Charles-Albert Florentin, what have been the highlights of the Luxembourg CleanTech Cluster’s activity over the last six months?
“Our activity has obviously been influenced by the current health and economic situation and we have actively participated, together with all the Luxinnovation teams, in the search for solutions for the supply of disinfectant products against the Covid pandemic.
However, the ongoing files have not been neglected. For example, we consolidated the project for a platform for the reuse of deconstruction waste, in conjunction with the LIST and the companies concerned, and we continued to work on the reform of the Fit 4 Circularity performance programme.
From now on, it will no longer be dedicated solely to companies, but also to industry sectors, including the construction sector, which is one of the major players in terms of sustainability and circularity.
Finally, we are also working on assessing the potential of the bio-economy in the country.
What impact has Covid had on your sector?
“As in many other sectors, we have noted a drop in turnover for a large number of players and/or a postponement of projects, followed by a catch-up as soon as the containment is over.
Overall, companies are suffering from a lack of visibility for next year. Some companies active in the production and distribution of quality local products have been able to hold their own. In all cases, water and energy supply services, as well as waste collection, have been provided, but with Covid-related facilities.
What was your role, in particular, as cluster manager, in supporting companies during this unprecedented period?
“The Cluster contacted various companies in the sector to assess the impact of the crisis on their activity. It was also a question of identifying growth drivers and supporting innovation projects that could be co-financed by the Ministry of the Economy as part of traditional R&D programmes, but also as part of the Neistart recovery plan.
How do you envisage the recovery of activities in the coming weeks/months?
“If the crisis stabilises without reconfinement, the water/waste/energy service activity will continue without too much disruption. But the slowdown in industrial activity and the hotel and catering industry will have a negative impact on cleantech companies.
At the same time, circular economy projects in construction will continue with the support of the public authorities.
What is (are) the next key event(s) for your cluster? for your sector?
“We are currently working very actively on the ‘Sustainability’ aspect of the post-covid ideation process that Luxinnovation is implementing with the country’s companies. Workshops are underway to define the major challenges facing the sector.
In addition, we are continuing the projects initiated at the end of last year: the setting up of a deconstruction platform in Luxembourg, for which we are currently looking for private and public partners; but also the study of the supply-demand balance in the field of circular construction”.