Luxinnovation, Luxembourg’s national innovation promotion agency, celebrated its 35th anniversary this month. Created by the Ministry of the Economy, the agency has become an essential driver of innovation in the country over the years. Today it manages relations with some 700 national and international organisations and provides tailor-made and individualised support to more than 220 companies.
Luxinnovation was created on 1 June 1984 at the end of the term of the then Prime Minister, Pierre Werner, with a view to helping the country develop new promising industrial leads after the decline of the steel industry. Together with the Ministry of Economy, the Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Industrialists (Fedil) joined forces to launch a new service to promote and assist innovation. Today this public-private partnership operates with an annual budget of four million euros and employs 70 people.
One of the agency’s flagship services is the support they give to help companies obtain European funding (Horizon 2020). This support is obviously paying off as the success rate for Luxembourg cases reached 23.7% in 2018, slightly less than one in four cases, while the European average was 17.75%. Luxinnovation also supports companies in their innovation process by giving advice on preparing applications for the national research programmes, which cover the fields of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and cross-border connected driving, amongst others. “We are one of the first links in the chain in the timeline but it also happens that we still get involved at a later stage,” says the agency’s communication officer, Jean-Michel Gaudron. It all depends on the innovation profile of the company.
Although the image of Luxembourg may have suffered as a result of the Luxleaks affair, the Grand Duchy maintains a much more positive image for those who wish to do business in the country. The first-class data center equipment, broadband networks and political, financial and economic stability are important assets. But not only that. “The skills to be found in the work force and their know-how in many fields, as well as the dynamic approach of governments over the last few years, whatever their colour, have contributed to enhancing the attractiveness of the country,” concludes Jean-Michel Gaudron.