ATTRACT CERN Ideasquare Summer School

Project coordinator

Sem Carree, Delft University of Technology



Finland, Spain, The Netherlands

News & articles

Student discipline

Arts & design
Social sciences
Sciences technology

ATTRACT stories: CERN IdeaSquare Summer School (ACISS) program

Project at a glance

  • Summer program.
  • Students combine societal values (e.g. SDGs) and ATTRACT technologies to create societal impact.
  • Run in liaison with CERN Ideasquare.

Public summary

ATTRACT technologies developed during fundamental physics research are potentially valuable in other applications and domains. To accelerate the fulfilment of this potential, each year, 75 students from multiple fields(e.g. Aerospace, Design, Social Studies, Astronomy to Architecture, Health Care, Business Management and Strategic innovation) and universities (the Netherlands, Finland & Spain) work in interdisciplinary teams to explore the potential societal value (e.g. towards the challenges of UN Sustainable Development Goals) of these technologies and come up with new service solutions.

Besides technology experts and practitioners from the industry, the liaison organisation (CERN Ideasquare) contributes widely by facilitating each course at CERN with space, knowledge, network and inspiration. During the programme’s interactive lectures and design sprints, a combination of Design Thinking and Entrepreneurial Skills will be followed. This approach is characterised by a continuous process of reframing, ideating and prototyping with a human-centred mindset. The course methodology enables future-oriented, user-centric, and experimental concept development of innovative solutions.

Each course approaches the design challenge from different angles (e.g. starting from the technology, the human perspective or a blend of both) and therefore have other perspectives. Hence, collaboration, knowledge exchange and peer-to-peer learning within this consortium is established on three levels: (1) each university individually with the liaison organisation (CERN Ideasquare) and within the consortium on (2) teacher- and (3) student-level.

The students are encouraged to immerse themselves in the context, empathise with the users, learn in context and take a critical, but nurturing stand towards personal reasoning as well as the reasoning of peers while searching for breakthrough innovations in new domains.