CERN Relay Race 2015
Day 3 – THE Port 2014
B&W – THE Port 2014
Fire-Brigade – THE Port 2014
CERN KT Meet-Up Pitching Competition
Moments – THE Port 2014
Day 1 – THE Port 2014
Warm-Up Day – THE Port 2014
Day 2 – THE Port 2014
United Nations ECOSOC HAS 2015
Campus Biotech Open Day

About us

“We combine creative minds from CERN and non-profit organisations in interdisciplinary teams to work on humanitarian technology related benefits to society.”

Unite Innovators

Interdisciplinary teams of handpicked individuals chosen for their field-leading expertise and innovative minds combine humanitarian questions with state- of-the-art science, cutting-edge technology and endless fantasy.

Impact Future

The fusion of today’s real life problems analysis and a vision of scientific evolution of the next decades forces us to develop concepts and solutions for the future – hungry to use our expertise in challenges in new fields.

Act Today

Why not? There are no excuses – there is no better place than here – no better time than now – nobody more creative than you. If you just want to!

Find out more in our THE Port Presentation and see the results of last year in our Annual Report

News & Media


Blog & Portfolio

Next Hackathon event

Organised by THE Port Association, hosted by CERN IdeaSquare and with partners from other non-governmental organisations, a three-day problem solving workshop hackathon devoted to humanitarian, social and public interest challenges. Interdisciplinary teams of hand selected participants working together in the fields of:

October 2021



If you successfully pass the application, you will be informed about your team members and your challenge 6 weeks ahead of the final event. In this preparation phase your team will be supported to organize video conferences to get to know each other. A collaborative workspace will allow you to jointly collect and communicate ideas, develop specifications, share inspirational pictures and videos, compose lists of needed materials and tools, discuss your strategy and co-edit concept papers, source code and presentations.

Your team coach and a pool of Experts On-Call will be available to help finding organisational and technical solutions. The day before the hackathon you will have the chance to visit experiments at CERN and meet our team in their usual work environment.

During the hackathon you will only have a few scheduled events. After a short welcome and introduction part you will introduce yourself (now in-person) to your team in a 3 minute pitch. In the evening of the first day your team will pitch your project to the other teams in 5 minutes. A midterm review on the second day will allow you to collect external feedback on your findings. A joint work breakfast on the 3rd day will give you the chance to glance into the challenges of the other teams.

Your results you will present and demonstrate in a 7 minute pitch to a broad audience at the cocktail reception in the evening. The after party will give you more space and time for discussion, review and networking. A one page summary of each teams results will be published together with all produced hardware, source code and documentation.

More information you find in our latest participant flyer.

Frequently asked questions

  • Originally composed from ‘Hack’ and ‘Marathon’ this problem-solving workshops started for intensive collaborative work between software developers – more general, as in our case, it is often seen as limited time innovation focused collaborative effort.
  • Intense conceptualisations of innovative humanitarian ideas with starting quantitative analysis and conceptual prototypes so that the best ideas survive and can be driven forward after the event.
  • All you need is a laptop with internet connection. Participants are informed mid September about their challenge and team and are supported in the following weeks to prepare the 48 hour final. The Hackathon will contain only few scheduled events: a short introduction phase, mid therm and final reports.
  • To apply candidates are requested to fill a online questionnaire and provide a one page CV before the 5th September 2020. A selection team and THE Port Advisory Board propose candidates for a short video interview on which the assembly of the interdisciplinary teams will be based.
  • Due to COVID-19, the 2020 hackathon is being held online and requires no travel.
  • No, other than the word hackathon implies, THE Port hackathons are not necessarily purely software related projects and could therefore be of all kinds of nature. Thus we create multidisciplinary teams to add as much variety on skills to the teams as possible.​

In numbers

interdisciplinary teams
members per teams
week preparation
hours finish

Any ideas for projects, challenges or questions we should work on? Or interested in sponsoring?

Contact us now

Partners & friends

Our members, partners, sponsors and friends are from international and local non-governmental organisations and companies in and around Geneva, Switzerland.

If the world needs a change, why not you? Why not now?

Meet our team

Without the enthusiastic voluntary work of our Experts On-Call, Organizing Team, Advisory Board and Executive Committee we could not work professionally – a big Thank You and it is fantastic to work with you. If You want to be part of this extraordinary team, please consider a membership, to contact or to follow us on social media.

Executive committee

  • Ines Knäpper

    Co-president &
    Founding Member


    Project Manager with strong background in Intercultural Management, Sales and Customer Service.

  • Karolos Potamianos

    Co-president &
    Founding Member

    Berkeley Lab

    Physicist and engineer working on silicon detectors, currently on the data acquisition for the ATLAS Pixel Detector.

  • Agnes Jakab

    Humanitarian Advisor
    THE Port

    International HR & recruitment professional. Communication and volunteering enthusiast.

  • Daniel Dobos

    Co-Treasurer &
    Founding Member

    THE Port

    Physicist working on Silicon & Diamond detectors development, integration and operation.

  • Ben Krikler

    Co-Treasurer &

    THE Port

    Experimental physicist, data scientist and software developer, and (fledgling) social entrepreneur.

Organizing team

  • Hans Baechle

    THE Port

    Science Communication student, working at gluoNNet.

  • Saco Heijboer

    THE Port

    Project manager in product development, mechanical engineer and tinkerer

  • Nicolas Zanotti

    THE Port

    Engineer and lecturer with experience in responsible tourism.

