Introduction

The Particle Physics segment is likely one of the Science Industry’s segments that have the greatest influence in our lives. The World Wide Web (www), without which internet wouldn’t exist at all, and as we know it nowadays, wasn’t in its beginnings anything else than a solution for information sharing that allowed the results obtained in the CERN laboratories (Geneva) to be spread to the rest of the world. The use of different detectors and particles has shaken up diagnostics (through less intrusive imaging techniques) as well as sickness treatment (for example cancer, through radiotherapy). Everybody who had a cathodic tube television at home has owned a small particle accelerator, where electron beams collided with the phosphorus screen in order to produce the image.

These, and many other technological milestones from our daily lives, have arrived thanks to the knowledge -deeper and deeper each day- of the matter’s most basic structure and of the processes and equipment that was necessary to build up in order to get such knowledge. As said before, the need of managing and transmitting the enormous data amounts obtained in the big accelerators is the origin of the www, that some time afterwards became omnipresent and with a huge impact in daily life.

It has been calculated that, nowadays in the world, close to 30,000 particle accelerators exist (http://www.acceleratorsamerica.org/). Half of them are in hospitals, and more than a hundred are used for scientific goals. Their building and exploitation, mainly the latter, imply great challenges from whose solutions important advancements are obtained, both for science and for society in general.

The Spanish Science and Technology system has a long and intense tradition in Particle Physics research with a big number of research teams and singular locations. Among them, the Alba Synchrotron (Barcelona); the Canfrán Underground Laboratory (Huesca); the National Accelerators Center (Seville); and the Spallation Neutrons Source (Bilbao) and the Linac Research Facility (Huelva), both under construction; stand out. Likewise, our scientists participate in the International Great Facilities such as CERN (Switzerland) and others in different countries.

Spanish Science Industry companies, in collaboration with the scientific community, have been developing and supplying equipment, instruments, detectors and auxiliary systems for national and international Particle Physics facilities for a long time. Their capabilities and recognized experience place them as trusted suppliers in the development of the new facilities, as well as in the re-equipping of the already existing ones.