CERN, STFC and UK Industry- Questions

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CERN, STFC & UK Industry: Innovating Together for a Better Planet

Breakout session questions

A significant part of the meeting will be in breakout sessions which will allow UK businesses, CERN and STFC to discuss some thought-provoking questions and explore opportunities.

Note that the purpose of the questions is to encourage discussion, whilst being mindful of the time available. This will be introductory discussion that should be followed-up on a one-to-one basis for more detailed/technical discussion.

Part 1 (40mins) – CERN to UK and UK to CERN Transfer

  1. How important is the topic of environmental sustainability within your organisation?
    a) Where are the main areas of focus for sustainability within your organisation?
  2. Are there ideas that you’d like to explore on the back of the talks you’ve heard this afternoon?
    a) Are there technologies or capabilities at CERN that could aid in businesses’ move towards sustainability?
    b) Are there key areas where UK businesses can aid in CERN’s drive to improve its own sustainability?
    c) How can CERN (or other large research environments) and UK businesses work together in sustainability?
  3. What are the timescales for collaboration?
    a) Are there quick wins to be made?
    b) Is there a right time to look at specific areas for CERN and UK businesses?
    c) What might be the barriers to collaboration and how do we address them?
  4. What in the next step to make collaboration between CERN and UK businesses happen?

Part 1 Back-Up Questions

  1. Where are the key areas of focus in CERN at present and in the longer term, both in terms of its science programme and environmental sustainability?
  2. What is your company doing that could benefit CERN?
  3. What else can CERN provide which would benefit UK businesses in the area of sustainability?
  4. Where are the key areas of focus in environmental sustainability in UK businesses at present?

Theme Specific Back-Up Questions

  1. Hydrogen mobility – how can hydrogen be supplied in a safe way? What technologies do UK businesses and CERN have that are applicable to the hydrogen economy?
  2. How do we tackle the challenge of getting infrastructure in place to enable everyone to use electric vehicles? Could vehicles in your organisation go completely electric – is there the infrastructure to support this?
  3. How do we tackle the challenged of reducing embodied emissions e.g. in concrete and construction? How do we ensure this is thought about when planning future projects?
  4. What are the main challenges that UK industry is facing in the following areas and how could CERN possibly support these challenges?
    a) Green energy production, transportation and storage
    b) Clean transportation and new concepts for mobility on the road, air and sea
    c) Environmental monitoring and earth observation

Part 2 (40 mins) – Universal Challenges

  1. CHALLENGES: What are the most difficult areas to tackle in moving towards environmental sustainability?
    a) For businesses?
    b) For big science facilities?
  2. SKILLS: What technical skills do you believe will be most in demand for a workforce, now and in the future, to meet environmental sustainability targets?
    a) Where do you think the biggest gaps in these skills currently are?
    b) What can we do to address these gaps?
  3. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: Do you think any changes in the national or global intellectual property system are required in order to speed-up innovation in sustainability? If yes, what changes do you suggest? What role do you believe that intellectual property tools, such as patents and cross-licensing agreements, will play in technology development for environmental sustainability?
  4. PROCUREMENT POLICY: How are UK businesses utilising procurement policy to encourage a change towards environmental sustainability? How are UK businesses measuring sustainability as part of a procurement strategy?
  5. PRICE SENSITIVITY: How much of a price increase would UK businesses accept in converting to renewable energy/sustainable practices? If businesses are green it is now counted against them, so what is this reputational/other damage worth – how much are they willing to invest to be more green?
  6. COLLABORATION: At the end of the day, knowledge transfer is a matter of bringing people together. How could CERN facilitate that people from UK industry can work with experts at CERN?

Part 2 Back-Up Questions

  1. How do we avoid greenwash?
  2. What are the unintended consequences that we need to be aware off when innovating towards environmental sustainability?
  3. How can we support big science in less-developed countries that have limited economic power, for example in converting to renewable energies? (thinking COP26)
  4. How can international businesses and research organisations change their travel policies to improve environmental sustainability of organisations?