Due to the health protocol, there was no large public ceremony on 2 December for the 24th edition of the FEDIL Innovation Prize. The event took place in front of a select few, but nevertheless with the presence of Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot and the prize-winning companies.
Created in 1982 and held every two years alternating with the Environment Prize, the FEDIL Innovation Prize honours the innovation and research efforts of Luxembourg companies.
“In a year of unprecedented circumstances, the 2020 edition of our competition is equally unprecedented,” said Michèle Detaille, President of FEDIL. “With 24 applications, we broke the record for the number of entries. The conclusion is clear: innovation remains an absolute priority for our members.”
For his part, the Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot, recalled the importance of having visions that foster creativity and encourage innovation in companies. “More than ever, it is important to value the innovative ideas of passionate people by helping them to act quickly and try many new things”, he explained.
Out of the 24 entries submitted to the jury*, four prizes were finally awarded:
– Process category: Ceratizit Luxembourg, for the project “Additive Manufacturing of Tungsten Carbide Hardmetals”. It covers new manufacturing technologies such as 3D carbide printing, which enables rapid project planning and implementation.
– Product category: B Medical Systems, for the project “Innovative wide range voltage stabilizer & freeze protection for robust vaccine cold chain”. The company, which specialises in refrigeration solutions for medical use, has developed refrigerators with AC/DC power supply and a protection package to maintain the cold chain and preserve the effectiveness of vaccines.
– Digital category: Earthlab Luxembourg, for the “Max-ICS platform solution” project. This start-up offers an integrated solution for the creation of models based on artificial intelligence and data exploitation, but also for exploiting these models on large volumes and velocities of data.
– Start-up category: UFT, for the project “UFT SaaS DRT platform for on-demand ridepooling and fleet optimisation”. This is a service platform for on-demand public transport, enabling the optimisation of the allocation of transport fleets simultaneously in accordance with passenger transport demands.
“The winners contribute to the country’s reputation,” said Minister Fayot. “With their projects and niche products with high added value, the prize-winning companies contribute to consolidating Luxembourg’s position, well beyond its borders, as a country where considerable efforts are made to support entrepreneurs developing innovative activities from here.”
For his part, Marc Ferring, Director R&D and Innovation Support at Luxinnovation, had the opportunity to appreciate the richness of the applications submitted to the jury of which he is a member. “In the current health context, it is reassuring to note that companies continue to innovate,” he said. “The diversity of the dossiers presented in the 2020 edition of the Innovation Prize is a perfect illustration of this. FEDIL, Luxinnovation and all our other partners are – and will obviously always be – there to support companies in their innovation initiatives.”
All the winners received a 3D-printed trophy created by the students of the “LEM.SCIENCE” workshop of the Lycée Ermesinde Mersch and the students of the Lycée Technique des Arts et Métiers.
* the jury was composed of Marc Ferring (Luxinnovation), Jean Georges (Ateliers Nic. Georges), Pierre Hirtt, Pierre Kihn (Office Freylinger), Venant Krier (Poudrerie de Luxembourg S.A), Andreea Monnat (Fonds National de la Recherche), Philippe Osch (Hitec Luxembourg), Simone Polfer (Ministry of the Economy), Georges Thielen (Goodyear Innovation Center* Luxembourg) and Dr Gaston Trauffler (FEDIL).