Executive summary

Since its establishment in 2001, CERN openlab has worked to develop and test new ICT technologies and techniques that help to make the ground-breaking physics discoveries at CERN possible. With CERN openlab’s sixth three-year phase beginning at the start of 2018, we recently carried out work to identify key areas for future collaboration. A series of workshops and discussions was held in 2017 to discuss the ICT challenges faced by the LHC research community — and other ‘big science’ projects over the coming years. This white paper is the culmination of these investigations, and sets out specific challenges that are ripe for tackling through collaborative R&D projects.

With the LHC and the experiments set to undergo major upgrade work in 2019 and 2020, CERN openlab’s sixth three-year phase offers a clear opportunity to develop ICT solutions that will make a tangible difference for researchers when the upgraded LHC and experiments come back online in 2021.

This white paper identifies 16 ICT challenge areas, which have been grouped into four different R&D topics. Tackling these challenges — through a public-private partnership that brings together leading experts from each of these spheres — has the potential to positively impact on a range of scientific and technological fields, as well as wider society. For each challenge area in this white paper, specific use cases have been identified.

Read the 2017 whitepaper