  • James Jennings

    THE Port

    Entrepreneur and executive with experience in renewable energy, healthcare, and consumer packaged goods.

  • Kitty Liao

    THE Port

    Entrepreneur, Enginner and Innovator. I am also Hackthaton enthusiast who has been with THE Port since 2014.

  • Mohammad

    Mohammad Moosajee

    Texas Tech University

    Exploring the Spooky world of Quantum Mechanics and Particle Entanglement with a quest to design low end open source Quantum Computer.

  • Pierre Freyermuth


    Authentic Proton-breeder, Electronic technician and Java developer.

  • Paolo Gradassi

    THE Port

    Distracted engineer interested in making the world a better place.

  • More people who wrote THE Port’s story

    • Bertrand

      Bertrand Michels

      THE Port

      Business Developer

    • Bilge

      Bilge Demirköz


      Associate Professor at METU working on the AMS-02 experiment.

    • Branislav

      Branislav Ristic


      Doctoral student working on silicon sensor technologies for the ATLAS experiment.

    • Bruno

      Bruno Silva De Sousa


      IT engineer, service manager at CERN.

    • Jens

      Jens Dopke

      Founding Member

      Physicist working on silicon detector construction, calibration and operation, big fan of electronics.

    • Joao

      Joao Pequenao


      Chief Troublemaker at CERN Media Lab.

    • Josefina

      Josefina Espinosa


      Sustainability Consultant and Founding Member of GreenBuzz Geneva. Bridging sustainability, business and education in innovative and collaborative initiatives.

    • Juliet

      Juliet Primo


      Project consultant, communication and outreach.

    • Karola

      Karola Dette

      Founding Member

      Doctoral student working on silicon sensor upgrade developments for the ATLAS experiment.

    • Leonardo

      Leonardo Milano


      Senior Data Scientist at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre – IDMC.

    • Luisa

      Luisa Meneghetti


      Community manager and responsible for THE Port newsletter.

    • Michael

      Michael Kagan

      Founding Member

      Expert in large-scale data analysis, pattern recognition, and ATLAS pixel detector quality assurance.

    • Michael

      Michael Leyton

      Founding Member

    • Naomi

      Naomi Kodama Fukumuro


      A scientist working on plants and small animals for climate change issues.

    • Patricia

      Patricia Montalvo


      I work as administrative manager. I love the idea of improving the life of those less favoured by using technology.

    • Ruben

      Ruben Fernandez Morcillo

      Founding Member

      Mechanical technician with knowledge in rapid prototyping machinery. Currently working as safety officer.

    • Silvestro

      Sylvestro di Luise


      Physicist working on material characterisations for future accelerator developments.

    • Valerio

      Valerio Rosseti

      École Athéna

      Particle physicist ex-CERN, expert in searches for Dark Matter. Now teacher in high-school and volunteer teacher for migrant women.

    Advisory board

    Barbara Warmbein   •   DESY   •   Linear Collider communication and LHC communication for Germany

    Ben Segal   •   Honorary CERN-IT staff member   •   Citizen Web Science projects, seminars and hackfests within and outside CERN

    David Galbraith   •   Tech entrepreneur, former architect, now designer of digital things – including RSS, Yelp, ‘pinning’

    Felix Stähli   •   Impact Hub Geneva   •   Internal Organization, External Space Rental and Partnerships

    Francois Grey   •   Université de Genève and Citizen Cyberscience Centre   •   Associate Professor at the University of Geneva

    Neal Hartman   •   Berkeley Lab   •   Director and President at CinéGlobe Film Festival

    Robin M. Coupland   •   former ICRC   •   Field Surgeon and Medical Adviser

    Sascha Schmeling   •   CERN   •   Head of Teacher Programmes and Education Research

    Sara Sekkenes   •   United Nations Development Programme   •   Adviser, Conflict Prevention and Recovery

    Experts on-call


    We are looking for volunteers who are willing to share their creativity, innovative thinking and expertise with the teams.

    If you want to contribute as ‘Expert On-Call’ and agree to be contacted during the 1.5 month preparation phase, the 72 hour final or both, please sign up with your field of expertise. You have the choice how and when the teams are allowed to contact you. Obviously you are more than welcome to visit the teams during the final and contribute with ideas or constructive feedback.


You can become a member of THE Port association. There are three different membership categories available.

SUPPORTER stay informed


Per Year
  • receive THE Port sticker
Become Supporter Today!

FAVORER support financially


Per Year
  • receive THE Port special gadget
Become Favorer Today!

Your membership at THE Port association allows you to take part in the general assemblies, to vote on decisions and the election of the executive committee. All membership categories have the same voting right. The membership allows you to take an active part in our association and propose yourself for open posts. You have the chance to propose challenges and candidates, as well as helping in the organisation of the events.

Furthermore with becoming a member of “THE Port” association, you will be informed well in advance about events that will take place in the future and you will receive exclusive THE Port gadgets.

A reduction of 2 CHF/year can be requested by members of the CERN Staff Association or similar or staff associations of other non-governmental organizations.

Contact us

Get in touch with us!

Get started

If you have an idea for a project, challenge or question we should work on or you have a general question to the event or our association, please feel free to contact us.



THE Port Association
c/o Impact Hub Geneva
1 rue Fendt
1201 Genève

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