CERN Accelerating science

European projects

Linking science Innovation and the SDGs

IdeaSquare is currently involved in two EU-funded projects, ATTRACT (as a coordinator) and Crowd4SDG (as a consortium member).

In its initial phase, IdeaSquare hosted 2-3 detector R&D projects related to ATLAS and CMS upgrades, funded by the European Union. In March 2020, the European Commission launched a new policy review to identify the main European channels for knowledge valorisation linked to excellent national, regional and organisation-level initiatives. IdeaSquare was highlighted alongside other innovation hubs outside Europe, such as the Hitachi and University of Tokyo Joint Research Laboratory.

Crowd4SDG is a three-year Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Action supported by the European Commission’s Science with and for Society (SwafS) programme. Through an innovation cycle called GEAR (Gather, Evaluate, Accelerate, Refine), the transdisciplinary Crowd4SDG consortium of six partners promotes the development of citizen science projects aimed at tackling the SDGs, with a focus on climate action. Its goal is to assess the usefulness of practical innovations developed by the teams and to research how AI applications can enhance and provide effective monitoring of SDG targets and indicators by citizens. In the next three years of Crowd4SDG, IdeaSquare will be leading the work on communication, dissemination and outreach of the programme’s projects, as well as organising advanced prototyping workshops for the programme’s participants.


ATTRACT is a Horizon 2020 programme funded by the European Union and coordinated by CERN and six of Europe’s leading scientific laboratories which, together with industry and experts in business and entrepreneurship, have joined forces to develop next-generation scientific tools, generate and capture value, create jobs and promote growth. In 2018, ATTRACT launched an open call for breakthrough ideas, which was phase 01. An independent R&D&I committee selected 170 promising projects for this phase. From 2021 to 2024, ATTRACT Phase 2 will be turning the proof-of-concepts into clear applications while generating new business and products for citizens. By the end of ATTRACT Phase 2, the projects should be ready to shift from taxpayer funding to investment by venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, helping to boost Europe as a preeminent hub for deep-tech ventures.


Both initiatives foster student projects and encourage prototyping to develop unforeseen applications of the technology and tools developed by the researchers, while later applying the results with the UN Sustainable Development Goals in mind.