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Around thirty companies attended the first regional information meeting for industrial firms organised by FEDIL, one of the founding partners of Luxinnovation, on 7 February.

The aim of this conference was to present in detail the range of services and support available to industrial companies in the country from FEDIL and Luxinnovation, particularly in the field of digital transformation and innovation.

“Digital transformation is a horizontal and sectoral subject, which concerns all companies”, said René Winkin, the General Manager of FEDIL. “Our role is therefore to inform, encourage and support companies in their efforts. Not forgetting a very important aspect: cyber security.”

Joint projects…

As such, FEDIL is involved, together with Luxinnovation, in projects such as Digital 4 Industry (an initiative launched in 2016) or the recent creation, last autumn, of the Luxembourg-Digital Innovation Hub, managed by the national innovation agency. “We are also partners with Paul Wurth’s InCub incubator to give FEDIL member companies direct access to the InduTech community,” says Mr Winkin.

The Federation of Industrialists has also developed a cybersecurity assessment tool on its own website. It was developed based on the results of a study conducted jointly by FEDIL-ICT and EY Cybersecurity. “It is a set of 50 security practices to help pave the way for companies and organisations on their cyber security journey,” says Winkin. “This tool will help companies and organisations to adopt a common approach to security objectives and requirements in the marketplace”.

Many other areas are covered by the FEDIL experts. This is the case, for example, of energy efficiency issues. “We are working with companies on designs to reduce electricity or gas consumption,” explains Gast Trauffler, Head of Industrial Policy at FEDIL. “This can be done, for example, through risk-sharing mechanisms in the case of large investments to reduce energy consumption”.

And to see how ambitious the national targets for the share of renewable energy in total energy consumption are. “We are currently at around 10% and the target for 2030 is between 23 and 25%. So there is still work to be done”.

… and complementary actions

FEDIL’s commitment to its member companies is obviously very complementary to that of Luxinnovation, whose various support processes are very well established and in perpetual evolution and adaptation.

“Our experts in the field of innovation are attentive to and understand the ideas and innovation projects of companies”, explains Sasha Baillie, CEO of Luxinnovation. “They are able to guide these companies towards the appropriate RDI tools. Depending on the complexity of a project, different financial support may be more or less relevant, but the eligibility criteria are complex and vary according to the type of companies and projects. This is why we offer support to carry out a 360° analysis to give the right direction and impetus”.

Existing aid schemes cover R&D activities; feasibility studies; innovation and organisational processes (which are generally not accessible to large companies unless they develop a joint project with an SME); innovation for SMEs or environmental investments. These schemes are accessible to companies through different channels. The “Fit 4” performance programmes, managed by Luxinnovation, are an example.

This information session was also an opportunity to focus on the Cluster Initiative managed by Luxinnovation. “In the priority sectors defined by the government, we identify the companies active in these sectors, the opportunities and obstacles they face,” explains Sasha Baillie. “By listening to them, by capturing their ideas and projects, and by confronting them with the skills of research players and public administrations, we can move forward with major projects,” says Sasha Baillie. “In the end, these projects, which can obviously also involve the industrial sector, will also be opportunities for the development of Luxembourg’s economy in a sustainable manner”.)

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