The 21 edition of the Craft Innovation Award “The Hands of Innovation by Raiffeisen” has been launched.

This initiative of the Chamber of Skilled Crafts is aimed to reward entrepreneurs who have strengthened their competitiveness at national level and in foreign markets through innovation.

Until 31 December, companies active in all craft sectors (food, fashion, health and hygiene, mechanics, construction, communication, multimedia and entertainment and other various craft activities) are invited to submit their project via the online application form.

Five categories have been selected to illustrate the diversity of the notion of “innovation”:

  • innovative product or design;
  • innovative service;
  • innovative production process;
  • innovative marketing and communication approach; and
  • innovative management approach.

In each of these five categories, two candidates will be nominated and a winner will be chosen. The five winners will then be in competition for the Grand Prize.

“The development and evolution of digital tools and the generation change at the head of craft businesses encourage the emergence of innovative ideas and projects,” says Sasha Baillie, CEO of Luxinnovation, one of the partners of the award. “This is also in line with all the awareness-raising, or even evangelisation, work that Luxinnovation is carrying out as part of its mission with all types of companies. The word ‘innovation’ is no longer frightening.”

Who will succeed Wakotec?

The jury, composed of a representative of each partner (Banque Raiffeisen, Digital Luxembourg, Enovos Luxembourg, Fiduciaire des PME, IPIL, Lalux Assurances, Luxinnovation, Direction Générale des Classes moyennes du Ministère de l’Économie, Mutualité des PME and SNCI), will select the finalists in each category, who will compete for the Grand Prix (with an award of €7,000).

In total, 10 projects will be selected and two companies will compete in each category. The finalists will be announced in next Spring and the winners will be awarded on 19 May 2022.

In the last edition in 2019, the company Wakotec, winner of the category “Process / Production System”, won the Grand Prize “The Hands of Innovation by Mutualité des PME”. It was awarded for the development of its Wakocid system, which enables the conservation of cooling water needed in industrial processes in an efficient, safe and environmentally friendly way. The jury highlighted the enormous potential of this process, which could revolutionise a sector dominated by multinationals.

The other category winners were

Steffen Holzbau (Product/Design) for the development of a prestressed wood-concrete composite beam.

Polygone (Service), which combined connected objects and GPS megadata to optimise waste collection and management.

Street Wheels (Marketing/Communication), which offers to change tyres at their customers’ homes.

Coplaning (Management/Organisation) for the development of a construction site planning application enhancing the coordination of projects.

A special “Digitalisation” prize was also awarded to SkyCom for its real-time geolocation tool.

“The success of previous editions shows that there is a real awareness that innovation is not only the prerogative of large companies,” notes Arnaud Duban, Head of SME Performance at Luxinnovation. “It is also within the reach of the crafts sector. Even the most modest structures can innovate and be innovative.”

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