you have not met before
  4. Share your surprise of discovering the unexpected. Share your story
  5. Cut the red-tape by using scissors, cardboard, duct-tape … and produce a prototype
  6. In the workshop areas, however, cutting your fingers is not the way to cut red-tape. Ask for help before you need it
  7. Take full advantage of the ‘Hugging Corner’
  8. Don’t worry about making a mess here. The only way you create a mess is by leaving it behind unattended
  9. Be prepared to explain what on Earth you are doing
  10. It’s always better to check the electrical wiring before you…


NI's Partnership

To help stimulate the discovery and innovation of the students involved within IdeaSquare, NI is excited to provide a long-term loan of Academic tools and technologies. The control and instrumentation equipment include…

Additionally, NI will also be running hands-on workshops for students, CERN scientific researchers and visiting Universities delegates. 




NI Scientific Research Program Manager, Joe Woodford, recently travelled to the IdeasSqaure to present the NI technologies to Dr Markus Nordberg, Head of Development & Innovation, and Adriaan Rijllart, Engineering Team Leader, CERN.  


“NI is thrilled to be involved in this dedicated test facility at CERN, and we very much look forward in seeing the results of the MSc student programs once they have had time to explore the capabilities of the equipment we have supplied for their use at this unique facility.”  -- Joe Woodford, Scientific Research Program Manager, NI


"CERN and NI have been collaborating for a long time, and we are very pleased to involve NI in our MSc student programs here at IdeaSquare, contributing to the training of next-generation scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs.”  -- Dr Markus Nordberg, Head of Development & Innovation, IdeasS




Rich R

Staff Marketing Engineer
National Instruments UK & Ireland