Investing in research and innovation is indispensable to safeguard competitiveness. In 2017, Luxembourg made it a top priority and introduced a new version of its R&D and innovation aid plan.
The Luxembourgish 'Start-up Nation' serves new innovative companies and facilitates their launching phase by offering tailor-made services and state aids. R&D activities are further stimulated as Luxembourg lies in the heart of an international network of universities.
An environment fostering innovation
Today, Luxembourg can rely on a strong public ecosystem when it comes to R&D and innovation, a large proportion of which is brought together in the heart of the 'Cité des sciences' in Esch-Belval. Public research centres surround the University of Luxembourg, such as the Luxembourg Institute of SocioEconomic Research (LISER), the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH)
At their side stands the business incubator known as Technoport (the first that was created in the country) and Luxinnovation, the national innovation agency. They complete the range of research structures and promote collaborations between private companies and public institutions.
Many other private initiatives came to light in recent years, such as the House of Startups that was created by the Chamber of Commerce. It is home, in particular, to the Luxembourg City Incubator and the Luxembourg House of Fintech
Tailor-made financial aid
The funding mechanism of R&D and innovation operations that was laid down by the law of 17 May 2017 is meant to be as exhaustive as possible, featuring a spectrum of financing instruments that cover the entire innovation chain, including for SMEs. There are several aid systems and are relevant to:
- R&D projects or programmes;
- technical feasibilities studies;
- innovation for the benefit of SMEs;
- new innovative companies;
- process and organisation innovation;
- research infrastructures
- and innovation centres.
Access to resources is facilitated by:
- the SNCI Bank ('Société nationale de crédit et d’investissement') for direct loans;
- the Ministry of Economy for financial aid.
Luxinnovation's R&D and Innovation Support team offers free guidance in order to help companies determine which solutions are the most appropriate for their needs. As a national contact point for the framework programme of the EU known as Horizon 2020, the agency also facilitates access to European funding.
Infrastructures with high-end technology
Luxembourg offers a secure, accessible and affordable IT environment that is based on the banking and financial sector's top-level expertise.
Luxembourg was the first European member state that established a Public Key Infrastructure (LuxTrust), which makes it possible to manage electronic signatures and certificates for government applications as well as for the private sector (e-banking, e-commerce, etc.).
It is also home to the first e-embassy in the world (that of Estonia) and announced the introduction of a public sector Blockchain, a unique configuration for Luxembourg and probably across the world.
Moreover, the country has 23 data centres with the highest levels of security (Tier III and IV), covering over 46,000 m2, which represents one of the highest density of data centres in the world.
Luxembourg was also chosen to host EuroHPC, the joint venture for the management of world-class high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure by the end of 2020. The country will soon have its very own supercomputer, Meluxina.