News Overview

Swiss BIC of CERN Technologies 2020 won by nanotech start-up

Dr. Florian Döring, Founder & CEO of XRnanotech
Dr. Florian Döring, Founder & CEO of XRnanotech

Did you like this article? Please share it.


Switzerland Innovation Park Innovaare and CERN have designated XRnanotech as the 2020 incubatee of the Swiss BIC of CERN Technologies entrepreneurship program.

XRnanotech is a high-tech spin-off from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI that designs and manufactures nanostructured X-ray optics for scientific research, engineering and medical applications around the world. To make use of such optical setups, cutting-edge beam positioning, monitoring and steering technology is needed, which was developed at CERN with the beam gas ionization profile monitor.

This is the first time a PSI spin-off has won the Swiss BIC of CERN Technologies startup competition.

“The support provided by the Swiss BIC of CERN is a great honor and an outstanding opportunity for us. We are supported by the two most important scientific institutions in Switzerland: The Paul Scherrer Institute and CERN. This allows us to bring unique and innovative technology to the international market,” says founder Dr. Florian Döring.

Dr. Döring holds a doctorate in material physics as well as an MBA. He was also a Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the PSI Laboratory for Micro and Nanotechnology. To date, Dr. Döring has authored 31 scientific publications.

In the first phase of the Swiss BIC of CERN Technologies program, launched in April 2020, 18 applications were submitted while four finalists were chosen to proceed with the drawing up of a business plan in Phase II: Swisspod (hyperloop technologies), SE2S (radiation & particle detection for electronic devices used in aerospace environments), and, of course, XRnanotech. Three candidates were invited for the final pitch on Wednesday 21 October 2020 which was held online due to current COVID19-related restrictions.

The Selection Committee consisted of Ash Ravikumar (Entrepreneurship Development Officer, CERN), Prof. Dr. Arie Verkuil (Head of Institute of Management, FHNW), Dr. Benno Rechsteiner (CEO, Switzerland Innovation Park Innovaare), John Millard (Head of Technology Transfer, PSI) and Claudia Appenzeller (Secretary General of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences).

"Also this year we received a large number of Swiss and foreign applications. We look forward to supporting ambitious start-ups in their technological and business challenges and to welcoming them at our growing innovation campus,” says Dr. Benno Rechsteiner, CEO of Switzerland Innovation Park Innovaare.

Ash Ravikumar of CERN states: “XRnanotech and Dr. Florian Döring address the key challenge of transferring and implementing in-depth technological research into the market - Florian Döring is an entrepreneurially-minded researcher who can not only transfer the depth of technical expertise but can also discuss go-to-market strategies with ease. That is why we predict XRnanotech to be very successful.”

XRnanotech - other awards and recognitions

  • Winner of the “PSI Founder Fellowship”, the leading initiative to launch spin-offs from Paul Scherrer Institute PSI.
  • Awardee of the title “Deep Tech Pioneer” from a selection of over 5,000 applications from 128 countries. 
  • Beneficiary of 50,000 CHF from Swiss accelerator Venture Kick.

About the Swiss Business Incubation Centre of CERN Technologies

CERN collaborates with a range of partners who provide business incubation for entrepreneurs working on an idea related to CERN’s areas of expertise. The selected business ideas receive beneficial access to CERN intellectual property (IP), technological know-how, entrepreneurial coaching, office space and funding.

Operated by Switzerland Innovation Park Innovaare, the Swiss Business Incubation Centre (BIC) of CERN Technologies aims to bridge the gap between basic science and industry, providing its incubatees with a development program.

This program includes technical support, scientific consultation and assistance offered by world-leading experts from CERN and, when applicable, the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI. In addition, all participants of the program receive business coaching from the FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, one of the country’s leading universities of applied science. The winner of the program receives a one-time cash grant of CHF 50,000.

The Swiss BIC of CERN Technologies ran for the third consecutive year in 2020.