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CERN-Nikhef BIC launches first startup

The founder of Oliscience has been accepted to the upcoming ACE Incubation Program.

September 22 marked the official launch of Oliscience (Open Logic Interconnects science), led by Andrea Borga, a digital designer at the Electronics Technology department at Nikhef. The project concerns, among other things, the new ownership of the gateware community site OpenCores by Oliscience. The company is an initiative originating from the CERN Business Incubation Center supported by Nikhef.

ACE Incubation Program

Oliscience also got accepted as one of ten ambitious startups to the upcoming ACE Incubation Program starting on Oct. 2nd. At ACE, we will support Oliscience with testing and developing their business case in more detail. ACE is a part of the CERN-Nikhef BIC network. By working together, we aim to spark a strong synergy within the Amsterdam Science Park ecosystem.

About Oliscience

Since 1999, the go-to reference site for the gateware community has been OpenCores. The portal is widely used by for instance research engineers who want to avoid the duplication of effort which happens when they create IP (Intellectual Property) “Cores” that already exist. Engineers themselves in turn contribute with Cores, using OpenCores for showcasing the gateware developed at their research institutes.

Andrea Borga, who has been a user and contributor of the site for many years, firmly believes in the value of such a community. “I have been promoting it by actively participating. However, the portal has suffered a lack of maintenance by the previous owners. Despite it being out of date, the site still attracts many visitors and a few contributors.” Andrea thus decided to acquire it to revive the community, and since April 2017 he has been the owner and sole administrator.

Borga: “I have been a digital designer for over ten years now. I am a passionate and enthusiastic promoter of Open Source in the field of “hardware”. The problem I am aiming to solve with Oliscience is the distribution of what some experts in the field call “gateware”: a layer in the engineering of electronics that lies in between physical components (“hardware”, like Printed Circuit Boards, and manufactured chips) and the low level software (known as “firmware”)”.

Next to the relaunch of OpenCores, Oliscience aims to strengthen and promote the development of Intellectual Properties (IPs, also known as “Cores”) in the field of digital design engineering for FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays), with a careful eye on scientific applications (fundamental research).

About CERN-Nikhef BIC

The CERN Business Incubation Centre (BIC) @ Nikhef is a collaboration between Nikhef and CERN. It aims to develop new products and services from technology, originating from (astro) particle physics by offering start-ups access to technologies, expertise and IP (intellectual property) from CERN and Nikhef. More about BIC.


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